A normal foal sits up in a sternal position and shakes its head within one minute. After 20 minutes, the foal should have a suckle reflex and attempt to stand up. Further to this, follow the Foal 1-2-3 below:
The Foal 1 – 2 – 3…
… within 1 hour — standing: the foal should be up and standing, making its first steps and searching for the mare’s udder.
… within 2 hours — nursing: by now the foal should have found the udder, and had its first, life important meal of colostrum.
… within 3 hours — placenta: the mare should have passed the placenta. When it has been passed, keep it aside, so your veterinarian can check it.
… within 4 hours — urine & manure: the foal should urinate and pass the meconium (first manure).
If your foal is not able stand and nurse within the first two hours of life, give us a call.
If your mare has not passed the placenta within threehours, call your veterinarian.
A normal acting foal is bright and alert when it is up, sleeps a lot, and nurses frequently (every hour).
After your foal is standing and walking around it is recommended to dip or spray its navel with diluted chlorhexidine or iodine solution. Repeat this treatment twice daily for the first few days to reduce the risk of infection.
We highly recommend having your new born foal and your mare examined by a veterinarian on their first day together to assure their wellbeing — early detection of problems can be lifesaving. Your veterinarian will check the mare’s placenta and do a thorough neonatal examination on the foal including an IgG test. The IgG test will give information about the immune status of your foal, indicating whether medical treatment is required.
Most mares foal overnight. Give us a call in the morning to let us know your mare has foaled, and we will be happy to give you further advice.
If you have any questions or concerns, give us a call -day or night.
Photos from top: (1-3) Newborn foals with their proud mothers; (4)
Mare nursing her foal— note the I placenta hanging from the mare; (5) A normal placenta; (6)
Meconium should be passed within t four hours after birth; (7) What wetr all hope for— a strong and healthy ••r,4 mare and newborn foal!