Spring means that small, beautiful foals are born all around the country. Fortunately, in most cases the foal is doing really well. It begins to drink the vital colostrum from its mother after a very short time. But sometimes everything does not go according to plan. Then what do you do? Here are some advise if you should ever find your self in that situation.
When all is not well
From time to time it happens that a foal loses its mother or that the mare will not be recognized by her newborn foal. At which point it can be difficult to know what to do. The danish organization “Hestens Vaern” and Everhorse are working together to offer to mediate contact between foals who have lost their mother and mares who have lost their foals. This means that the foals that would otherwise have had a difficult start in life can now look forward to a much more natural first time with a suckling mare as a reserve mother.
You may also like to read: 5 Facts About Foals – Do You Already Know Them all Or?
If you lose a mare or a foal
It is very important that the foal receives colostrum within the first six hours of its life because it contains the essential antibodies that the foal needs. The newborn foal should ideally have one to two liters of colostrum, but it depends on the size of the foal. If you are unable to obtain colostrum, the foal must have a blood plasma transfusion.
A good adoption of foals
It is often a good idea to give the foal milk from a bottle until the surrogate mare is ready for adoption so that the foal and mare can be put together. Milk from the mare is always preferable, but alternatively the foal can be offered a milk supplement.
If the foal has tried to suckle on a mare, it has a greater chance of a successful adoption than if it has only tried to drink from a bottle or a bucket.
If your foal shows signs of weakness or illness, always consult a veterinarian.
This article was originally published on Malgré Tout.dk