Horse Breeding: Baby Time
Spring babies are coming; are you ready for their arrival?
By Camille Graupman, AQHA digital communications intern | January 1, 0001
The birds will be chirping and the grass will be green. Spring time is knocking at the door! Along with warmer weather come those spring American Quarter Horse babies. There's a lot more that goes in to a foal's delivery than just excitement and updating your social media with their anticipated presence.
The health and well-being of mama and baby are vital, and it's crucial to be prepared for unexpected complications that may arise. What is the first thing you do when you know the time has come? We took to social media to pose this question and gather your answers.
Do you know what to expect when your mare is expecting? Do your homework. Get AQHA’s “Equine Breeding Techniques and Foal Health Tips” report today!
What's the first thing you do when you know your mare is about to foal? Here are some of the top answers we received from our fans through social media:
- Make sure the mare is ready.
- Watch your mare's weight, activity level, and behavior a few days or even weeks before her due date. Any abnormal activity leading up to the birth should be addressed immediately by you or your vet for the safety of your mare and her foal.
- Keep your mare clean and comfortable. Giving her a bath and wrapping her tail will keep the birthing process clean and safe for her foal as well.
- Have your foaling kit ready.
- Have iodine on hand.
- Have a bottle on hand to milk out mare if needed.
- Have clean cloths and a suction bulb handy.
- Have handy: the vet's phone number, sanitary gloves and even a helping hand. Having a friend or assistant there to help you with delivery can be a life saver ... literally.
AQHA’s “Equine Breeding Techniques and Foal Health Tips” report will guide you through the entire foaling process, from mare care and signs of labor to foaling complications and first-hour foal care. Purchase your copy today!
- Make sure the delivery area is ready.
- Whether you have a state-of-the-art birthing stall or simply a small, covered isolated pen, it's important to try to contain your mare in a comfortable area where you can easily assist her and the foal if needed. This area should be clean and comfy, bedded down and away from other horses.
- Brush up on what steps to take after the foal arrives.
There are a few milestones within the first few hours of the birth that your foal and mare need to reach. Things like the foal standing, the foal nursing, and the mare passing the placenta may seem simple, but these things need to happen in a timely manner to maintain a normal post-birth status. Stick around to monitor mama and baby after the birth to ensure their safety and well-being.