Mare & Foal

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Q: I own a top quality mare that I would love to have a foal out of. However, she is also my primary riding and competition mount, and I’d prefer not to stop riding her so she can have a foal. I do have another mare and am considering using her as a surrogate for embryo transfer. What exactly is involved in embryo transfer? How can I tell if my second mare is a good surrogate candidate?

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Few things in nature are more inspiring than new foals frolicking around their mothers on a crisp spring morning. The fact that a foal can be up and running within a few short hours after birth is but one in a long series of miracles. Conception is miraculous in itself. Development in utero, or in the womb, begins with the formation of all of the organ systems and is followed by their maturation. During the entire process, the foal is completely dependent on the mother’s blood supply for eating, breathing, and eliminating metabolic waste products.

When our thoroughbred mare Daisy was pregnant with Sham nine years ago, she moved through her stages predictably with no issues. In her last month, her milk bag was slow to fill but the signs of change were there.

How to Care for Your New Foal

By Mark Andrews, DVM - You have waited eleven months for your foal to arrive. Now he is here what can you do to ensure he gets off to the best possible start in life? First thing's first. Make sure that the foal sucks. A normal foal should stand and drink from the mare within two hours. If the foal is having difficulty sucking, or is not interested, he may have serious problems. Call an experienced horse vet sooner rather than later.

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By Juan C. Samper, DVM - Endometritis, which is the inflammation (swelling and irritation) of the uterus, is the main reason for mares not becoming pregnant. This inflammation can be acute or it can be chronic; in other words, this inflammation could be something that is occurring for the first time or it could be a problem that has been going on for a long time.

Colostrum for Foals: The Magic Milk

Winter snow may still blanket the ground, but foaling season will be here before we know it. If you have a pregnant mare in your barn, plan ahead to collect and freeze some of her colostrum — that all-important first milk — so you have it on hand if a foal is born without access to this essential liquid.

The Pregnant Mare: Nutrition for the Final Three Months

During the first eight months of pregnancy, a mare may be fed like any other horse, with a balanced, high quality diet. But things are changing rapidly during the final three months of pregnancy: The mare now requires more calories, more protein, more omega 3s, and balanced vitamins and minerals, not only for the unborn foal but also to prepare for milk production.

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