Tip of the Week: Know the Signs of Foaling

You've been staring at your mares belly for almost a year waiting until the day she finally gives birth. It's hard to predict equine delivery dates, but close observation of your mare's body and behavior can give you some notice that the day is getting closer.

Learn the signs that your mare is getting ready to foal. Adobe.stock

Tip: Know these important physical and behavior changes so you can know when your mare is going to foal. 

Last two to six weeks: The udder will swell with milk.

Last one to two weeks: Her abdomen will significantly drop and widen, and the muscles will become progressively softer and more relaxed around the croup, tailhead, and vulva.

Last four to six days: The nipples will fill with milk.

Last two to four days: Beads of colostrum, the antibody- and nutrient-rich first milk, will appear on the tips of the teats, a process called “waxing.”

Last one to two days: Colostrum may begin to drip from the teats.

Last two to six hours: The mare may become restless and cranky, and she may begin to sweat and defecate and urinate frequently.

Foaling time: The mare will lie down and stay down. When the amniotic sac appears in the birth canal and breaks, ejecting its watery contents, foaling is underway.

It’s important to note that every mare is different and may not fall exactly within these time frames. Some mares might not show all of these changes. Call your vet if you have any doubts or concerns. 

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