Pregnant mare question...

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by farmerlor, Mar 17, 2009.

  1. farmerlor

    farmerlor Songster

    I've got two pregnant mares. One of them we didn't know was pregnant when we bought her (anybody who tells you it can't happen from just one mating doesn't know beans) so we don't know when she's due. She's also a maiden mare....or was, so this is her first foal. I hate first timers. My question? Oh yeah, I've forgotten how long from the time they first start to bag up until they should more or less, kinda sorta be due to foal. She's just starting to bag. The other mare is due May 15th and hasn't begun to think about getting milk yet.
  2. jeanniejayne

    jeanniejayne Songster

    Nov 30, 2008
    I had only two mares give birth, but both bagged up just a day or two before birthing. My vet said don't bother to check before 10 PM -- they always go between 10PM and 2 AM and he was spot on. I bought an 18 yr old Tennese Walker mare who was pregnant and I didn't know it. She had a deep body and didn't show much. I didn't catch on for sure until she was just 2 weeks out, and baby was fine/.

    good luck and let us know!
  3. Rusty Hills Farm

    Rusty Hills Farm Songster

    Apr 3, 2008
    Up at the barn
    Sorry to disagree here, but I breed quarter horses and have done so for 40+ years. I've attended literally hundreds of deliveries, yet just a few months ago a mare I had NO idea was even bred delivered a live foal with absolutely NO warning signs or symptoms. None whatsoever. No belly. No milk. No bag. No musculature softening. No steam rising off the back. Nada. At 11 pm she was calmly eating hay and at 5 am the foal was completely dry, up and walking around the stall, had already nursed, AND the mare had passed the placenta.

    Sure, most mares give you plenty of warning, BUT YOU CANNOT COUNT ON IT!!! A vet check is the best way to know how big the foal is and what position it's in.

  4. CountryMom

    CountryMom Songster

    Jun 21, 2008
    South Texas
    Quote:Have to agree here with Rusty. I haven't had an issue with any of the quarter horses we did foal out in the past, but a mini caught me completely off guard here just last month. We had to blood test her to find out if she was bred. It was obvious she was. She didn't change much in bag or milk until the night before she got just a bit bigger. Mind you nothing like I had experience with in my QH stock. Next morning I saw her at 7 am no signs of nothing happy to see hay. By 8 am baby was standing and Mama was laying down passing placenta. First rule in foaling out mares is that there are no rules as to when or how or why. They just do their own thing.
  5. lockedhearts

    lockedhearts It's All About Chicken Math

    Apr 29, 2007
    Some mares have read the books and others have not. They are all different and Maiden Mares are generally the worse.

    As a general rule of thumb, about a month or so before foaling mares will begin to loosen up and start to bag.

    I have 2 due myself. One is a mare I owned as a 2 year old, sold her at 9 and just got her back last year at 19. This mare is very predictable. 335 Days , she waxes about 6 hours before delivery. If she is eating she will lay down deliver get up finish eating and then go back to the foal. Also an excellent mother and gives 110% to her foal.

    THe other is a 14 yr old, had a few foals, but the previous owner did not keep any record on her foals, so I really have no idea what to expect.

    I think a key is to know your mare, you still may or may not be able to catch the foaling. I have cameras in my barn hooked up to a TV in my bedroom. I keep them on a month before foaling and I wake up a few times during the night to check.

    As far as time of foaling, yes many go at night or early in the morning, but Maidens don't read well and therefore I have seen them foal in the middle of the day. I had one mare foal at 10 am with her first foal, loved it.

    One of the best things you can do when it comes to broodmares if write a book on every pregnancy, this way you can go back and check notes from year to year.
  6. Haviris

    Haviris Songster

    Sep 4, 2007
    I don't think you can go by that, some bag up for 6+ weeks, and some get a bag just before they foal.

    And they don't always go at night, I had a mare go at 4pm.
  7. CountryMom

    CountryMom Songster

    Jun 21, 2008
    South Texas
    There is a way to keep a watch as to the changes in milk verses the time of foaling. However, those changes can happen in a matter of a few minutes. And yet other mares sometimes do not even produce enough milk until after the foal is born.

    I never followed the idea that a mare will foal when she waxes. I had one that would wax an entire week before foaling. And yet another that would go from no bag to streaming milk and foaling with no signs of waxing to be seen. The key is to check the milk by excreting a drop or two only on a piece of solid dark colored flat surface. I use to use either my cheap pocket knife that has a plastic black housing or the black strap on my wrist watch. If the milk is so white that you cannot see the dark surface through it then you are within hours if not minutes of foaling.

    Now, this works good for your text book mare that takes her time to get ready. I wouldn't call it 100% as each mare is different and you sometimes can't check them often enough to see the change happen.

    Your best bet is to keep records and record your findings on body changes and changes in milk and bags while you wait. It will help you for future foaling and get your mare familiar with having her udder touched. ALL my maiden mares I found to go longer than the average and then the future foalings were more on time.
  8. scbatz33

    scbatz33 No Vacancy, Belfry Full

    Jan 23, 2009
    South GA
    I have foaled several mares on thoroughbred farms where I worked. Every mare is different......Last year where my hubby worked, they had a haflinger mare bag, wax, quit and then didn't go for almost 2 weeks later. When she did go, there was hardly any bag on her. She dropped after foaling.

    There are signs - temperature changes, heating up/sweating, pacing stalls, kicking or biting at the belly, waxing, running milk, change in mood, vulva contracting, constant urinating/straining with little result, her belly will "drop".

    Since every mare is different, I've had them show no signs and I've had them show every sign. You just have to watch her regularly. Note any changes, see if there is a pattern.

    Also, mares GENERALLY give birth in the over night hours. However, I have had them foal at 8 am and noon and 5 pm. Again, each mare is different.

    Good luck.
  9. Quote:It does happen. Can you put the mare up in a stall ? Usually a mare will "wax" before birth and this is a good indication she is going to foal.

    Mares are pretty funny about all this. They like to be alone with no one watching.

    It takes a person with the skills to be perfectly quiet or very familiar with the mare for her to foal in their presence.

    I guess this is why there is "mare watch" if you think the mare is going to have a problem.

    Laying down, biting at the sides and uneasiness are pointers.

    Problem is it could be minutes or days.

    The wife is the expert on this. I just get a chance to watch and learn.
  10. farmerlor

    farmerlor Songster

    LOL! Sure was hoping for more definitive answers here guys!!! My older mare is very experienced and does this according to the book. No worries. She also tends to foal early in the morning-like four or five o'clock am. Mind you this is only her third foal since we've had her but she's an old pro. It's this maiden mare and not knowing when she was bred so I have NO clue when she may be due that's driving me crazy. She's a pretty little girl so I don't want to lose her so I want to be there for her if she needs me. Ugh, hate maiden mares. And we're not doing this breeding thing ever again. This was an accident and will not be repeated!!!

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