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Setting up a new farm - Broodmare and weanling/yearling stall sizes?

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  • Setting up a new farm - Broodmare and weanling/yearling stall sizes?

    As title reads We are moving and building new stalls.

    What size would be appropriate for foaling/broodmare stalls? I have seen recommendations going from 12 x 12 to 12 x 24! Not exactly reliable!

    Also, what size would be good for weanling/yearling stalls?

    Our horses are always out for a minimum of 12 hours per day. Out 24/7 during the spring/fall when it isn't too hot or too cold and bugs are no problem. We'll see this year with the bugs and heat if they need to come in during the day in the summer or not...

    Many thanks...
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  • #2
    I have 12 x 18 foaling stalls and they have worked great for me (and we foal out a lot of mares). If I need a stall for a weanling or yearling I use whatever is open at the time. In my barn that ranges from 12 x 12 to 12 x 14 to 12 x 18.
    Already excited about our 2016 foals! Expecting babies by Indoctro, Diamant de Semilly, Zirocco Blue and Calido!


    • #3
      You can do what ever works best for your layout and funds, but bigger is usually nicer.

      When I worked for Hilton Hanoverians, I foaled out all of their large, 17.1+ h, old type, big bodied tanks in 12 x 12 stalls. Their horses were all in at least 12 hours per day. Every stall in their barn was a 12 x 12. I never had any problems. November Hill Farm was the same, and housed all of their stallions as well as client foaling mares.

      Bigger stalls usually stay cleaner.


      • #4
        This is a question I was asking expert before I built my own stalls. They were saying 14 X 14 no less but 20 X 20 is the best. I was wondering if 12 X 24 would be as good or even better, but now I can see why wider is better. These 2 feet larger could make a difference.

        Last year one of my mares was having her first foal. She was restless, going up and down, not knowing what was happening to her. When she went down for the last time, her tail was on the side wall, no way the foal could come out in that position. I tried to get her up but she was ready to foal and she was completely ignoring me, furthermore I was alone. I tried everything which took, as it seems to me at the time, an eternity but she finally stood up. The foal’s legs were showing up so I was afraid that she would have the foal standing up but she finally got down, in a good spot and everything went fine.

        My stall was big, 14 X 16 but it happened anyway. But I prefer to have the odds working for me by having a larger and wider stall.
        Breeder of Royal Dutch Sport Horse


        • #5
          WE have two 12 X 16 stalls for foaling and all of the other stalls are 12 X 12 but 2 sets, of 4 of them, can be opened to 12 X 24 for foaling or mares with foals. We really like being able to open the stalls into 12 X 24 the best, then put the dividers in when it gets close to weaning time so the mare can be in one stall and the foal in the other. What ever works for you is best!! Good Luck!!
          http://www.talloaksfarm.net ---"Success is not final, failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts." --- Winston Churchill


          • Original Poster

            Thanks bloomingtonfarm.

            That's the type of information I am looking for. But I wonder, if a larger stall really reduces the chances of such situation happening for I have foaled mares in smaller stalls and while one picked to lay down in the middle and had plenty of space, the other picked to lay down against the wall and I went through the same trouble as you did.

            I am just wondering if it is just a matter of bad luck or does stall size really influence such situations? I mean the mare could still choose (foolishly) to lay down flat against the wall even in a 12 x 24 or a 20 x 20... No?

            I am genuinely curious about those facts. I will go with what's the best suited and the most efficient. Obviously, a 12 x 24 takes up twice the space of a 12 x 12 and if it proves that I don't *need* a 12 x 24, I won't do it. But if I *do* need a 12 x 24, I'll most certainly do it!

            Of course, I am using the 12 x 24 size as an example only

            I hope Equine-Reproduction.com sees this post!
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            • #7
              All of our stalls are 12X12, and 12X 14. The two stalls side by side that are 12X12 on one side of the barn have a wall that can be taken down at foaling time to make a 12X24 stall. This works very well for us. We put it back together after all of the foals are born. Usually we stagger the foals birth times so they foal and use that stall for a few weeks until it is needed for another birth. (WELL, you know that doesnt always happen as planned, but most of the time) LOL. Then we move that mare and foal (at night) into a 12X12 stall. In Florida we have nice weather in the Spring, so as soon as the mare and foal are ready to do so we let them out 24/7.
              hunter/jumper ponies


              • #8
                Oh I am sure it was just bad luck and for sure even with a 20X 20 this could happen. As I was saying it is just a case of odds. The smaller the stall, bigger are the chance this to happen. But it might never happen.

                If it was not that, I think 12 X 24 is the ideal setting. You have two stalls 12 X 12 and the partition between those two can be removed. This is what I had in one of my former stable. A month before the foaling I removed the partition, and when the foal was weaned i added the partition and I had two stalls again. I lost a foal back then but I was not there; I will never know what happened.

                Good luck with your new farm!
                Breeder of Royal Dutch Sport Horse


                • #9
                  We have 12 x 14 and 12 x 16 stalls. I wish we could do 14 x 14 or 14 x 16. Of course then theres my vets words of wisdom she told me - it doesn't matter the size, your mare will always find the corner
                  Epona Farm
                  Irish Draughts and Irish Draught Sport horses

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                  • #10
                    well our foaling stall IS about 12 x 24 because the way the stalls went around a corner/we were working around existing posts in the barn the one in the back corner HAD to be a double sized one for the door arrangements to work. I always figured if I had to turn it into 2 stalls I would put a gate on a hinge as a stall divider. All the other box stalls are full sized. Again, first of all, we were working with pre existing posts........plus I would not want baby sized stalls anyway. I want stalls that can be used for any horse at any given time. We DO have something some folks think is from the dark ages: standing stalls. For the ones that live out we do have tie stalls to bring them in in really nasty weather. It's not like they live in tie stalls...which are 6 x 10 (6 wide and 10 long). The horses have never had any trouble laying down in them if they so choose....though most stand. So...all in all we have 1 double sized/foaling stall, 6 box stalls that are about 12 x 15, 2 box stalls that are about 10 x10, and 4 tie stalls. When there is more than one mare foaling (like this year when the mares bred 2 weeks apart decided to foal at about the same time) one the the 12 x 15 stalls also doubled as a second foaling stall.
                    Providence Farm


                    • #11
                      My foaling stall is 10x20. BUT, my biggest mares are only 16h. Never anything bigger. I find 10x20 keeps nicely clean areas, she'll sleep in one part, eat in another, poop in another for the most part. Plenty of room to roll and stretch out and have labor, and plenty of room for Mum & foal.

                      10x10 or even a bit smaller (10 x 8 maybe?) is fine for my weanlings & yearlings. Again--I have smaller horses though. Often weanlings will *share* a 10x10 very, very happily. I wouldn't go any smaller than that, but then mine aren't in much. Summer if it's awful hot & buggy, winter in sneet/frizzle.

                      For comparison, I have a 14 x 16 run-in, that four are happy in. Now, I would never LOCK four of them inside it, but they share it quite comfortably. So I don't think it's outrageous for two small weanling friends to share a 10 x 10.
                      InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs

                      Bits are like cats, what's one more? (Petstorejunkie)


                      • #12
                        All of the stalls in my barn are 12 x 14, EXCEPT for the brand new area of my barn which I specifically ordered a 12 x 24 stall (that I can then close up into two 12 x 12 stalls after foaling season if I want). I foaled out all of my mares the last 3 years in my 12 x 14 stalls with no problems, but wished I'd had a little more room for my almost 17 hh mare last year. The big stall this year wasn't ready for foaling out a mare, but it was ready intime to put the mare/foal into it after foaling. I will say it was GREAT having that much space for mom and baby - esp if the weather got really really bad and they had to stay in a couple of days (which did happen a few times).

                        Other little things that I did that I wished I had known earlier (or common sense things that you may or may not think of...). Make sure the walls are solid at least 3 - 4 feet up. We are in hot FL and we need ventilation so I needed space/wire/something for that, but make sure it is up high enough so little legs can't get stuck.

                        LOTS of electrical outlets (I have 2 plugs at ever door). And the best tip - my overhead lights are on different switches. I have the foaling stall on one switch so I can just turn on lights to that ONE stall (and they are nice and bright) and not disturb the other horses as much.
                        Emerald Acres standing the ATA, Trakehner Verband, sBs, RPSI, and ISR/OLD NA Approved Stallion, Tatendrang. Visit us at our Facebook Farm Page as well!


                        • #13
                          Our actual barn has a 12x16 foaling stall and 3 x 12x12 stalls that I can remove divisions between each stall The foaling stall 12x16 is ok for my 16.2 and smaller mares, but my 17.1h mare would be more comfortable with larger stall. I find it ok for her for everyday, but for foaling, I would have loved to have a 16x16... 16' is long enough, but 12' sometimes is narrow a little...

                          My next barn, ALL of my stalls will be 12x16, and foaling stalls 16x20... When I use my 12x16 stall for regular horses or mares without a baby, it is always near a dream to clean as they have enough place to prevent them stepping on their manure etc.. So even dirty horses become cleaner in a larger stall.... = less bedding!! less mucking time!!!

                          I'm perhaps a bit excessive, as my horses too are near always outside and they come in only when too much flies or rain in the summer, or too cold-too windy in the winter... but... I feel they are happier when they have room... and a barn with large stalls, comfortable horses with lots of spaces and light is always a heart warming for me
                          Les Écuries d'Automne, Québec, Canada
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                          • Original Poster

                            I am pretty much decided that I will go with 12 x 16 dividable stalls. I am limited in space and this would give me the most efficient setup.

                            Acceptable broodmare stalls that could be divided to form two 8 x 12 stalls (which is the equivalent square-feet wise to a 10 x 10) if need be for weanlings or yearlings.

                            How does it look? Crazy enough?
                            Breeding & Sales
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                            • #15
                              When my mares foaled in stalls, they were 10 x 12 and 12 x 12. Mares 16.1hh and under. Had no problems.

                              Now my friends that also breed drafts, have two foaling stalls that can be sorta used as one big one. The main one is about 10 x 12 and 12 x 12, but there is a sliding door between the two, however there's a pretty good sized threshhold there so a mare couldn't lay down in the center if she wanted to, not enough room for one and the big threshhold. It's generally opened up if the other side isn't already occupied to allow more room for movement before going out full time after a few days or so depending on the weather. Largest mare that's foaled in the 10 x 12 is 17.3hh and over 2000lbs. She has no trouble foaling in that space. She's also vision impaired in one eye (detached retina) and can be a little spooky. Smallest mare is a quarter mare of average size.

                              Whoever's vet said it's true that they'll find the corner always seems to hold true for the mares that need assistance in pulling. Doesn't leave a lot of room for two people between her and the wall for leverage, but I've sat down and put my feet on their haunches w/ my back against the wall for leverage and it works well. These babies are HUGE!! Mares could care less. Most generally wind up against the back wall for some reason, even if they maybe started and ended up in the center several times during the up/down parts of labor and positioning. They like that back wall.

                              Those same stalls are used for weaning and for youngsters, too, if need be. If the sliding door is open, you can put 4 weaners or yearlings in there no problem. It's where I wean mine. The other barn has two 10 x 10 stalls and seven tie stalls. One in each box stall works well, but you could do two quarter foals easily since they're smaller. The can be used for foaling stalls in a pinch if there's no room in the foaling barn, but they don't get used for that too often. There are cameras in the other two so they work the best and everything is already down there for foaling.

                              Mine foal on pasture, but we're looking at a farm that has two stalls, though I'm not sure what size they are off hand. They're decent sized and would work great for foaling if I wanted to use them. Otherwise they'll be used for weaning and for the stallion.

                              Good luck.
                              A Merrick N Dream Farm
                              Proud Member of "Someone Special to me serves in the Military" Clique


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by EquusMagnificus View Post
                                I am pretty much decided that I will go with 12 x 16 dividable stalls. I am limited in space and this would give me the most efficient setup.

                                Acceptable broodmare stalls that could be divided to form two 8 x 12 stalls (which is the equivalent square-feet wise to a 10 x 10) if need be for weanlings or yearlings.

                                How does it look? Crazy enough?

                                Size wize a 12x16 should be okay, but I wouldn't form two 8x 12 size stalls with it, while the square footage is the same, 8' is a pretty short side on a stall. If you go with a 10 x 20 (which is also okay in my opionion, but I'm blessed with small horses), then two 10x10's can be made. I personally (for my arabian and quarters) prefer 12x14 size stalls, with foaling stalls at 12x28 (it's a dividable stall that also houses yearlings or weanlings in pairs occasionally). My stallion's stall is 12x16 (because of the way the barn worked out, one of the stalls had to be made larger, or have two feet of wasted space) which is a good size for him and his buddy, but they have free access to the paddock (or indoor in inclement weather).
                                "Sadly, some people's greatest skill, is being an idiot". (facebook profile pic I saw).


                                • #17
                                  I actually have 2 stalls that are 8 x 9 and 7 x 9. I have had my yearlings, up to smaller (15.2) mares in them. Last month, I had a 16h Clyde/Gypsy Vanner in the 8 x 9 for a month. They do just fine on half time turnout.

                                  The 7 x 9' stall actually saved the life of my weanling a few years ago. She had a brain stem injury and needed a small, dark stall. It was weeks before she could keep her balance in a larger stall. That stall limited her movement enough to keep her on her feet, and still.


                                  • #18
                                    I have an 8 stall center aisle barn with 12X12 stalls. The aisle is wide enough for my vet to drive his truck into the aisle with room to get into the compartments for middle of winter work.

                                    Between the stalls are channel-set 2X12" oak boards. I can convert any stall into 12X24, or even a 12X48 on each side if I wanted to. The 2" thick oak boards are heavy enough to be very stable, but quite easy to lift out of the channel to change the configuration. I have actually done it by myself.


                                    • #19
                                      I have a 12'x24' foaling stall that is set up so I can divide that stall into two 12'x12's. A few times I have been forced to foal a mare in a 12'x12' and it does not work for a large mare. Both mares 16.1hh+ couldn't get enough room to lay down without getting near the wall (they tried to keep their head a certain distance from the wall but that means their rears were close to the opposite wall. I ultimately ended up delivering one standing up and believe me you do not want to do that. That is one heavy and slippery mess to catch while trying to prevent early separation of the umbilical cord.

                                      I think a 12'x16' or 12'x18' would be sufficient but of course it depends on how the beams are set up in your barn, assuming you have beams. I have foaled a few in a 12'x18' without problems. The benefit of the larger stalls is that they have more room to keep poop on one side and the foal doesn't annilate the stall bedding as badly. You might not have to strip the stall every day.

                                      I would think a stall divided to 8'x12' might be too short and result in some castings or other problems.
                                      Altamont Sport Horses
                                      Trakehners * Knabstruppers * Appaloosa Sport Horses
                                      Home of stallions: Ambrosius af Asgard "Atlantis" & Hollywood Hot Spot
                                      Birmingham, AL


                                      • #20
                                        Our foaling stalls range from 12x22 to 12x24. We have a very old barn in New England that we renovated, which is why the lengths vary some. My ladies use these stalls year round...I find they stay cleaner. There is a corner for going to the bathroom, a corner for eating and a big spot in the middle for snoozing. After seeing how neat the ladies keep the bigger stalls, I would not put them back into 12x12 for anything.

                                        As a point of reference, our girls are hanoverian and range in size from 16.2 - 17.1. They appreciate the extra room. I would NOT want to foal them out in a smaller stall.
                                        Home of EM Day Dream, SPS Pakesa, & SPS Destiny
                                        Breeders of USDF HOY Reminisce HM and USDF Reserve HOY Legacy HM