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  1. #1
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    Question Should I be taking a closer look?

    So my mare is due in a week or so. Due meaning her last breeding date was May 12th, so according to the time she foaled her last 2 it is around April 7th.

    My question is, today she has been rolling a lot and just hanging in her stall, even though she has it open to the pasture. She has been eating fine and does have a bag. ( has been slowly growing over the last 8 days) how long does it take for milk texture to change? This morning it was clear and salty.

    Not sure if this could make a difference, but her last 2 foals were very large wb types. This foal is by a tiny section A welsh stallion.

    Does the breed/size have any weight on changing gestation?

    Last year she had a bag for over 2 weeks and I just about gave up, then out of the blue in the middle of the day she has the foal!!!!



  2. #2
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    I dont believe size really matters in the development process. Not sure if this Helps, but my mare bred May 10 foaled a small healthy filly on March 28. Good luck. My mares milk was just water in the morning.. but I had been tracking her temperature twice a day.. It dropped significantly so I knew to be watching... and perfect. I was worried about colestrum.. but it was ll good.



  3. #3
    Samotis is offline Grand Prix Premium Member
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    She acted this way last year and I wish I had kept a written record of the time frame.

    She still has water type milk so I will just keep checking her.

    Last year she had her foal in the middle of the day so I just worry that will happen again!



  4. #4
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    The size of the foal doesn't have an effect on it All of my horse mares bred to ponies have acted exactly the same as they have with horse foals. I've had milk go from the cloudy watery stuff at about noon to thick white colostrum by 6pm. Mare was not a maiden, and foaled that night You know your mare, keep an eye on her. I will say that the average length of gestation in my mares bred to ponies has been more like 330.
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  5. #5
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    I have had perfectly formed and mature foals born as early as day 314. In my own experience, my mares had patterns which did not seem to depend on the sire. Your best bet to know when your mare will foal is milk testing (very thin milk can sometimes score very high, despite its appearance). As others have stated, milk can go from watery and thin to colostrum in hours.

    I have kept records on my mares over the years and the records were invaluable, especially as time went by and patterns could be seen. I got my record form from Karen Hayes book on foaling, but any simple chart that has room for daily records of the status of the udder, body shape, vulva, muscle relaxation, attitude, appetite, sclera color, with a spot for notes will do. I kept mine on a clipboard and filled it out starting around day 300, with daily notes once the mare was showing changes.



  6. #6
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    I too keep records on all my mares, from just after their 30 day pre-foaling boosters, till 24-48 hours post partum. And yes, the patterns that emerge have been helpful.
    I also keep a chart for each foal, starting with time that "water breaks" through to about 48 hours. I add on anything else significant over the 1st week or 2. If I have problems, I have a detailed record for the vet including time to stand / nurse, gum and respiration quality, times navel dunked, whether / when colustrum given by bottle, when enema(s) given, when meconium passed, when urinating/defecating etc.
    These notes also give me something to pour over obsessively as I watch "foal TV" at night, from my bed.



  7. #7
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    Ditto.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sunnydays View Post
    I too keep records on all my mares, from just after their 30 day pre-foaling boosters, till 24-48 hours post partum. And yes, the patterns that emerge have been helpful.
    I also keep a chart for each foal, starting with time that "water breaks" through to about 48 hours. I add on anything else significant over the 1st week or 2. If I have problems, I have a detailed record for the vet including time to stand / nurse, gum and respiration quality, times navel dunked, whether / when colustrum given by bottle, when enema(s) given, when meconium passed, when urinating/defecating etc.
    These notes also give me something to pour over obsessively as I watch "foal TV" at night, from my bed.



  8. #8
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    I do the same as Sunnydays and Mary Lou. I made my charts on a spreadsheet in Excel. They are invaluable.



  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ticofuzzy View Post
    I do the same as Sunnydays and Mary Lou. I made my charts on a spreadsheet in Excel. They are invaluable.

    Wanna share this chart with us first time breeders out here??
    The rebel in the grey shirt



  10. #10
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    My question is, today she has been rolling a lot and just hanging in her stall, even though she has it open to the pasture. She has been eating fine and does have a bag. ( has been slowly growing over the last 8 days) how long does it take for milk texture to change? This morning it was clear and salty.

    *My mares have gone anywhere from zero bag at foaling (generally maidens) to 5 weeks after bagging up, so not a reliable indicator. Milks can take weeks to change, or it can go in a matter of hours. Rolling, can be impending birth or it can be discomfort from the baby just changing position a couple weeks out.

    Not sure if this could make a difference, but her last 2 foals were very large wb types. This foal is by a tiny section A welsh stallion.

    Does the breed/size have any weight on changing gestation?

    *no
    *daytime foalings: happen but rarely. I have only had one in 13 years.
    * the biggest signs that foaling is close are waxing (usually within 72 hours though the exceptions are that sometimes you will not see the wax...it may fall off or my exception for this year was that mare that held out for 2 weeks after waxing) and the hind end getting softer....the tailhead droops, the but kinda caves in and starts to "jiggle"....then you are really close.



  11. #11
    Samotis is offline Grand Prix Premium Member
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    Thanks.

    So far from what I remember about last year she is doing the same pattern.

    It was about 2.5 weeks until she had the baby once she got her bag.

    I am thinking the 7 to the 10th she will foal.

    I was very lucky last year! I was just driving home from a afternoon movie and drove past my arena and saw her laying down. I though oh crap! I ran out there and she had the colt right there mid day in the arena! Of course not in the beautiful straw bedded stall I had for her!



  12. #12
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    If her behavior has changed, I'd be keeping an eye on her, regardless of what the other signs are. As for day time foalings being rare, do you want to come tell my girls that??? Lol. 3 out of my last 5 were all born during the day, and the other 2 were between 10 and 20 days early. Go figure. Lol
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by JWB View Post
    Wanna share this chart with us first time breeders out here??
    Sure! Not sure how, though... I can email it to anyone who wants it.



  14. #14
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    Here is my form. It is a word file. I need to revise it, as I do not find temperature to be much use.

    foal_watch_chart.doc



  15. #15
    Samotis is offline Grand Prix Premium Member
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    She has wax tonight, more bag but still the same clear salty liquid.

    I am going to start checking her every night.

    Thanks for the charts. I will start using them!



  16. #16
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    Are you testing milk?



  17. #17
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    ML, that is a useful chart. I have kept notes on all my mares over the years, but that chart is more organized.

    OP, I highly recommend watching your mare. My maiden foaled last Sunday morning at 318 days. She had salty, clear milk the evening before so I had put straw down, but decided I didn't need to watch her. When I turned the camera on at 6:00, the foal was already on the ground.

    I have had one mare foal during the daytime, several times, and others foal early evening while it was still light.
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  18. #18
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    The reason I asked about testing milk is that I have had mares with entirely uninteresting milk (greyish, mostly clear, not thick) test in the range that Chemetrics indicated foaling soon. I would have missed them, if I had not tested. Usually, you can tell a lot by visually checking milk, but some mares make it more dicey.

    Clint, I got the chart from Karen Hayes book on foaling, which was my foaling bible for forever.



  19. #19
    Samotis is offline Grand Prix Premium Member
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    No, I haven't been testing milk.

    I did it with her first foal a few years ago and it said she was going to foal that night and she didn't foal for 3 days.

    Her bag is getting bigger every day and she is walking around a lot slower the past few days, so I am going to be checking her a lot more this week!



  20. #20
    Samotis is offline Grand Prix Premium Member
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    Well i think the baby is coming! This morning she had little wax balls and tonight white milk dripping. Now sheis restless and sweaty and just layed down and rolled for a few minutes. I used a pool strip kit and the calcium read purple which is as high as it goes. So heres to a long night!
    Last edited by Samotis; Apr. 7, 2013 at 01:52 AM.


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