Before you know it, foaling season will be here. If you have broodmares in your barn, then it’s time to get ready for foaling season. Here’s a to-do list to make sure that you’re prepared for the busy season.
Assess Available Facilities
Before your mare gets closer to foaling, take a careful look at the facilities that are available to you currently. Can your mare safely have and raise a foal in your current barn? You will need a generously sized foaling stall, and that stall will need to be free of any protrusions. Additionally, the grillwork on the stall must be small enough so that a foal cannot get his hoof stuck in the grill. As part of the Classic Value, Classic Equine Equipment creates top grillwork with 1” bars set on 3” centers. Lower grillwork features 1” bars set on 2 ½” centers, so even small hooves cannot get trapped.
Additionally, pay special attention to the turnout available for mare and foal. Is fencing appropriately built to contain a foal, and is it readily visible? Are there any areas in the pasture which could be dangerous for a foal, like areas of poor footing or of dense trees? If so, these areas need to be fenced out.
By assessing the facility now, you will be able to make any repairs or renovations necessary.
Put Together a Foaling Kit
Start to put together a foaling kit with all of the items that you might need during the foaling. Your foaling kit should include items like clean towels, a flashlight, dewormer, clean buckets, material for wrapping a tail, surgical gloves, an enema kit, scissors and a knife, and antiseptic, among other items. You will also want to be sure that you have the numbers of emergency contacts in case anything goes wrong.
Enlist Qualified Help
Do you have staff or helpers who are experienced with foaling a mare? If not, then it’s time to start finding experienced people who can help with the foal watch and with the foaling itself.
Invest in a Stall Camera
It’s a great idea to invest in a stall camera to help monitor your mare. A stall camera allows you to quietly monitor your horse from almost any location, leaving her peacefully alone. Set up the stall camera now so that you can work any kinks out of its operation. You’ll want the camera to be fully functional by the time that the foal watch begins.
Contact the Vet
Now is the time to touch base with your vet to make sure that you’re on track and prepared for the upcoming foaling season. Make sure to find out about who to contact in the event of an after-hours emergency, and check with the vet to schedule any necessary check-ups for your mare.
Foaling season will be here before you know it. Taking some time now to get prepared can help to reduce your stress. If you need to renovate your stalls or barn in preparation for your new addition, contact us – we’re happy to help.
photo credit: Budweiser