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Large foals

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  • Large foals

    I bred my 16.3 hh, warmblood mare to Linaro, first foal. Had it sexed, boy. This is her first baby. She is due march 2, 2013.

    When they confirmed her pregnancy, the embryo was big, big enough that the best vet at this clinic that does nothing but repro, commented on it.

    She is now HUGE, as in, waddling HUGE!!!! As in, her 84 inch blanket will ot fit in a few weeks with surcingles. She took on second try.

    I am seriously starting to worry, about it being too ig, any thoughts? Suggestions? Should i be very careful to feed minimally? Not worry? Obviously. This mare is very valuable. Feeling very nervous!!

    Thanks!
    May the sun shine on you daily, and your worries be gone with the wind.
    www.mmceventing.com

  • #2
    My maiden TB mare was 16.1 hands, who was bred to a 15.3 hand QH. She was three weeks overdue, when she finally foaled. Her foal was 42" tall and grew to be almost 17 hands. Fortunately, Belle was a bit long backed so she did just fine carrying and delivering her colt.

    Have you spoken with your Vet for his opinion?

    BTW, I believe that someone makes extenders for blanket surcingles.
    When in Doubt, let your horse do the Thinking!

    Comment


    • #3
      Typically, the foal will not grow larger than the body allows (obviously there are exceptions) and usually the first foal is the smallest because the uterus is not stretched out yet to allow extra growth. I would ask your vet for their opinion, and if there is concern, have a nearby vet hospital on standby in case of an emergency.

      When was the mare last ultrasounded? Is it possible she is carrying twins?

      Nature usually takes its course and most mares foal just fine, but always better to be prepared in case of an issue.

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        My vet acknowledges that she is big. Twins not the case. He said to just not leave her alone, at all. The last few weeks to month. I can guarentee you, poor thing will be sick of me! Lol. Is it possible, she actually took on first try, kept it thru second fertilization? And is actually a month ahead of where they think?
        May the sun shine on you daily, and your worries be gone with the wind.
        www.mmceventing.com

        Comment


        • #5
          Hopefully this may help to ease your mind.

          I also bred a 16.3h mare to Linaro, first foal for this mare. She got pretty big too. She did have a little bit of a hard time getting him out, but nothing that required any help from me thankfully. He was the biggest foal I have had to date, and his legs were ridiculously long. It took him longer to get up than my other foals, but once he did, he was just fine. Mom came through just fine too! Vet did say there were stress areas in the placenta likely from his hocks. She delivered at 333 days. Mare is fine and back in foal, and colt is now a 16.1h 19 month old!
          Check us out on Facebook at EVER AFTER FARM

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          • #6
            I usually try to select a stallion who I can see throws reasonable sized foals when breeding for a mares first foal. I had a mare tear with her first foal from such a stallion and I think it was because she had the genetics for a larger foal but was a surviving twin herself so smaller than her genetics. I have her to a very large stallion this time and am considering sending her to be foalsed out by experts however one of the things I thave found is important is activity. We are breeding smaller mares to large stallions...Irish Draughts and large Friesians and have had no probem but they often foal in the pasture and I think it is easier for them to walk out a big foal. Also as maidens they have been watching the other mares foal so it is not such a surprise? for them when their time comes. If I were very afraid for he mare(usually my imagination) I would use a place that foals a lot of mares. PatO

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by gold2012 View Post
              My vet acknowledges that she is big. Twins not the case. He said to just not leave her alone, at all. The last few weeks to month. I can guarentee you, poor thing will be sick of me! Lol. Is it possible, she actually took on first try, kept it thru second fertilization? And is actually a month ahead of where they think?
              I think this would be unlikely but maybe possible. Kathy would be a great one to get a comment from. I would wonder the same thing though. I think her foal should be lamb size at this point.

              Comment


              • #8
                BTW, make sure if your maiden was bred with ai that she is opened up. My 17 hand somewhat long-backed mare had a 125 lb foal her first foal, and unfortunately, the front foot bounced off the vestiges of the hymen, went into her rectum. They had to push the foal back, and with the struggle, the placenta detached and the foal was born dead even though otherwise the mare delivered him okay other than the above problem when she was pushing so hard at the beginning. I had never thought of that happening, but since it happened once, it could happen again.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by gold2012 View Post
                  Is it possible, she actually took on first try, kept it thru second fertilization? And is actually a month ahead of where they think?
                  Never say never, but highly unlikely. Feed her as normal for a pregnant mare. Depriving feed/nutrition is not a good idea. Make sure you attend the foaling. Good luck!
                  Equine-Reproduction.com Now offering one on one customized training!
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                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Thanks all!! Everafter, do you have any pics? I had been just beside myself wanting to breed to Linaro for years, first opportunity that came along, I took. Maybe not a good idea, his babies are big. I was going to send her to a clinic to foal, but they use a monitor system, i like my monitor better, my eyes!! Lol. Will update when she delivers. In a few months!
                    May the sun shine on you daily, and your worries be gone with the wind.
                    www.mmceventing.com

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Yes, you can see some pics of him if you click on my website in my sig line. His current pic is in the for sale section, and there are some baby pics of him in the baby section, he is the only dark bay baby with a star. I can't post pics here.
                      Check us out on Facebook at EVER AFTER FARM

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by KentuckyTBs View Post
                        Typically, the foal will not grow larger than the body allows (obviously there are exceptions) and usually the first foal is the smallest because the uterus is not stretched out yet to allow extra growth. I would ask your vet for their opinion, and if there is concern, have a nearby vet hospital on standby in case of an emergency.

                        When was the mare last ultrasounded? Is it possible she is carrying twins?

                        Nature usually takes its course and most mares foal just fine, but always better to be prepared in case of an issue.
                        This has been my experience. I was told years ago by several top KY repro vets not to worry when I was concerned about breeding a smallish mare to a rather larger stallion and one that seemed to get larger then average foals. Think about it how often do you see a mule the size of a donkey? Especially one out of a large draft mare. A maiden mare for reasons given in another post would be more of a concern. But more given the fact that most maidens are very dramatic about the whole process and can be a PIA judging when they are actually going to foal. Which can make for more sleepless nights then necessary.
                        I think your Vet suggesting to keep a close watch 3-4 weeks out is being a little too proactive. But in all fairness I have not seen nor worked with the mare. If we were foaling the mare for a client that would cost considerably more then our standard foaling fee.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          She should be fine, keep an eye on her and just be as prepared as possible. I agree with Gumtree that the hardest part about Maidens is that you don't yet know their "warning signs" (and yes, they can be more dramatic! LOL)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Indeed, never say never. I have 2 mares that regularly conceive on first ovulation of a split cycle - one ovulated 4 days after the first ovulation and still took with twins despite only being inseminated for the first ovulation, the second mare ovulated 48 hours apart (twins again). Twins reduced, both still pregnant. This is their consistency and not flukes.

                            Two of the most dangerous assumptions in breeding: (1) that mares never grow foals bigger than the space they have, and (2) that first foals are always the smallest. Most definitely NOT true and I have experienced a number of notable exceptions to these general rules over the past 30 years that have been hair-raising. Some maidens produce enormous foals. Some small mares produce very large foals, bigger than they should be. It's scary when they do this and a few have needed cesareans for too big a foal.

                            OP, really watch your feeding program. Your mare is not even in her third trimester yet and does not need extras. She moves into her third trimester in mid December and this is when you can gradually increase her extras so that by mid February she is eating what she needs for the duration. Over-feeding minerals/nutrition now makes problems for later. At current, the foal does not steal many nutrients from mom and both are quite easily maintained on whatever mommy needs to maintain herself! It's the final 2 months where baby does 80% of its growth and takes nutrients so this is when you watch nutrients and balances. You want mommy to develop 1/2 inch of fat on her ribs to provide a good buffer for lactation demands. As she approaches late Feb and into March, she may voluntarily reduce her hay consumption and you may have to increase her broodie kibble again to compensate.


                            I received nutrition counseling from Kentucky Equine Research as I needed a lot of help with a mare 2 years ago who also had ultrasound-proven large-for-dates baby over the 5 or so ultrasounds she had. As she approached her delivery time, I was so concerned I never left the farm even for groceries. Vet and I were there as she went into labor, and while this mare does a tremendous job with her pushing, she needed help with a shoulder and hip dystocia. Colt came out extremely large, alive and with perfect legs, so KER's nutrition program was right on target. She is 15.3. He will top 17 hands when all is said and done. And I deliberately picked a stallion who produces average-at-birth sized foals - this size came from HER. I doubt either mare or foal would have survived had the vet and I not been there.

                            You know your skills and experience best and you know your comfort levels better than anyone - but I always give the same piece of advice to everyone - TRUST YOUR GUT. You know your mare, even though she is a maiden, you still know her. As March approaches, if you are still really concerned, then make arrangements to have her foal out at a vet's foaling facility or other pro foaling facility so help is on hand with her and don't allow her left alone or unmonitored for a second.
                            Last edited by rodawn; Nov. 3, 2012, 03:57 PM.
                            Practice! Patience! Persistence!
                            http://www.mariposasporthorses.com/
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                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by rodawn View Post
                              Two of the most dangerous assumptions in breeding: (1) that mares never grow foals bigger than the space they have, and (2) that first foals are always the smallest. Most definitely NOT true and I have experienced a number of notable exceptions to these general rules over the past 30 years that have been hair-raising. Some maidens produce enormous foals. Some small mares produce very large foals, bigger than they should be. It's scary when they do this and a few have needed cesareans for too big a foal.
                              Anytime you breed a horse there is a danger of the mare or foal not being ok. But the norm is that the foal will be regulated by the size of the mare's uterus. Hence the maiden having a smaller uterus and a smaller foal. I don't think these are dangerous assumptions as they are exceptions to the rule and there really isn't anything you can do except not to breed or re-breed if the mare has a history of having issue.
                              Any mare can have issues at any time for a plethora of reasons. And if a mare is abnormal and cannot regulate the size of the foal, the sire's size will not matter much unless it is a very small pony. The studies showed there wasn't a huge difference in birth sizes when the pony/small horse ET was put in a large mare or her own foal by a horse stallion. Any natural system has a rate of fail, but it is not the norm.

                              I know I lost a foal to a vet who screwed up and rebred her on the next cycle. Missed the pregnancy and thought she was dropping an egg, then confirmed that she was actually pregnant and not ovulating AFTER he inseminated. This was not someone that I should have taken my mare to. While unlikely, I guess it is possible to hang on to the first pregnancy when breeding on the next cycle. I guess the precaution would be to start watching her closely based on the first date. Would the foal be a normal size if you used the first date?

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                If you are extremely worried, have her foal at a hospital that has experience doing c-sections. The problem with transporting after she is in labor and has a dystocia is that by the time you get her to a surgical hospital, the foal is usually dead. Most mares do fine, but if they don't, it is scary.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  If you are extremely worried, have her foal at a hospital that has experience doing c-sections. The problem with transporting after she is in labor and has a dystocia is that by the time you get her to a surgical hospital, the foal is usually dead. Most mares do fine, but if they don't, it is scary.
                                  I second this.

                                  But most of all, I urge you to SLOW DOWN! She still has a long way to go, and sometimes foals look big in the beginning of pregnancy but then slow down their growth and end up being born with a perfectly average size.

                                  Also, just like us women, a big belly doesn't mean a big baby. Sometimes its just a hole lot of fluids and placenta.

                                  Ask for an ultra-sound by the 10th month, that still leaves you with a lot of time to make the decisions, if you have to make them. Until then, relax and enjoy
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                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I agree 100% with Rodawn, especially regarding the assumptions about foal size. You can never be too careful. We see threads about the "exceptions" every year on this board. Trust your gut and watch her carefully.
                                    Kendra -- Runningwater Warmbloods
                                    Home of EM Raleska (Rascalino/ Warkant) and Donatella M (Furstenball/ Jazz Time)
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                                    • #19
                                      I had a 15.1hh fine boned TB maiden bred to a 16.3hh chunky Hano. The mare was so big in her last few weeks that she could barely move. You could see all sorts of bits of the foal pushing against her belly and flank. She foaled fine with no damage but did need to get up and walk about quite a few times. The foal was enormous and was pretty crumpled up for a while. He grew to a pretty hefty 17.1hh with superb legs.

                                      Be prepared for the foal to take a while to unfold properly, it is likely to be quite over at the knee.

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        Thx all for insight! If the mare was due earlier, size wouldnt be as big a concern. She is almost 17 hh. I have 12x14 stalls. Doors are normal size. Taking her in and out, she almost brushes her sides....now. LOL! I am feeding her pretty much normal for her. Havent increased. I am hoping her growth will slow down!! I plan on being very much a homebody in February.

                                        Wish we could post pics! If nothing else, to have some of you pros say she looks.......
                                        May the sun shine on you daily, and your worries be gone with the wind.
                                        www.mmceventing.com

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