Is your mare a foal? A mare’s gestation period is about eleven months. During the first few months, it was not obvious whether the mare was pregnant with a foal. If you suspect that your mare is in a foal, it is critical that she is properly cared for from the start of pregnancy, for her own health and the health of the foal.
Don’t leave things to nature
Sometimes people feel that nature takes care of everything. This doesn’t always lead to the best results. With proper care early in pregnancy, potential health problems that can affect the reproductive health of the mare as well as the health and life of the foal can be avoided.
things that don’t work
There are many folk ways to tell if your mare is carrying a foal. Stringing a threaded needle, loop, or nail to the mare’s belly is not a reliable way to determine a mare’s pregnancy. Another way is to watch how the mare wobbles. If she only shakes her head and neck, not her whole body, she’s a foal. The theory is that she protects her foal by not shaking. But these methods are not accurate.
The absence or presence of hot (estrus) cycles is also not a definitive indicator of pregnancy. Despite being foals, some mares seem to experience thermal cycling. Some mares may not exhibit significant thermal cycling, especially in the fall and winter.
It is impossible to determine pregnancy at an early stage just by looking at the mare. Some mares, especially those who haven’t had a foal before, may not “perform” much at all. Others have a well springy barrel and it looks like they’ve been foaling. This may be because they have had several foals before, or because the mare’s hay belly makes her belly look bloated.
Not all mares show obvious signs of foal, even in late pregnancy. While some mares may appear fuller and have milk flowing from their hind legs for a few weeks before farrowing, others may not. Some people will have very clear signs that they are foaling or about to be foaled. In some cases, the owner does not know the mare is in the foal until the foal arrives.
How to tell if your mare is in a foal and why it matters
The only way to be sure that your mare is in foal condition and that the pregnancy is healthy is to have your mare inspected by a veterinarian, preferably one who specializes in horse breeding. This should be done about fourteen to eighteen days after the mares are bred.
At this point, the veterinarian can determine if the mare is pregnant with twins. Twin pregnancy is the leading cause of reabsorption and spontaneous abortion in horses. If your mare is pregnant with twins, one of the embryos can be “pinched off,” giving the other a better chance of developing normally.It may seem cruel, but the chances of a mare successfully producing a strong twin foal are slim.
After about forty days, the mare should be checked again to make sure she is still in the foal and has no uterine infections that require attention. Since you’ll know early on if the pregnancy is healthy and how far it’s progressing, you’ll know if things are going well or if there are signs of a possible miscarriage.
Feeding and Management of Pregnant Mares
You want to determine early on if your mare is in foaling as you are feeding her care and management may need to change slightly. You need to make sure your mare has the highest quality hay or pasture, salt and minerals. If your pasture grass contains fescue, you may need to remove the mare and let her graze elsewhere. You may wish to separate your mare from pasture bullies who may harm her, making her foaling process more difficult.
While it is important to maintain regular vaccinations and deworming medications throughout pregnancy, your mare should not receive these medications during the first trimester. Some vaccines and parasite control drugs can interfere with fetal development. Your veterinarian is the best resource for advice on which medications are safe to give to your pregnant mare during pregnancy.
Yes, it costs money to have your mare properly examined by a veterinarian, but that cost is small compared to the total cost of raising a foal or losing a foal or mare. Breeding a mare is not an inexpensive way to get another horse. In fact, raising a foal can be one of the more expensive ways to make another horse!
If you suspect your pet is sick, call your veterinarian right away. For health-related questions, be sure to consult your veterinarian, as they have examined your pet, know your pet’s health history, and can give your pet the best advice.