10 expert foal care tips | Living the Country Life
More
Close

10 expert foal care tips

Caring for your newborn foals begins with proper prenatal care for your mares. Follow this expert advice on mare and foal care, and give them the best start possible.
  • Caring for a pregnant mare

    Mares are usually self-sufficient during pregnancy, but they do need some special care. Be sure to have your veterinarian perform any needed exams and make sure she's up-to-date on vaccinations. She may need extra rations and protection from the cold during her third trimester to help maintain her body condition. 

    Date Published: January 23, 2014
    Date Updated: February 19, 2016
  • Preparing for foaling

    Usually a mare can handle delivering a foal by herself, but it's always wise to make preparations to make sure both mare and foal are safe. Here are some tips for handling your pregnant mares just before they deliver. Plus, get a checklist of items you should have on hand, and learn when to call a vet for help.

    Date Published: January 23, 2014
    Date Updated: February 19, 2016
  • Caring for a newborn foal

    You can't always have a vet there at the moment of birth, so it's important to know how to check newborn foals. Pamela Wilkins is with the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine. She says within a minute or so of when the foal is out of the birth canal, make sure it's breathing and starting to roll up onto its belly and bottom of the chest. Learn what to do if your foal isn't breathing or moving like it should.

    Date Published: January 23, 2014
    Date Updated: February 19, 2016
  • Feeding the orphan foal

    Normally newborn foals get the nutrition they need from their mothers, but sometimes the mare dies during delivery, her milk doesn't come in, or she rejects the foal. It's a good idea to be prepared in case you find yourself with a foal in need of nutrition. Newborns without a mother feeding them need a vet to administer a feeding tube within the first 48 hours. You can feed a horse milk supplement or even goat's milk after that. Learn the easiest way to get foals to drink from a bucket, and see when to start feeding them pellets.

    Date Published: January 23, 2014
    Date Updated: February 19, 2016
  • Tippy-toed foals

    If you have a foal walking on its toes rather than flat-footed, it may have tendon issues. The condition, known as contracted digital flexor tendons, can often be corrected quickly with splints.

    Date Published: January 23, 2014
    Date Updated: February 19, 2016
  • Halter-training foals

    It's important to train your foals to walk and be led with ropes and halters, so you can easily take them where they need to go. Leon Matthias of Matthias Arabians demonstrates several helpful techniques for getting young foals used to wearing halters, to getting them to walk behind and alongside you, to more advanced moves for the show ring. He also shares advice for breaking your horses of bad habits when it comes to walking with ropes and halters.

    Date Published: January 23, 2014
    Date Updated: February 19, 2016
  • Imprinting a foal

    Within days after a foal is born, it quickly develops opinions about the world around it. A foal that has been successfully imprinted with its owner will accept new things with interest, rather than suspicion, and is the first step toward a well-trained horse. Learn how and when to imprint your newborn foals.

    Date Published: January 23, 2014
    Date Updated: February 19, 2016
  • Weaning foals

    Weaning can be a stressful time for mares and foals. (This little one seems to be begging for his mama!)  But with the right planning and spotting the signs when the foal is ready, you'll reduce both the physical and emotional stress. Get some useful tips for how and when to start weaning, and how to make the process as easy as possible for mare and foal.

    Date Published: January 23, 2014
    Date Updated: February 19, 2016
  • Vaccinating foals

    Newborn foals are usually protected from disease from their mother's milk. As they get older, it's up to you to protect them with a regular vaccination program. See when they should be vaccinated, and which diseases you'll want to protect them from.

    Date Published: January 23, 2014
    Date Updated: February 19, 2016
  • Feed for foals

    Within the first few weeks of a new foal's life, a foal will start nibbling on the mare's rations and learn how to eat solid food, so it's critical that the mare is given food which also provides nutrition for the foal. When buying feed, look for products that are appropriate for the brood mare, foal, and weanling. The ingredients should also include macro and trace minerals to allow for bone growth. Get more tips for feeding your foals.

    Date Published: January 23, 2014
    Date Updated: February 19, 2016

Latest Blogs

Everyday Gardeners |
3/23/17 | 2:46 PM
We have two housecats—Big Fancy Head and Elk Woman (Yes, my kids named the cats.)...read more
Everyday Gardeners |
3/15/17 | 12:01 PM
The Smithsonian Institution’s “Patios, Pools & the Invention of the...read more

Add Your Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Login