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Approaching three months to go - any advice for this first time "breeder"?

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  • Approaching three months to go - any advice for this first time "breeder"?

    I am under the watchful care of my repro vet, but just wanted to start a thread for us first timers - it would be great if folks with more experience can hold our hands and hopefully give us useful info etc.

    I'll start by asking:
    -in the next three months what should i be watching for/what changes will occur?
    -what kinds of feed do you use to increase caloric intake
    -anything i should be specifically watching for?
    -any "last minute" reading? I have read the blessed books and several others, anything else?
    -i will be taking my mare to the vet for foaling (i am too chicken to ride it out alone!) for folks who do this, when do you take your mares?
    -any other helpful hand holing you can do? please do! i am starting to gnaw my nails in anticipation!


    I am trying very very hard to not let my excitement loose - just do not want to jinx anything .... but i figure an all purpose thread to help all first timers should be ok

  • #2
    Check her udder every day from now on so that you can be aware of any change (good or bad). You'd expect her to start building a bag around day 300, but if she starts to Really Build a bag or starts building one earlier, get the vet out.

    Make sure she's being fed nutritionally well - don't overfeed and make sure those minerals and vitamins are balanced as this is when the baby really starts to grow.

    Talk to the baby (make sure no one is around). Seriously. It can hear you and I like them to know the sound of my voice.
    www.juniperridgeranch.us
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    • #3
      Since you are not foaling out at home you have less to do I would move my mare 30 days before foaling date. This is to allow her to settle in AND develop antibiodies to the "new bugs" in the new environment.

      But for the first time breeder and doing it at home other things to think about:

      get your foaling kit together

      get your camera/ internet mare stare hooked up (if using)

      get your foal predictor/ Ca strips ready

      get your mare off fescue hay if feeding that

      I always keep a bottle of serramune at home and do my own IgG test.

      I always keep a tube of domperidone on hand just in case since my fields are fescue (even though I pull my mare off 3 months previous)

      Follow your pneumobort-k vaccination schedule

      Have a tube of ivermectin to deworm your mare at time of foaling

      I keep a foal resuscitator and refractometer to check colostrum

      open caslicks if one has been placed

      That's all I can think of right now! Happy foaling!
      Read about my time at the Hannoveraner Verband Breeders Courses:
      http://blumefarm.com/hannoveranercourse2011.html
      http://blumefarm.com/hannoveranercourse2012.html

      Comment


      • #4
        What is she eating now, both hay and grain?
        McDowell Racing Stables

        Home Away From Home

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        • #5
          Originally posted by mbm View Post
          I am under the watchful care of my repro vet, but just wanted to start a thread for us first timers - it would be great if folks with more experience can hold our hands and hopefully give us useful info etc.



          I am trying very very hard to not let my excitement loose - just do not want to jinx anything .... but i figure an all purpose thread to help all first timers should be ok
          #1: Have the repro vet stop watching you and ask them to watch your mare!

          Seriously, I'll let the more qualified folks advise you. I worked for a breeder for 3 seasons (eons past, I was the night watch), but times, and with them the management of mares, have changed, so I am not qualified to advise.

          I've seen umpteen dozen foalings but they were other people's horses, not mine, and I worried enough about them! I understand your decision to have your mare foaled out.

          Why can you not let your excitement loose? It's perfectly normal (and fun) to be excited! Do you have pics of your mare? Who's the daddy? I'm excited for you!

          Comment


          • #6
            Has your mare carried full term foals?
            If at all possible contact the former owner.
            Get a history of how long she carried, how she behaved through the delivery of the foal and the placenta. What was her immediate postpartum behavior - did she exhibit cramping? How large were her foals?

            Mark your calender for 310 days this is the fetal age of viability (give or take a day or so) It gives you a little releif to pass that safely.

            In the later weeks of her pregnancy- the mare will have changes in the way she carries as the foal moves to the delivery position- Be alert to changes.

            Check the muscle tone over her croup. Check the laxity of her tail. It's a general sign that she is getting close. Gently lifting her tail - note the resistance. The resistance will lessen as she progresses.

            One of my mare broke out with perfect giant beads of sweat on the end of each hair within an hour of delivery.

            Be aware of the signs of a healthy normal pregnancy. Read about placentitis and dystocia. Know the presentation position. If you see anything else you will need help ASAP.
            Note - Edema in her abdomen, between her legs. Check her legs for signs of leaking milk. Be aware of any discharge. She may pass the mucous plug just before she delivers ..it often times not seen

            Groom her...talk to her...get her used to you entering her stall at night checking on her.

            She will likely deliver at night. I always had my Dansko clogs and a small flashlight at the door.

            If you haven't picked out a name.. don't trust your memory! Keep a tablet handy..some of my best names came just before my foals were born!

            And just for fun..look up the medical name of what appears to be a small smooth brown "liver" often found in the amniotic sac of horses and cows. Our family put them in the rafters of the barn as soon as we found it. I don't know why!!

            Good Luck
            Tradition of "Grande" Sporthorse Champions
            GRANDE SOVEREIGN 2014 USEF 8th Leading HB Sire
            & Sire of OWN IT - USEF National HB 3yo Champion

            Grand Affiar, Grande Desire, GR Impression, Couture du Jour

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            • Original Poster

              #7
              Originally posted by Laurierace View Post
              What is she eating now, both hay and grain?

              grass and alfalfa - enough that she is a bit on the plump side - ration balance 1.75 lds/day.

              i know i need to start upping her grain intake so that is next on the schedule....

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                This is the mares first foal. She is 14 this year. I have had her since she was 4. I know her *very* well.

                Her name is Sophie (aka Wolkendame by Wolkentanz I) dad is GRP Manchester City. This will be a first for both parents!

                I am scared to get excited - i don't want to jinx it! i don't have a name picked out - for some reason i think it will be a colt so i have no filly names... but Davenport for a boy - of course it will name itself ....

                I want to send her to the vets so I wont be a nervous wreck - Maybe next time i will have her foal at home if i do this again!

                mare

                https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?...1&l=95b741f3b4

                daddy

                https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?...5240018&type=3

                Comment


                • #9
                  Not necessarily, especially if she is a little plump. Just make sure the ration balancer is being fed at the proper amount for late term mares. You may have to contact the manufacturer if that info isn't on the bag.
                  McDowell Racing Stables

                  Home Away From Home

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    ok, I emailed LMF (the feed Co) and asked them. Tnx.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      My mare turns into a Hoover at the end especially. They REALLY start eating more. They needs a lot more protein than normal. I was using Calf Manna and my mare had the biggest glowing spots.

                      I had someone else foal out the first time I tried it. I was really scared, like you. I finally did it on my own two foals ago, and luckily it was easy peasy, as mom goes at 337 days like clockwork and is a super mom. Other people are always whining about waiting for months!

                      I'm breeding again this year, too. I really, really love doing the whole process of making the bay from start. And there is nothing cuter than a baby horse. You are going to have SO much fun with that baby.

                      Since your mare is 14 and it's her first foal, it's actually a really good idea to have her at the vet.

                      Has she turned into a cuddle bug? Pregnant mares are so happy I just love them.

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        oh, yeah.... she loves to be loved on. she sucks up all the attention she can get

                        i know her body pretty darn well - as i have had my hands all over her for 10 years... what is interesting, and what i didn't expect is that her topline is really solid - really lovely muscles, etc... she hasn't been ridden in about a year as she got injured from a kick.... so i thought her topline would be a problem from lack of work but it seems really good.

                        also, she is the kind of mare that loves being touched - i can run my hands anywhere and she is good - but once her belly started showing - she doesn't like me putting my hands on her baby. i have had to slowly work her up to allowing me to just rest my palms on him. i thought that was interesting....

                        i also keep her udders/between her hind legs/under her tail very clean as she gets crazy waxy, so i will be able to tell when she starts changing as i am pretty familiar with those places

                        oh and fwiw, i am not scared at all.... just want to do the best i can for my lovely mare.... and since i am a totally beginner at this i figured given the cost of the vet stay - it is better for her to be there - one less thing to worry about!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Definitely!

                          I am sure the good breeders of COTH will help you with any questions. They can get into some epic arguments with each other, but always seem to come through when it counts!

                          I do miss being involved in foaling and breeding season. I keep late hours though and enjoy keeping watch on COTHer's "mare stare" cameras when they post them here.

                          You know your mare well, and that is very important.

                          Good luck! You have a good repro vet, and people with a great deal of experience here, to answer your questions. Isn't the internet wonderful (at times)?

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            So i contacted the folks at LMF and they said her current 1.5 lbs/day of super supplement should be good til she foals as long as she is maintaining her current good condition. Once she foals and if her good condition changes we can reevaluate.

                            they were great at getting back to me promptly i love this company

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by TWF View Post
                              Has your mare carried full term foals?

                              And just for fun..look up the medical name of what appears to be a small smooth brown "liver" often found in the amniotic sac of horses and cows. Our family put them in the rafters of the barn as soon as we found it. I don't know why!!

                              Good Luck
                              Do you mean the hippomane?

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Shhhhhh...that was for her to find!!!
                                Tradition of "Grande" Sporthorse Champions
                                GRANDE SOVEREIGN 2014 USEF 8th Leading HB Sire
                                & Sire of OWN IT - USEF National HB 3yo Champion

                                Grand Affiar, Grande Desire, GR Impression, Couture du Jour

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by mbm View Post
                                  So i contacted the folks at LMF and they said her current 1.5 lbs/day of super supplement should be good til she foals as long as she is maintaining her current good condition. Once she foals and if her good condition changes we can reevaluate.

                                  they were great at getting back to me promptly i love this company
                                  Perfect! So you most likely won't have to change anything until after she foals. I like to up the percentage of alfalfa I feed after foaling.
                                  McDowell Racing Stables

                                  Home Away From Home

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    ok, well that makes it easy

                                    maybe now I can let myself start to get excited

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by mbm View Post
                                      ok, well that makes it easy

                                      maybe now I can let myself start to get excited
                                      GET EXCITED!!!

                                      any chance your vet has a marestare account or a camera setup? how far away are they?? if more than 10 mins, look into doing marestare, so that you won't miss the foaling--- it's STRESSFUL but a BLAST!

                                      ***if your vet doesn't want to put her on camera for everyone to see, there is the option to make it private so that only you have the link.......

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        What a lovely mare, nice substance. And you can see how sweet and kind she probably is. I see a heart horse here for sure, lucky you to have a nice mare, that bond is so special.

                                        Good luck and enjoy babytime! I got to have my last hurrah, at a late age, did two breedings and both babies turned out so special. Kept both of them and watched them grow up - that is sooo much learning! To get to see it through. And when I get compliments from very knowledgeable horse people I have the satisfaction that we did it all on our own. It ranks as the ultimate thing to do with me.

                                        I can see the baby album will be huge
                                        Don't let anyone tell you that your ideas or dreams are foolish. There is a millionaire walking around who invented the pool noodle.

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