When to put straw down?? And common signs of pending birth??

Discussion in 'Horse Breeding' started by Horsegirl878, Apr 4, 2008.

  1. Horsegirl878

    Horsegirl878 Senior Member+

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    I have a pregnant mare, she is due April 29th.... She sleeps indoors. I'm just wondering, how close to the due date should straw be used as bedding? Her udder is just beginning to fill up...

    Also, what are some other signs of the pending birth? I know about the loosening of the muscles, but what are some others?

    My mare is older (she's 17) and this is her first baby, so should I expect an earlier birth? I've heard different opinions about older mares and giving birth...

    Thanks!
     






  2. ACCphotography

    ACCphotography Senior Member+

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  3. GingersMum

    GingersMum Senior Member+

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  4. NorthernDust

    NorthernDust Senior Member+

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    I'd put straw down about a week before, because they are so unpredictable in their first birth...
    Their udders will firm up a couple days before. Once you are experienced, you can see when the foal drops...
    Hope this helps.
     
  5. IkesLittleHope

    IkesLittleHope Senior Member

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    From what I understand (I'm new to foaling also), there are classic signs to watch for. BUT...not every mare obeys the rules :D

    So, here's my recent experience, and believe me I watched all the time looking for new behaviors and signs. Over the month prior to foaling, I kept thinking "now" is the time, only to find that I was over-interpreting things.

    Here's what what mine did :D :

    Week prior to foaling--
    rubbing face on legs frequently
    rubbing rear on anything availabe occasionally
    shifting weight on back legs occasionally
    bagged up, but still with noticeable crease in middle
    no waxing
    no relaxation of rear
    preferred isolation, but out in pasture and not stall (free to come and go)
    no rolling on ground (may have, but I missed it)

    Day prior to foaling--
    foal dropped
    rubbing rear on anything available constantly and enthusiastically
    shifting weight on back legs constantly
    bagged up huge (but she's had 5 other foals, so not maiden)
    still no waxing
    still no relaxation of rear
    preferred isolation in stall (still free to come and go)
    HUGE appetite (didn't obey the rule of decreased appetite)
    Still no rolling on ground (but may have missed it)

    I'm sure there were other signs, but may have missed them or forgot them by now. As you can see, they don't always obey all the rules, but some of them.

    ETA: I started putting down straw about a month prior to foaling, with daily changing. I read where you need to have the mare exposed to the foaling environment at least 2 weeks prior to foaling so that they can produce necessary antibodies for colostrum (not sure if this is true, but I did it haha).
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2008
  6. Mutrok

    Mutrok Senior Member+

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    No matter when you put straw down the mare will not foal for a week at least...ensuring that you have many days of stripping the stall and putting down new straw, lol :)

    Seems to always happen that way at my house!

    Everyone has posted some great tips. Maidens are tricky...expect the unexpected.
     
  7. Fire

    Fire Senior Member+

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    I've never had an experience with a pregnant mare, aside from one miniature that is due at my barn. She is due on the 22nd and they brought her in last week. Obviously miniature birthing is a bit different than horse birthing, I would assume they need less room. But anyway, I would start putting bedding down now...you never know when they will pop, I've heard!

    Also, your mare is due on my birthday. ;)
     
  8. Horsegirl878

    Horsegirl878 Senior Member+

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    Thanks everyone, for the info! I'm going to get the vet out sometime this week and see what he says... Thanks!
     

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