A mare’s gestation is normally between 320 and 345 days – that’s a long time to wait for something to go wrong. Before your precious bundle arrives, there are three important areas of your mare’s health that you need to consider. In this article, we discuss the second: her housing.
Mare Care: Housing
To ensure a safe and uneventful delivery for mare and foal, it’s important that you decide on where your mare will foal down before the day arrives.
Choosing the Paddock
The ideal environment for foaling is a flat, grassed area with appropriate fencing to protect the newborn foal from predators. The paddock should also be free of manure and hazards.
It should be rested for several weeks before your mare goes in to foal down. This will allow her to become accustomed to the pasture and pass on the antibodies to protect her foal after birth. You should also select a paddock away from other horses, so your mare can concentrate on the task at hand without the burden of nosey paddock mates.
Choosing the Stable
If you opt to stable your mare for foaling down, the stall needs to be at least 6 x 7 metres to prevent your mare from casting herself and give her ample room during labour.
If the stall is too small, there is a risk of your mare injuring her foal during contractions or after birth. However, the advantages of stabling are protecting mare and foal from the elements if it’s too rainy, windy or cold, and supporting your foal’s body temperature. Foals can quickly use up their energy reserves when struggling to regulate their body temperature.
Next week, we discuss the third most important aspect of mare care during pregnancy.
Is your mare ready for a successful foaling? If you have questions about mare care, call us today on (07) 5411 4554. For after hours emergency assistance, call 1300 641 007.