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Foaling at Newton Stud

All of the mares that come to us to foal are closely monitored through every stage of their pregnancy. When they are getting close to foaling, they are brought down to one of our foaling boxes, fitted with a foaling alarm, and monitored 24/7 via CCTV. 

There is always someone present whenever a mare is foaling, to monitor the welfare of both mare and foal, and to assist with delivery when required.

The colostrum of the mare is tested directly after foaling to check the quality; the higher this reading is, the better. Once the umbilical cord breaks, the navel of the foal is treated with an antibacterial solution to help prevent infection. Once these initial checks have been done and we are satisfied that mum and baby seem happy, they are left alone to bond. This is a very important time for both mare and foal, and it is important not to interfere unnecessarily. 

We continue to monitor them via the cameras to observe the foal standing and drinking for the first time. If it is clear that they need some help to achieve either of these goals, then assistance is given. We check that the foal passes the meconium and the mare is closely monitored to ensure that she cleanses properly.

12 to 24 hours after the foal's first drink, we test their IgG level to check that they have had a successful passive transfer of antibodies. Generally, the lowest accepted level is 800, if it is below this then it is recommended that the foal be given plasma, to increase the level. We also assess their limbs for any major problems that may need referring to the vet/farrier.