University of wisconsin-madison

Preparation for Foaling

The mare should be moved to the foaling location 4 - 6 weeks prior to expected parturition. The location should be clean and protected from bad weather. Usually this is a stall but a pasture is acceptable in late spring. Pastures should not be muddy or overstocked and provide some shelter such as from trees. The movement of the mare to this location will allow the production of antibodies to organisms that might be infectious to the foal. The antibodies will then be transfered to the foal in the colostrum.

Shortly before foaling, the mare's udder should be cleaned and a Caslick's removed if present. A Caslick's is the procedure that sutures the top 2/3 of the vulva to prevent uterine infections. To remove the Caslick's, simply use a scalpel or scissors to cut between the vulva lips. If the tissue is thick then a lidocaine can be used but is generally not needed.

For indoor foaling, it is recommended to use a large stall (14 X 14 feet) that is recently cleaned, well-bedded and ventilated. The bedding should be changed to straw 1 - 2 days before foaling. Small particles from wood shavings can be inhaled or injested by a foal and cause problems. The entire stall should be disenfected using solutions such as povidone iodine, novalsan or diulte bleach. If a dirt floor is present, then it may be limed between foalings to reduce bacterial numbers.

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