Usually foals are born without problems. But. If the amniotic fluid on the appeared muzzle does not burst, then it must be cut with sterile scissors or torn by hand. It happens that. the foal is born “in the bag” - when the amniotic membrane does not tear, and dies from suffocation, if you do not come to his aid in a timely manner. Ripple in the umbilical cord lasts 1-2 minutes after the foal is born. Let him jump with his legs, then the umbilical cord itself will break in the usual place. To a weak foal, the umbilical cord is cut, as well as a very thick one. To do this, it must be tightly bandaged with a strong sterile thread at a distance of 3-4 cm from the abdomen of the foal and cut below the tie. The end of the umbilical cord of the newborn for disinfection is treated with an antiseptic: tetcin (terramycin), or dipped in a glass with a 5% solution of iodine, carbolic acid or vetsept.
The foal that has just come to light is immediately cleaned of mucus from the nostrils and mouth, pressing them with fingers from top to bottom, as if squeezing the contents. You can vigorously wipe your face with a towel or gauze. This should be done especially quickly with asphyxia by lifting the foal's back and bending its head low to remove amniotic fluid and mucus from the nose and mouth. With severe asphyxiation, it is also necessary to vigorously rub the entire foal with a tourniquet, especially the rib cage, lay it so that the hind legs are higher than the front and make artificial respiration. If at the same time the umbilical cord is bled, immediately it must be bandaged.
A foal can appear both earlier and later than the due date. Premature foals can be weak, medium-sized, but they tend to actively seek to rise and suck their mother. And the transferred foals are usually quite large, well-fed, but very lethargic, “inhibitory,” and they are not particularly eager to get up and look for the udders of their mother. They must be braked by pinching the back and croup, making them move, helping to get up and learning to find the nipple, directing the muzzle to the udder and issuing trickles of milk on the baby's lips. So gradually they will learn to reach for the udder, find and take the nipple, suck colostrum and milk. Those who cannot suck at all themselves are fed milk of mother (or other mare) with milk of milk. Pour milk warm in a warm bottle with a pacifier, feeding intervals of 0.5-1 hour, a single serving of 120-150-200 ml, depending on the appetite of the newborn.
Most mares lick their cubs with extraordinary zeal - for several hours in a row! However, they seem to lick, at first glance, without any sequence and not the entire surface of the foal’s body, but mainly the bottom of the muzzle — nostrils, lips, as well as legs and hooves. Apparently, this stimulates, first of all, the activity of the sucking and motor reflexes, bites the flesh from the soles of the not yet keratinized hooves of babies, often turns to the anus, especially when the foal sucks: this speeds up the separation of the original feces - meconium. The same goals, obviously, are laid in the mother biting the croup’s tail and the turnip of the foal, hock joints, fetters and hooves: inducing movement, aggravating appetite, sucking and cleansing the intestines. Some mothers at the same time lick and people - "assistants" with foal. There are very few such mares who do not lick their baby at all. By licking the mare, it removes mucus, impurities, dries the foal’s body, which prevents it from losing heat, massages, irritates skin receptors, stimulates skin respiration, opens the pores, and also straightens the newborn’s lungs, after which the breathing becomes deeper, blood circulation and metabolism are improved, except In addition, the mother transfers her smell to the baby and remembers the peculiarities of its smell. And sex hormones, contained in large quantities in the amniotic mucus on the foal’s body, accelerate the separation of the placenta in the mare, stimulate milk production, and accelerate the restoration of ovulation processes (hunting).
If the stable is cold and the foal is trembling, then cover it with a blanket or quilted jacket, lay more straw or hay.
Few mothers who are unwilling to feed their newborns are aggressive with their baby. Such a mare must be made to feed the little one. Tie it, tie one of the front legs so that the foal does not hit, or put a twist on the upper lip. You can coat it with colostrum of the newborn. And, first of all, it is necessary to establish the cause of the aggression: maybe the mare is afraid of tickling, or is in pain from a roughened udder, or the foal cannot grab too small nipples. In these cases, the mare must be milked.
It is very important for the foal to start sucking the udder of the mother as early as possible, since it does not have immunity against diseases - it is sterile. And the first antibodies are obtained only with mother's colostrum, which after 48-72 hours is already replaced by milk that does not contain them. Yes, and the small intestine is designed so that antibodies from colostrum are absorbed into the blood and lymph only in the first 36-48 hours of a newborn’s life. Therefore, in the survival of the foal and its further health, it is expensive every hour.
In our practice, we do not wait until the foal dries, stands up, finds an udder and starts to suck, and in the first 20-40 minutes of its life we squeeze colostrum into a clean mug, after washing and wiping the udder of the mare with a clean cloth. We pour the colostrum into a sterile bottle warmed up in water and drink the colt as much colostrum as he drinks. If the baby does not get up, then every 0.5 hours we repeat feeding. Such help to the foal gives simply amazing results: very quickly he gains strength, gets up, and in the future there are no problems in feeding him.
In the horse 'factories of the USA, as an eyewitness told us - veterinarian O.O. Smolenskaya-Suvorova, even before the first feeding of the newborn with colostrum, they immediately do a cross-analysis for agglutination (blood from the umbilical cord and a few drops of colostrum are mixed in a test tube), thereby identifying the threat of a hemolytic disease of the foal. Then, all newborn foals, also before the first colostrum feeding, are required to administer hyperimmune serum, and after several feedings they are injected with a complex of vitamins of the B group, coupled with modern antibiotic drugs. In semidiurnal foals, blood is taken, the level of globulins is determined and the signs of the foal are described. An enema for liberation from the original feces - meconium - is mandatory for everyone! For this, a buffered phosphate solution is used.
Colostrum has a laxative effect in releasing the intestines from meconium, which takes the form of sheep or walnut pellets (or dies 3-5 cm long and up to 3 cm thick or more) of softened or hard consistency, the color of burnt sugar or tar, formed in the intestines of the fetus from particles of wool, amniotic fluid, and mucus swallowed in the womb. It is dangerous when meconium tightly clogs the intestines in the form of large solid "nuts" or sticks together into lumps, like plasticine. In foals that actively suckle the udder, meconium can stand out itself if it is not compressed into large formations. In case of difficulty, when the foal begins to squeeze, usually it is removed with the help of a finger from the ampulliform expansion of the rectum. As a rule, in Russian households, a soapy enema is used for newborns from a weak solution of potassium permanganate, and even better - an oil enema: add 100 g of vegetable oil to 3 g of warm water. Starch enemas or from flaxseed decoction are creamy, and such from colostrum.
With diarrhea (simple dyspepsia), probiotics such as lactobifadol, astringents (for example, a decoction of chamomile flowers), acidophilus-broth cultures (ABA) are indicated. Some veterinarians use antibiotics - tetracycline, neopen, etc., but they are harmless. With severe diarrhea and dehydration of the body with profuse diarrhea, it is recommended to administer glucose-salt solutions intravenously. During the hunting period of a mare, the liquid feces of her foal are normal, and treatment is not required here.
By emptying the udder, you can judge the health of the foal, for a day he sucks the mother fifty times and more often. Normally, the foal's body temperature is 38.5 - 39 C, the number of breaths per minute in a newborn is 70-85, and at the age of 4 months - 14-15, the pulse rate in newborns is 100-130 beats, in two weeks - 80-120, at the age of 4 months - 64-76, at half a year-year - 48-72 (compare: in adult horses - 40).
In the practice of stud farms, letting foals go for a walk in the warm season on the very day after birth for 5-10-15 minutes under the sun. The duration of a walk with a foal increases every day to several hours. Foals born in winter are released into the street with their mothers only in calm and not frosty weather, but we begin the short postings along the corridor behind the uterus the next day. We release the mare's foals the next day and afterwards for 10-15 minutes in the pruned levada without foals, usually in the morning. The mare is nervous, runs, thereby getting rid of the suckers, she is more likely to have involution of the uterus, metabolism is accelerated, milk formation is improved. Thus, in general, a mare quickly bounces back after a foal. Mothers foals older than one week are on such morning walks up to 0.5-1 hours. At this time the stables have real "nurseries": foals of mares released free walk the stables along the corridor, get to know each other, "visit us" "Frolic. And the grooms beat off free stalls, covered with straw. In the afternoon, these foals with their mothers go out in the winter - for daily walks for several hours, and in the summer - on pasture. Movement is life, for young animals it is necessary that the foals turn into good, valuable horses.
Anthelmintic agents (against worms) give foals from the age of 1.5-2 months, and the preparations should be alternated to avoid getting used to them "tenants".
Foals receive B vitamins with their mother’s feces. At the age of one month they already eat oats, although they chew very slowly (flattened oats are digested better), hay, grass - all this in addition to milk, which they already drink 10-12 liters daily in the second week of life. Foals are weaned in stud farms at the age of 0.5 years, in private farms much later, sometimes leaving a year and a half under their mothers.
Vitamin deficiency and a lack of minerals can be corrected due to the currently numerous top dressings and feed additives, the most available of which are trivit, tetravite, chalk, salt, various mineralized licks (such as KNZ), red rocis briquettes, tricalcium phosphate. Do not forget about the sun, walks, movement for the foal and his mother!
The normal development of a foal corresponds to the following control figures for its weight: in the 1st month of life, the mass of the foal should be 20-21% of the weight of the mother, in 3-4 months 39-40, in 5-6 months 47-60, in 12 months 56- 60, at 24 months 75-85, at 36 months - 100%.
The most dangerous thing is to remain without a mother immediately after birth, since where can I get colostrum ?! It is good if there are newborn foals nearby or in the same stable, to whose mothers you can let an orphan go, or at least fill a bottle with a nipple for him with colostrum and milk. When accessing an orphan to a mare-nurse, her foals must be kept at the denouement for 2-3 days during feeding. If a mare wants to hit the “newcomer”, is worried about him, she is stopped by a shout, distracted, stroked, the twist is put on the upper lip most obstinate.
The foal gets used to the adoptive mother after the first feeding, and she - after two or three days, then begins to get very nervous in his absence.
To keep the mare and foster baby together, at first they smear it with the milk or feces of the native foal, and with the obstinacy of the mother at first they keep an eye on them. You can let an orphan go to a mare that has just lost its foal or when a six-month-old pine tree is taken from it.
If there is no suitable mother, then it remains to water the orphan with cow's milk. It is diluted by a third with warm boiled water and sugar is added at the rate of 1 tablespoon per liter of liquid. Once a day, one fresh chicken egg can be added to this mixture. For a newborn, a single dose is from 120 to 200 ml, and the frequency of feeding is after 0.5-1.5 hours, including at night. Until the age of 4-5 months, the foal should be milked every 1.5-2 hours, but if he already eats other feeds well, the number of milk feeds can be reduced to the end of this period to 6-4 times a day. At this age, a strong foal drinks 1-3 liters of diluted milk per feeding.
In the well-known film “Brave People”, an orphaned foal was fed by a donkey. Surely, this can be done with the help of a goat. If we proceed from the fact that mare’s milk is the best substitute for female milk, it is obvious that foal without a mother in the first two weeks of his life can also be used in infant formula. We or our fellow horse breeders were not given to do this, but common sense tells us: yes.
Do not forget about vaccinations. While the foal is still in the womb, the mother is vaccinated against rhinopneumonia (twice). The first vaccination of the foal is done against leptospirosis up to six months of age, and then - like any horses: from anthrax, flu, microsporia, etc.
How to get a healthy foal
Getting a foal, all the more desirable and possessing qualities valuable for the owner, requires a certain skill. First of all, you need to choose healthy parents and a “key” to them.
Usually a stallion immediately understands its role. But if he was shy or fearful, then in his presence they mare a mare with another stallion for clarity. If this does not help, then the “shy person” is allowed to cook (paddock) with an old, experienced and non-malicious mare in a very strong hunt.
If the stallion has a weak erection and is not passionate, then it is placed next to the mares in the hunt, so that he can sniff through the bars. Driving to sweat before the mating itself is useful. Near the mare, his stomach is scratched, the area near the prepuce, tinder, or the trunk is easily rocked. In extreme cases, V. G. Obolensky advises trying Don Donipers (30.0 g in the form of porridge with flour and water in two doses: morning and evening). In the old days, for arousal, a stallion was given a little vodka or another alcoholic drink, and the barrel was doused with cold water.
Too passionate stallions also cause a lot of trouble. They painfully hit the mares with their breasts, rushing at them. If such a fellow is held not by two, but by four grooms, then he is either discouraged by force and does everything carefully, or gets angry, hovers, often falling over his back. These are let down with a blindfold, removing it in front of the cage. The dressing calms, disorientates zealous stallions.
In the stud farms, mares for mating are identified by the so-called test stallions, so as not to scare them and excite the valuable producer in vain. A probe is a stallion that reveals and enhances the hunting of mares, but is not used to procreate. It is usually used in stud farms with a large number of mares. The sampler should be passionate, strong, affectionate, but at the same time impudent, courageous, persistent, not angry.
V. G. Obolensky claims that horses have a taste when choosing a pair. Mares often prefer one color of wool over another, so it is advisable to have not one, but several probes. Some like the impudent, rip off head, while others like the affectionate and helpful man.It happens that mares prefer an unprepossessing boyfriend.
The probe is allowed to sniff first the head, neck, sides, and finally the groin. Hold it on long watering cans (tight reins). The blow of a mare, if she hits backwards, is weakened by the fact that they quickly raise her head up. The probe’s chest is covered with a thick “pillow” tied to the neck. In a strong hunt, a mare will not beat a sampler or a stallion, but on the contrary, she will reach for it. It is this stage of mare behavior that is most favorable for fertilization.
The old mares have a stimulating effect on their long winter haircut, which rather leads them to hunt. For mare workers, the severity of work should be reduced in a random period, and for work and hippodrome training, the burden should be reduced.
A sample of mares is conducted from the 3-5th day after a foal and the beginning of hunting, daily or every other day. For most mares, the interval between hunts lasts three weeks, so you should not try it every 5-9 days, but you should wait 21 days calmly. Another thing is if the hunting at the mare proceeds secretly or has a shortened sexual cycle. These features can be noticed with constant monitoring of animals.
A mare in the hunt calmly admits the stallion, stands peacefully in a characteristic pose and allows him to make a cage. If he presses his ears, he is worried, seeing the gentleman, tries to hit him, bite, then, apparently, her time has not come yet. The first hunt after a foal is usually the strongest and most effective, but shortened.
Hunting for mares "by eye" is determined by the blinking of the "loop", with strong hunting, a thin thread of piglets is released. If, when blinking, the mucous membrane is very bright, it is urgent to cover, if pale, cover early. Watching the mares and identifying their hunt is necessary daily - in the morning and in the evening. In stud farms, a rectal examination is performed on the degree of follicle maturation.
It is better to carry out a case in the morning. If a stallion bites mares at the withers, their necks are wrapped in a thick blanket folded in several layers (like a soldier's skating rink). On the legs of the mare put on the fetters of a random harness so that she could not hit the stallion. The harness collar is worn on the mare’s neck, and the fettles are placed either on the hock joints (more reliable, and the stallion does not get tangled), or on the put joints of the hind legs. Tail bandage. After mating, the stallion’s trunk is doused with water at room temperature from a bucket.
The best time for foals to appear is spring, March - April, so it is advisable to spend the mating in April-May. The average duration of the foal is 11 months (335 days), with spring foaming, it can be extended by 10-15 days, in the summer-autumn period, on abundant vitamin feeds with a long daylight, it happens that is shortened.
If you want to get strong offspring, try to feed well and not overwork the mare. Pay attention to the shortcomings of the exterior and try to find a partner for her who is devoid of such shortcomings (compensatory selection). It is better if it is an unrelated couple.
During the trial and mating, the stallion and the mare need to be unchained: it is on the front legs, it is on the hind legs. If for economic reasons this is undesirable or impossible, then the mare put on thick leather or molded rubber shoes. However, in the herd or paddock, where several mares walk with the stallion at once, the animals dispense with no tail bandage and no harness, and the result of the mating is 100 percent.
After mating, the stallion and the mare are led about 15-20 minutes, rubbed with a straw tourniquet of cereals, lower back, legs. Since the sexual cycle, that is, the period from hunting to hunting, lasts an average of 21 days (fluctuations from 12 to 33 days), and the duration of hunting varies from 2 to 7 days, then covered mares 10 days after the end of a month are taken for a test . With a pronounced hunt, the mare is re-covered. An experienced livestock specialist or veterinarian can determine the draw on the 30-45th day, but there are specialists who catch even earlier dates.
Remember that mares abort more often than animals of other species, especially in the first three months. The mare can “discard” imperceptibly, but it happens that the embryo simply resolves, therefore, after three months, the draw is checked again.
Starting from the 7th month, mares are freed from hard work, and 1.5-2 months before and two weeks after a draw, from all work. Do not forget about the daily two-three-hour walks of the mare or 30-40-minute wiring in the hands.
The draw becomes apparent at the beginning of the 5th month. At the 6th month, a good sign of foal may be the movement of the fetus in both groins. It is especially noticeable in the morning on an empty stomach, immediately after drinking. From the 8th month of foal, the fetus grows very actively, therefore during this period it is necessary to gradually increase the concentrate rate: by 2-3 kg in excess of the main diet, depending on the weight of the mare.
The mare's stinging is clearly manifested by the protrusion of the abdominal wall at the bottom left. To the left, the fetus is squeezed out by a filled colon. If the right side of the abdominal wall protrudes in the mare, it means that it eats a lot of bulky feed, but it may not be a foal. A 7-8-month-old fetus can be felt by hand. Stand on the left side of the mare, press your right hand to the line between the udder and the navel, and lean on the back or withers with your left. Press your right hand lightly on the mare’s stomach and feel the tremors almost immediately.
In the first period of the draw, the mares become more careful, calmer, more phlegmatic, soon get tired in work, seem lazy. There are vagaries: future mothers prefer stale water to fresh, poor, poor-quality food, gnaw the ground, etc. While the fetus is small, the mother prefers, and as it grows it becomes thinner, stomachier, the baby takes up a lot of nutrients.
It is better to set the feed in small portions and more often. Keep in mind that overfeeding is just as harmful as underfeeding. To facilitate intestinal function, it is useful to replace part of the oats with bran. Just before foraging, especially coarse feeds, they give less (3-4 kg) so that the intestines are not overcrowded. Chalk and lick salt should be in the trough constantly. Give the mare grass and coniferous flour (if the season is not grazing), flax seed, carrots, beets, silage, meat and bone meal, vitamin and mineral dressings. Long before the foal, teach the mare, especially the young one, to massage the udder, easily pull the nipples with your hand.
From the 8th month of the draw, it is recommended that mares weighing 500-550 kg be fed 9 kg of hay, 6 kg of concentrated feed, and at least 35 g of table salt. For mares weighing 600 kg, the rate of roughage is increased to 10-12 kg. Mares are thrown into pastures of mares only after feeding with hay so that they do not pounce greedily on the grass. Spring cold dew is harmful: it can lead to a miscarriage.
So, two months are left until the foal. At about 9 months, the udder increases markedly and the sacrum sinks. 4-6 weeks before delivery, a lot of protein in the urine is determined by simple boiling. From the 10th month, colic can occur, caused by the pressure of the increasing fetus on the intestines. The mare scrapes its foot, looks back at the stomach, often lies down and gets up again. With these signs, you must definitely show the mare to a veterinarian.
3-4 weeks before the foaming, the lower back bends even more, legs and abdomen may swell, which is associated with low mobility of the animal, and the left half swells more than the right. Often a mare stands leaning sideways against a wall to relieve fetal pressure. A few days before birth, cheesy drops of milk - colostrum or its dried grains - are released from the nipples. If the fullness of the udder does not change from morning to evening, this is a signal of an approaching foal.
When foaming, it is recommended to place the mare in the maternity ward or in a spacious light stall (6 x 6 m), but to avoid stress and due to lack of space, the mare is usually left in its usual place - in its stall or stall.
Strainer before disinfection. It is better to do this after washing the walls and floor (and if the floor is adobe or earthen, it is better to remove the top layer and pour a new one). Disinfection is carried out by spraying with a 5% solution of carbolic acid. The whitewashing of the walls is also reliable with a 20% aqueous solution of quicklime, the floor is sprinkled with fluff, the feeders are washed with a 4% aqueous solution of bleach and wiped.
After harvesting, the stall is best covered with rye or wheat long straw, because it is less polluted. Dust from other types of litter (peat, sawdust, wood shavings) irritates the umbilical cord, mucous membranes of the eyes and nose of the foal. In the stable you need to leave a dim light to see what the mare does. You need to ensure that she does not lie backside close to the wall, which can damage the newborn.
Good strong mares need only three to five attempts to bring the fruit out. Some horses are foals while standing. In this case, three need to enter the stall: one should hold the head of the mare, and two should hold the foal so that it does not fall, does not cripple.
If the amniotic fluid on the appeared muzzle does not burst, it must be cut with sterile scissors or torn by hand. It happens that the amniotic membrane does not tear and the foal is born "in the bag." If at the same time the umbilical cord is broken, then the connection with the mother’s body is broken, so as soon as possible, the shell must be broken, otherwise the foal will die from suffocation. A foal is “born in a shirt” when the amniotic membrane remains on it in the form of shreds.
The pulsation in the umbilical cord lasts 1-2 minutes after birth. Let the foal jump its legs, then the umbilical cord will break off in the usual place, and if it is weak, then the umbilical cord must be tightly tied with a strong thread at a distance of 3-4 cm from the foal’s abdomen and cut below the tie. Disinfect the end of the umbilical cord by dipping in a glass with 5% iodine solution, 5% carbolic acid solution or other disinfectant solution.
To help the newborn and his mother, it is necessary to prepare and keep on hand 5-7% tincture of iodine or 5% solution of carbolic acid, gauze bandages at least 1 m long for bandaging the mare’s tail, sterile cotton wool, a thermometer, a rubber can ( pear), scissors, adhesive tape, soap with a towel for processing hands. Six to eight waffle towels and a clean sheet may be needed to wipe the foal and normalize its blood circulation. If it is cold in the stable, then cover the trembling foal with a blanket and a quilted jacket. Do not forget about the sterile vessel for squeezing colostrum mare and a bottle with a pacifier. Wash the udder of the mother with warm water.
Do not be alarmed if, after removing the amniotic membrane from the head of the foal, you see the bluish mucous membrane of his mouth and nose and the same tongue. This is quite normal when moving from one living environment to another. A foal that is born has reflex breathing. If not, immediately clear the nostrils of mucus and fetal water. A rubber bulb and a towel will come in handy, or squeeze the baby’s nose from top to bottom, as if squeezing. As soon as the foal is breathing, rub it with towels, a tourniquet.
If nevertheless the cyanosis or pallor of the eyelids, nose, and oral cavity does not disappear, which usually happens during difficult, protracted births, then this is a serious matter: asphyxiation. With cyanosis, a milder form of suffocation, the baby is hard, breathing with wheezing, heart rate is rapid, weak. In the absence of breathing and any reflexes, bleeding from the umbilical cord is a severe form. Do not get lost here. To the cause! Vigorously wipe the nostrils and oral cavity with a gauze napkin, raise the body on the hind limbs and bend the foal’s head low to remove amniotic fluid and mucus from the nose and mouth. Sprinkle cold water on it, carefully, vigorously rub it with a straw tourniquet, bandage the bleeding umbilical cord. Lay so that the hind legs are higher than the front, and make an artificial breath. The rest is business
With foraging, pathology is not as common as with calving of cows, so human intervention is required less often. The foal is facilitated by the fact that the head of the foal is narrow, as well as by the direct location of the axis of the pelvis in mares (in cows - at an obtuse angle to the kerch, which makes the passage of the fetus difficult).
But mares also have difficulties. So, if the foal’s legs are bent back and down, it’s difficult to straighten them to put on a loop, because the foal is long. Also, the foal’s neck is longer than the calf’s neck, and if the head is bent (wrapped, thrown), then the fetus must be pushed from the pelvic area back into the uterus to grasp the nostrils and straighten the head.
The placenta in mares is separated normally in half an hour. But if the exit of the placenta is delayed, in no case do not intervene and do not separate it artificially during the day, as the mares are very susceptible to peritonitis, and this is often the end of such an intervention. Entrust the separation of the long-delayed afterbirth to the veterinary specialist!
In order for the mare’s last to separate, it is better to give her sugar water or a decoction of onion husks. Half a bucket of onion broth is poured to the top with water and pour a glass of sugar. They are watered 1-2 hours after the foaming. As soon as the mare rises after the foal (it usually lies from several minutes to an hour), the placenta begins to separate.
In most cases, the foal passes without human intervention. However, if there is a suspicion of double stallion, an intrauterine infection, an incorrect position of the fetus, the presence of a veterinarian is necessary. It happens that by all means you need to wait for veterinary assistance. Then you need to suspend the foal. How to do it? The only way is to get the mare to rise and drive it in her hands for how long it will turn out. After all, the mares themselves often delay the appearance of a foal up to half a day: when driving herds or before dark.
The first hours of a foal’s life
The maternal instinct is not always and not all mares manifest immediately, so you need to observe their behavior, slip the foal to the mother if he is lying, or protect the baby, if she is initially aggressive.
Licking the mother of the newborn is very important. In fact, this is not so much an expression of love as a health-improving event. Mare tongue removes mucus, impurities, dries the body of the foal, thereby protecting it from heat loss. Licking massages, irritates skin receptors, stimulates skin respiration, opening pores, and also straightens the lungs, after which breathing becomes deeper, blood circulation and metabolism improve.
So that the mother better licks her baby, he is slightly wiped with a solution of sodium chloride. It is noted that foals that the mother did not lick are more prone to dyspepsia and develop worse. Licking the baby, the mother conveys its smell and remembers the peculiarities of its smell. Mucus contains a large amount of sex hormones. They accelerate the separation of the placenta, stimulate milk production, accelerate the restoration of ovulation processes (hunting) in the mare's body, which cease during the foal. Usually a mare licks a foal for 1.5-2 hours, and the more it licks its face, lips, the sooner and more actively it begins to suck.
It is very important for the foal to start sucking the mother as early as possible. After all, he comes to this world without any immunity against disease. He receives the first antibodies so necessary for life only with colostrum, which after 48-72 hours is already replaced by milk that does not contain them. Therefore, the baby should receive colostrum no later than an hour after birth. In addition, in the small intestine, antibodies from colostrum are absorbed into the blood and lymph only in the first 36-48 hours of a newborn’s life. It turns out that in the struggle for the survival of the foal of roads every hour.
Colostrum also has a mild laxative effect to facilitate the release of primordial feces in the baby - meconium. If this process is delayed due to the hardness and stickiness of feces, despite the intake of colostrum, the baby is very suffering. He is pushing hard, worried: he will lie down, then he will rise, then he will throw himself over his back.Foals may die due to air colic. You can help with warm soapy or oil enemas. If there is no rubber bulb, meconium must be removed with a finger. It is useful to give a teaspoon of decoction of buckthorn bark, Alexandrian leaf. A good effect will give a purgen (1.0-2.0 g) in combination with a warm wrap.
The foal got up on its feet, pushed into the udder, swallowed one or two times - they sighed with relief. And if the mother does not allow the baby? You can use a twist on the upper lip or, bending, to raise the front leg of the mare, while her child sucks.
A weak foal needs to be helped to rise and reach the nipples of the mother. If he does not suck, put a finger in his mouth to cause reflex sucking movements, and then replace the finger with a nipple. Those who cannot suck at all themselves are fed from a bottle with an ordinary nipple (just do not make a very large hole in it, otherwise the foal may choke). The udder is wiped with a warm damp towel, the first trickles of colostrum are squeezed and 120-150 ml of life-giving liquid are poured into a jar. Feed in half an hour. After several feedings, weakened foals have the strength to stand up and eat on their own.
By emptying the udder, you can judge the health of the foal. A healthy baby sucks the mother up to 50 times or more per day. The appearance of milk on the nipples is a sign of insufficient activity of the pine. “Milky nose”, that is, dried streaks of milk on the muzzle from the mouth to the eyes of weak foals, indicates that he can’t cope with an abundant stream of mother’s milk.
In the first hours of the foal’s life, closely monitor not only him, but also the behavior of the mother. She may have signs of postpartum colic at this time - from severe pain with contractions normalizing the uterus, from elimination of the placenta. The mare sweats, stretches out, waves its tail, starts to ride. It is dangerous for a defenseless foal, guard it.
Remember that the walls of the stall should be smooth, without protrusions, knots, holes and crevices so that the foal cannot catch on them or get caught with the foot, so the doors are installed close to the floor and the feeder is higher. Make sure that there is no draft on the bottom of the stall.
The foal must be dealt with from the first days of his life: to develop confidence in a person by stroking, scratching in those places that he is not able to get himself. You can’t beat! Sew him a little halter, put on and hold on to him instead of grabbing his nose, ears and tail. It scares and hurts. When brushing, gently sweep to those places where he does not tolerate tickling, gradually accustom to patience. Raise legs alternately, tap on the sole with your finger.
A normally developed foal is sensitive, but calm. The rhythm of his life is measured: sucks (after 0.5-1 hours), sleeps, walks. Even breathing, 25-40 movements of the chest per minute, temperature 38 ° C. It is permissible (by several tenths of a degree) to lower the temperature in the morning and increase in the evening. But a deviation of +1 ° C should alert. An intestinal upset occurs on those days when a mare comes into the hunt, and upon its completion everything normalizes. However, prolonged diarrhea dehydrates the foal's body, and in such cases it should be given two to three tablespoons of fresh paraffin oil, and instead of milk, boiled sweetened lime water 2-3 times a day. In this case, manually mare the mare’s milk. Constipation is indicated by arching of the back, a characteristic extension of the head and neck - here you need the help of a veterinarian.
Make sure that the foal has enough milk, since in the second week of life he drinks it 10-12 liters per day. If the mother is low-milk, feed him cow's milk: 2 parts per 1 part of water with the addition of a spoonful of sugar and even one chicken egg.
A suckling foal can eat mother's feces - don't be alarmed. This is a natural occurrence. So the necessary bacterial flora is introduced into the young body. But at the same time, the foal will certainly become infected with worm eggs. Symptoms of the appearance of worms in the foal’s body: the “combed” base of the tail, as it rubs against the stall walls, dull hair, rumbling in the abdomen, poor fatness, lethargy. An effective home remedy against worms is red beets, grated horseradish, garlic, sour cabbage, and in some cases, a change in feed. Medicines are prescribed by a veterinarian. Deworming is mandatory, despite home remedies.
Foal development and primary education
The normal development of the foal is checked by weight control figures: in the 1st month, the weight of the foal should be 20-21% of the mother’s weight, in 3-4 months, 39-40, in 5-6 months 47-50, in 12 months 56-60, at 24 months 75-85, at 36 months 100%.
If the weather is nice, a mare with a foal is allowed to go for a walk the next day or two to five days after giving birth, but for the first time no more than 15-20 minutes. Every day, exercise time is increased by 5-10 minutes. Sending for a walk, it’s nice to hold a foal, because a stagnant mare can play along in the wild, that is, jump a little, succumb, gallop. Soon after playing enough and remembering the foal, she will return in alarm. Then release the cub. After a week, both are so strong that they are ready to go to pasture with other horses. You should not be indifferent to how the foal will meet for the first time. Watch the horses! It will give you pleasure.
The science of animal behavior - ethology - today can already tell a lot about our smaller brothers. A mare doesn’t allow someone else’s foal, even if she is blindfolded. How does she distinguish him from her bloody baby? We are accustomed to the idea of a wonderful sense of smell in a dog, cat. But the horse, like other mammals, has the ability to distinguish odors.
A mare in a large herd may not recognize her foal from a distance in appearance and neighing, but she perfectly remembers its smell and her own, which she gave to the newborn, licking it right after the foal, and therefore accurately identifies her foals in the mass. But a tragic thing happens: a mare dies. How to attach an orphan baby? It is coated with milk of the adoptive mother (or her sweat, feces) and carefully palmed under her udder. In such cases, it happens that a mare feeds her and her adopted child. If, God forbid, a foal perishes, then its plentiful dairy mother can be comforted by a foal from a meager or fallen mare. His muzzle is also coated with milk of the mare-nurse, and the skin of a fallen peer is pulled onto the back. Guardianship will take place, be sure!
Before weaning, the mother for the foal is a leader and an example in everything. But after weaning, in the herd, among themselves equal foals, willy-nilly, takes to the hierarchical ladder. Usually, “leaders” are stronger, more developed, agile foals. Their less fortunate counterparts in everything imitate the ringleaders, but a bad example is contagious. The “leader” kicks in - the rest will kick also, he chews a rag - they will try it “by the tooth”. However, interest in inedible objects indicates a lack of minerals.
In order for a bad habit to grab into your mouth and chew anything horrible and not to cover the whole herd of kids, you need to sprinkle some salt on the “leader”, and then he will stop picking everything up from the ground. It does not hurt to check whether there is lick salt in their feeders. Imitation also plays a useful role when the foal learns from the mother to eat, to distinguish edible and harmful herbs in the pasture.
When riding, they practice tying the foal to the shafts of an adult horse - let the baby know what they want from him and how to behave while taking an example from adults.
How much does a foal cost at the time of weaning? On the last 90 days of the mare’s draw, at least 1.5 kg of feed per day should be added per fruit, i.e. a total of 135 kg. Up to three months, the foal usually has enough mother’s milk, but it begins to show interest in mother’s feed already at the age of one month, and after 3 months it is advisable to feed it with rolled oats and good hay. Concentrates should be given in the calculation of 1 to 1.5 kg per 100 kg of live weight, and if he receives 2 kg of grain per day, then he will eat 270 kg in 4.5 months. So, by weaning, that is, by 6 months of age, 400 kg of grain will be spent on it. The costs depend on the price of grain, on the cost of pasture feed. At any level of purchase prices per 1 kg of live weight, a foal weighing 250-400 kg by the time of weaning should not cause loss when grown under a mare.
By the age of one year, the foal's growth rate is slightly reduced, therefore, he needs a little less protein, grains from 0.5 to 1.5 kg per 100 kg of live weight. A foal weighing 365 kg is sufficient for 3.5-5 kg of concentrates per day and what a pasture or free access to hay can give it. By the age of 18 months, the foal growth rate is even more reduced, and it costs the same amount of feed as the yearling.
A foal is not an obstacle for using the mother in work from the 15th day after the foal. It is only necessary to accustom him in advance to a halter (necessarily well-fitting, not dangling!) And hang up. When the mare is working, tie it to the right shafter so long that it cannot run ahead and step on the occasion, but can reach the udder. However, before harnessing the mother to the crew, let the foal frolic as much as possible, play outside, so that he behaves more calmly near the shafts. After all, he is full of energy and burns with the desire to throw it out!
In the first month, allow the foal to suck the mother every 30-40 minutes, and then after 1-1.5 hours. From 1.5 to 6 months, feed him with concentrates with his mother or separately, if she eats very quickly, and he slowly.