Whomever keeps the foal should take "financial responsibility" for it... Obviously the mare received no pre-natal care, as no one knew she was in foal. So there is no financial responsibility there. If you - very kindly I might say - offered to paternity test, that should be the extent of your responsibility unless they are giving the foal to you. And I would limit that offer to test to ONLY your stallion.
I would offer to test the baby with my stallion as well. If it was by my stallion, and she doesn't want it, I would offer to take the foal and pay all expences related to it. If she does want it, I would give her a cert. of breeding so she could register the baby if the mare would qualify. I'm pretty sure though that if your stallion got out you would have known about it.
Chris Misita www.hiddenvalleyfarms.net Home of Bravo and Warrick!
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I'm surprised that nobody else has commented about the timing of this yet?? If the mare was brought to your place June 30th, 2008, she would have been bred by the other stallion(s) prior to that point. Meaning that at the very latest, she would have been covered June 30th, making her normal "due date" somewhere around the end of May to the very beginning of June. Given that it is July 14th, I think it is safe to say that she more than likely was not bred at her previous location, unless she is over 30 days late right now which is possible but less likely. Thus, I think you need to pretty much expect this foal to be by your stallion or something the new owners exposed her to (unknowingly) after she left your place.
If I had purchased a mare, only to find out later that she'd been covered by a stallion, I'm sure I'd be none too impressed. However, it ultimately becomes the responsibility of the mare owner now. I've heard of instances where stallions get loose (or breed a mare through the fence), and the stallion owner ends up paying for the abortion of the foal and any vet care associated. I'm not sure what can be done after the fact, other than what you are doing.
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Before pondering time lines and trying to determine who the sire may or may not be, I think a better starting point is to confirm that the mare is indeed in foal! There are other causes of lactation besides being in foal!
Has the mare been confirmed in foal? Is she bagging up and lactating...or does she just have mastitis, a hormone problem, pseudo pregnancy, etc.? I agree that the dates don't correlate with the previous farm. That being said, I'm sure you would have known if your stallion had gotten out...unless you have staff working for you that didn't tell you because they didn't want to get in trouble.
If she is indeed pregnant, the Mare Owner can pay for the paternity test and if, at that time, it is confirmed that your stallion is the sire, I would then reimburse her for the test after that. There are just too many variables here to 110% determine that your stallion is the sire and fork over a bunch of money for something that is not your responsibility.
First thing first, it needs to be confirmed whether she is actually in foal!!
However, IF it is confirmed the mare is PG, and the dates are muddy regarding stallion exposure (fenceline or not), I would offer the following (and I would do it immediately...that is just good "business"):
1) You cover the cost of DNA testing the mare and foal and your stallion. If it is found that the offspring is not by your stallion, the MO would reimburse you that cost. Better yet, offer to split that cost up front (hopefully with the other farm owner). Then agree to reimbursment of the other half if the offspring is not by your stallion...and vice versa. That would cut your financial exposure if the MO or other SO decides not to remiburse you at all.
2) If the offspring IS by your stallion, then offer to cover the costs of the foaling (and any vet expenses related to it) in exchange for ownership fo the foal. After all, she was a boarder and did not want have a bred mare. If an "accident" happened it really is your responsibility to rectify it.
3) If the MO wants to keep the foal, then she got one for no stallion service fee and you owe nothing. AND, she should reimburse you for your financial contribution to determining the sire of the foal, regardless of who the sire is.
As pretty much noted:
first make sure the mare IS preggo. I have in fact had 2 mares (same spring) that bagged up/lactated yellow fluid and were checked NOT in foal.
If she IS in foal then offer to DNA test to your stallion only. If it is not your dude that is the end of your responsibility.
At this point a palpation would confirm pregnancy. That should be done right away.
If the mare is in foal and it's by the OP's stallion, I would disagree that she should only have to offer to pay for the expenses. This mare owner has LOST the use of her mare until this foal is weaned.
To the OP - what type of stall and turnout do you have for your stallion?
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I'd guess the mare isn't pregnant. One of my mares bagged up and leaked milk 2 years ago and she wasn't pregnant. The vet said there are a lot of reason why it could happen and we attributed it to her metabolic problems (insulin resistant and cushingnoid). It never happened since.
But on the other hand, my mother bought a TB mare from a huge breeding/training facility and a couple of weeks before she was to be shipped to us, we get the phone call, oops, your mare is pregnant and due any day. They stand multiple stallions but everyone there maintained that they had no recollection of an escaping or a breeding or any mistakes happening. No one knew how it happened. I imagine one of the barn workers made an "oops" and was scared to get canned so just lied about it.