The Photo Foaling Diary.
By Chris James.

These photos follow a pure bred Arab mare all the way through the delivery of her foal.

She had bagged up ten days previously, and was three days over her due date when she had waxed up and she had been running milk since the previous day. She had been eating hay right up until the time when her waters broke and she lay down.

12.18 The mare’s waters broke as she went to lie down and contractions began.

12.32 The delivery is progressing correctly with just one foot presenting first.

12.36 The mare has stood up to reposition the foal, this can happen several times.

12.38 Immediately after going down again, both forelegs are presented correctly –
one in front of the other to allow the shoulders to pass through more easily.

12.40 The next contraction delivers the head.

12.41 Now the shoulders (the most difficult part of the foal to deliver) are clear.

12.43 If the membrane is not broken it should be gently cleared from around the
foal’s mouth and nostrils to allow him to breathe (unattended foals have been known to suffocate if bag is not broken).

12.50 The foal is safely delivered.

12.55 The foal struggles to sit up. Mother and baby are left to rest for a while, during
this time the afterbirth was delivered cleanly and complete.

Photo 10 – 14.15 The foal is on it’s feet.

Photo 11 – 14.23 The foal is trying to stand.

Photo 12 – 14.25 It is now able to stand but has trouble when trying to move!

14.27 The foal now has more control of it’s movement.

Foals are inquisitive and will suck everything they can find.

14.30 The foal’s instincts are to suck and search for milk. They are drawn to darker areas.

He keeps looking, getting steadier on his legs all the time.

14.32 The foal has located the udder but has to learn to reach under to drink.

14.35 The foal is sucking in the right area but without success.

14.40 Finally the foal has found the milk and is drinking,
the mare is settled and is licking the foal, this not only dries him, but stimulates him and creates a bond between the two.

Ice 'N' Spice – four days old. Outside with his mother.

Ice'n'Spice – four day’s old. He has certainly found his feet now.

Chris James
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