Because we no longer
raise horses I keep
this website up just
for people to use
the Foaling Journals
and help them on
journeys. But due to
this it does cost to
keep the website up
yearly, so if you
enjoy the site and
would like to help
keep it up please
feel free to donate
to the upkeep and
monthly fees of the
FOALING and the FOALING MARE Foaling season is just around the
corner so with that, we are now
offering a message board for you to
make updates on your mares! Mare Milk Test Instructions - For the Do It Yourselfer!
A few months ago you where debating on whether or not
to breed your mare, then once you decided to you spent time picking out
the stallion to breed to, you considered disposition, skills, pedigree,
color, and much more. After the breeding took place you got to hear
those wonderful words from your veterinarian "She's pregnant". Recall
the joy you felt, the excitement, if you where anything like me you
probably wanted to mail out notes telling everyone you know you where
expecting :), but hopefully you restrained yourself from doing that
otherwise you will be getting calls soon asking when you are due. Now
the long wait sets in. But you have a lot to do in the next 11 months,
pick out baby names, prepare you foaling kit, read articles on the
internet, read books, ask questions, watch any video you can get your
hands on, and don't forget to take care of that expectant mare. She
needs lots of feed, her worming, vaccinations, and lots and lots of
Well I have made up this article to give you one more
thing to read while you wait. Hope you enjoy.
A mares gestation is on average 340 days but it can go
well over 360 days or as early as 315 days. There is no such thing as a
"Due Date" for mares unfortunately. But most mares give signs of
approaching labor to help us out in this area. Some of these signs are:
Relaxing of the pelvis and vulva
Filling of the udders
Drop in mares abdomen
Attitude may change
Appetite may change
No resistance in the tail
Texture of udders
Some mares may display all of these signs, and some
may not display any of these signs.
Start checking your mares udder often at around 9-10
months. It helps to keep a journal of your mares progress. For an
example of a journal you can look at some of my mares journals under the
Foals page. Here are some changes to watch for in the udder:
These pictures where taken from the
same mare during the same pregnancy. Click on pics to enlarge.
slight udder distention at 292 days
nipples smoother 306 days
fluid beginning to fill udder 311 days
Fluid expressed from udder is a sticky amber color 311
Udders much larger after just one day, photo taken at
Udders much fuller and tight still have
speckles on the nipples, 318 days
Fluid from udder at 318 days still yellow
but thinner and sticky.
Udders very tight, warm, and speckles on
nipples are gone 328 days.
Fluid now harder to see through and not
Udder very warm and full. 329 days
Fluid turning to milk opaque white 329
Deep creese in udders is gone and wax has
appeared on one nipple 330 days
Milk! 330 days
Drops of milk on inside of leg 330 days.
Droplets of milk just after removing wax.
330 days. mare foaled next day
A mares hind end starts to relax before foaling, her vulva will lengthen and
sometimes even gap open. The muscles on her rear will look like they fall away
from the tail head, they will seem soft and jello like.
This mares hind end is still firm
and has not yet started to relax 311 days.
Her hind end has started to relax
and falls away from the tail head. 328 days.
Side picture to show the slope as
a result of muscle relaxing. 328 days.
Vulva still tight 318 days.
Vulva now relaxed 328 days
Vulva very relaxed, long, 329
days mare foaled two days later.
Another thing you should start to notice is her
belly's shape. At the end of the pregnancy the mares belly will drop and
almost look like it has a point facing the ground it will also look flat
on the sides rather than sticking way out.
Wide belly very round 279 days
Round belly 279 days
Belly lower and starting to get
that point 318 days.
Belly not fully dropped yet 328
Belly very dropped and pointed
Sides look flat and belly looks
long 330 days. mare foaled next day.
You may also notice your mare acting different. She
may bite at her side, kick her leg up like she is kicking at her belly.
She may pace, or may stand perfectly still. Some mares show no signs at
all. The mare in the pictures, she would only eat half her feed for
about 5 weeks then the last three days she ate everything we put in
front of her. She also would stand off by herself a lot, and the week
before she foaled she wanted to be with the herd all the time, and she
would find a buddy to stand with in the corner of her stall. Each mare
is different and you will need to watch your mare very close, get an
idea of her routine. I will post more photos next year when we have more
mares foal. This page is just a collection of different mares and the
different stages they go through before foaling. So check back and I
hope you have a healthy foal with a safe delivery.
For Reference here is a HAY Belly
on a Maiden mare, she is not pregnant just big. And this is her udder:
For more foaling journals see
these below or for this years current journals go to the Foals page:
Mare that does
not play by the rules!
Foaling, foaling mare, horse
foaling, horse gestation,
foaling signs, signs of
foaling, signs of labor in