Foals; Care and Supplies
- May 17, 2017
- Jessie Salter
When it comes to foals there can be many ups and downs. As horse owners, we can’t help but worry when it comes to foaling. However, most of the time Mother Nature does a great job, and mares and foals are happy and healthy with no assistance from us. These are the kinds of mares and foals I am so grateful for.
Aside from having your veterinarian’s number close (mine take texts, pictures, stupid questions and some fun emojis, as well as early morning and weekend calls), here is a list of things that you might also need to keep on hand for after that foal is born.
- Syringe. A few different sizes. You may use some of these for both ends of the foal. We’ve had to use these to feed that important colostrum and to give constipated foals a warm water enema.
- Probios paste. This came in handy this year, when our newborn foal had bad diarrhea.
- Bio-Sponge. This works miracles for horses with diarrhea. So good that you need to watch those foals closely.
- Fleet Enema. When Bio-Sponge works it’s magic too well, you’ll need to give an enema to get things flowing smoothly again. Some newborn foals have a hard time passing their first bowl movement called the meconium. This will come in handy for those cases as well.
- Desitin. Works on all baby bums. Foals included. When your baby has bad diarrhea it can burn the hair and skin. After cleaning them up with some warm soapy water, apply this liberally and your foal will feel much more comfortable.
These are all pretty simple DYI applications, that your vet can walk you through on the phone. The first few hours of life are very crucial for newborn foals. The most important thing you can do is keep a close watch on both your mare and your foal.
Watch that the foal gets up to nurse right away. Some foals have a hard time finding where to nurse, and even attaching to their mother. They may be considered a Dummy Foal. If you suspect that your foal is a dummy foal, you need to check out the Madigan Foal Squeeze Technique. This can be performed on foals under 3 days, but you’ll need to make sure your foal is getting adequate colostrum and milk right away.
Hopefully this little list can help you to be more prepared this year, and your foals are thriving! Happy Spring!
About Jessie Salter
Horses have been a part of my life since I can remember. Riding with my Dad as a youngster was what I lived for. There was nothing better than working cows, or racing my dad across an alfalfa field. It seems I never grew out...