How to prepare for the birth of a foal

By: Horse Deals

How to prepare for the birth of a foal
How to prepare for the birth of a foal

Bernadette O’Sullivan and Tim Harris of Woodcroft Stud in Cambridgeshire share their expertise on how to prepare for foaling…

- We get prepared for foaling in advance of our arrivals; we scrub the boxes down and disinfect the mares’ boxes. We have rubber matting and use chopped straw, which gives a comfy absorbent bed. Good old-fashioned straw is great too, but we don’t find shavings practical.

- All mares are EHV vaccinated and we restrict any new arrivals on the yard during the foaling season.

- We have a foaling camera with sound in the stables. At night this goes to a TV in the bedroom – it can be quite difficult to make out shapes when you are half asleep and the camera is flicking from one stable to the next, but the sound from the mare wakes you up pretty quickly. We did have one mare that used to keep us awake with her snoring!

- Our three due mares have dedicated boxes with the easiest access to the paddocks. I love putting the foals in the field on a warm spring day and seeing a happy mother and baby.

- It can be quite difficult to get a new-born foal to the field on day one. Mum has to train the foal to follow and it’s amazing to watch a mare and foal in the field on the first day. Mum quickly teaches the foal to stay by her side and the mare who was her best pal the day before will not be allowed anywhere near her precious new baby!