I am expecting my foal in mid-May, yahoo! I have already singled out my mare where she will foal and where she and the baby will spend their first few months together. The baby will learn about 'BOUNDARIES" in the paddock before being turned out in a larger pasture under supervision. The larger pasture is fenced in the same manner as the foaling paddock.
I plan to turn off the electricity to the fence when I know foaling is eminent-due to work schedules, I will be fortunate enough to have someone watching around the clock. Once the foal has better control of its body, I will turn the heat back on so it can start learning about fences.
Generally, the area looks pretty safe to me, but I would like to know if anyone sees any trouble areas with what I have done. I currently have three strands of electro-braid style fencing, and closer to when the foal arrives, I plan to move the bottom wire up a little and add another strand below it, probably electric tape. All will be HOT!
The stall area is composed of five-rail panels, with the bottom panel approximately 20" off the ground. I have considered placing lattice below until the foal can control itself better, to keep it from rolling under or whatever.
The trough is shared between two stalls and sticks out into my stall about 1.5' or so. Does this look like a drowning hazard? Should I push it out of her side just enough for her to have access? The tank heater won't be present by the time the baby comes.
I welcome any comments or suggestions. I think I've done okay so far, but I would like to know if anyone sees anything questionable. I know that electric fencing is a little tricky, but it can't be helped. THANKS!!
I have looked at your setup and its very nice. Only thing I would change is that I would not turn off the electric fence. The foal will learn very quickly not to touch it after it does the first time. If you turn it off, then turn it back on later, your foal will be saying whaaaaaaaa??? it was ok before??? hmmm.. might be confusing.
Second, put an additional tape, cord etc along the bottom of the fence. Dont use wire as this can cut the baby if it does roll and get caught. Tape or electric cord is alot more forgiving. I wouldnt use lattice as the horses will chew this new toy and it could get a foal leg caught in one of the criss-crosses and do more damage than an additional strand of electric
Third , I would push the water tank back into the adjoining stall so that she can only get her head in and thats it. SHe might try to walk in etc and get stuck and panic.. dont want that.. and shes just going to be nosey at first anyway and not drinking water. Mom is the milk bar.
Mom will keep her baby away from the fence and anything she perceives as danger including a neighbor horse in the next paddock.
My mare kept her baby away from the fence, the horses, the gate, the waterbuckets, the feed bins, and even the shade tree. poor mom was nutso for the first couple of weeks.
Other than those suggestions your setup looks great!
Elizabeth, here are my thoughts. The setup is great the way it is, aside from one thing. Keep in mind that a foal will lay down and then wake up on the wrong side of the fence! I'd try to close off the bottom, maybe with just an additional tape or something temporary. (I wouldn't use lattice either). BUT, I have the same setup with the water trough, and have never had one go in....i wouldn't worry too awful much about it, unless it's shorter than the average trough(one of the 20"tall ones). The part I STRONGLY disagree with DeeJay on is the electric fence. There is no way in the world I would have the electric fence on until the foal is absolutely steady on his feet. I raise my foals in a "horse panel", and until they are steady and surefooted, they run into it constantly. At least the panel is something they can't get wrapped up in, but I'd be worried about having a foal falling into the tape fence, and getting wrapped up in it while being electrified. It will make it a far spookier situation for the foal, and he is far more likely to get hurt trying to escape. I just wouldn't do it. Mom will not always be by babys side keeping it from the fence! Mom relax while babies run around.....a foal is in constant danger of hurting itself, and it is your job as its human to try and protect it in it's constant search for self destruction!!! LOL
Yes, Diane, that was my very concern with the electricity. I can see the baby trying to get up the first time or two and tumbling into the fence! I don't have an enclosed stall for the baby to brace against or anything. I figure if that happens, I would rather have the fence off so I could help quickly and the baby would be relatively safe and less frightened. Once the foal is a little more in control, I would turn it on after 5-10 hours or something depending on how the foal is progressing.
I do plan to put an additional line of tape around the bottom of the paddock as well after the snow clears down below and it gets closer to foaling time. (T post caps have also been added) After two or three weeks, I would like to put the foal out to pasture with mom. The turnout would be supervised and the pasture I am thinking of is fenced like the paddock in the pictures. At two or three weeks of age, is an additional line on the bottom neccessary as well, or do you think the foal would know enough about fences by then to steer clear?
Good idea about the lattice, I hadn't thought about feet getting caught up in it. Are the panels a concern for the foal going under as well? Should I put something around the bottom? If not lattice, what would you suggest!
Maybe I should have added that I am in Canada and when our foals are born, they dont go outside for a good month to paddock or fencing as we still have upwards of 4' of snow to contend with in March. We have an attached covered arena that is used as a playpen, so when the foals go outside for the first time, they are steady on their feet (which mine have been from about 10 hours old) and not apt to fall, stumble or roll into electric fencing.
My broodmare will not allow her foals near fencing or anything that could cause injury. I have watched her round up the foals she has had (3 so far) and is always gets between the foal and the fence, the foal and the gate, the foal and the outside wall of the coverall etc.
I know her well enough that I dont worry about her babies and I have never had a foal injured due to fencing or any obstacle in the outside paddocks. SHe is beyond an excellent mother.
I HAVE had a foal tumble into the water the same way yours is set up, and she got stuck under the fencing and in the trough. Not fun..She could have drowned, but it only happened once as I removed the trough to the other paddock completely and mom was given buckets attached high enough on her post that the baby could not do herself any damage. Later, I put a trough in the middle of their paddock so if the foal decided to put a foot into it or walk through it, she/he didnt have fencing to add to the problem. My first round of electric cord is 6" from the ground and go up to 5' at every 1 foot mark.
Just my two cents. You know your mares best and should do what you think best for your own horses.
I Think your setup looks very nice. I would say that in your shelter you could put plywood around it. I had to modify a large garage for a foaling stall and we had to use gates at the opening and to block of the shelves. We placed the plywood about half way up and used zip ties to attach it. We drilled holes and then ran the zips around the center supports and attached then to the out side. It was very flat and did not move at all. I am glad that we did that as when the foal was born he fell into the gates and the plywood kept him from going thro. Never had to worry about him getting stuck. The first Photo you can see the dividing gate and how we only covered 1/2 way up. http://i272.photobucket.com/albums/jj194/PregSwan/DSC00937.jpg The second is the gate that was on the door. We covered all the way up so we didn't have to worry about him looking out and getting stuck. http://i272.photobucket.com/albums/jj194/PregSwan/DSC01029.jpg
DeeJay, this is a board where people come to ask for opinions and advice. And I'm positive that Elizabeth appreciates having varying opinions....there isn't any reason to feel the need to defend yourself, your fencing, and your practices! We all have different setups and different opinions....it's ok.
Im not defending myself, just giving my opinion. YOU attacked my post and you were disrespectful. I didnt attack your post .. I didnt comment on your opinion. Leave it at that. I have lots of experience foaling and with mares and foals and fencing whether that is electric, paddock, pattent, metal poles, chain link, whatever... What I use is what works for me. Oh, and Ive been on this board since 2005, so you dont have to lecture me about what this place is all about. Keep your opinions on me and my posts to yourself. I dont appreciate your comments and personal attacks. Yours is the rudest post I have seen on here in four years, congratulations to you.
One more thing Elizabeth, I had a friend whose mare rolled into a t-post and cut her back leg like peeling a banana. Very devistating injury that kept that mare out of the show ring that whole year. Just something to think about. I dont use t-posts, just nice thick poles and electric cord.
I disagreed with you Dee Jay, did not "attack" them. "The part I STRONGLY disagree with DeeJay on is the electric fence"....this is the only part I even commented on! And I let all the rest of your post slip by me! LOL Strange thing is, it says right there that you registered this month and have posted 47 times.....? Every one of your posts has been dominating and pushy....I just wondered what it would take to get you to cool down a bit and realize that everyone has a different opinion, and just b/c it's not the same as yours, doesn't mean its wrong. And you obviously haven't been here for 4 years, or you'd have read some SERIOUSLY more rude posts than THAT! LOL Good luck to ya Dee Jay, wish you all the best!
Elizabeth, is your mare a maiden? If this is her first foal she may very different from an experienced broodmare.
The tank I would elevate on blocks to meet the top metal rail to ensure that the foal can't get to the other side three 6X6 cut to the length of the tank should elevate the trough so that it meets rail.
As for your fencing, we do not allow our foals in electric wire (baygaurd by SS) or tape. We have had a foal literally almost hang himself in the fence running with another foal. Also, most maidens tend to do much more herding with their foals and if they share the fenceline with another horse she may get upset and run with the foal and the foal won't be as quick and agile as the mare and may run into the fencing. We specifically built at board paddock for our foals for the first 4 weeks.
Dee Jay, I don't see this as a personal attack, I see this as two different opinions, we all have ways and our own experiences in horsekeeping and foaling and what is good for one persons animals will not and may not be for another persons. The idea is to show the pros and cons of those things and if they are not agreed upon so be it. This is not a place to take other peoples opinions personally. Opinions are like you know whats...everybody has one.
Elizabeth, take the information provided to you and use it how you wish and in the best interest of your animals.
my first post on this board was in Feb of 2005, I used the name horselady back then and had a different email. Look it up. I was waiting for you to make a comment on that. Ive been here on and off 4 years this month.
Diana. I dont have time to post thousands of comments in a year like you have. I dont need to give my two cents that often. Ive got 5 kids in university, have a full time job and also manage a dairy farm and cash crop 2500 acres with my husband and kids, and have the show horses on the side as a hobby.
I only usually pop in here in the winter and early spring when babies are due to see who is expecting what. Life is just too busy in summer.
If someone asks an opinion and I think I can offer something constructive,I try to give one and offer some food for thought. I certainly dont think my way is the only way, but I will comment if I think a foal might be injured with a certain set up, or if I think that a mare needs to see a vet etc.
I have never felt the need to call out anyone on a post that they have left on here even if I thought that they were nuts. Everyone has an opinion and should be able to leave it without someone else making a negative comment on it.
It would have been much more constructive to say: Unlike DJ, I dont use electric until the foals are older myself, I worry about this... or that.... much nicer, much more polite, much more mature. I wouldnt have had a problem with that in the least. ANyway, Ive said all I am going to say to you Diane.
Suzanne: What kind of fencing do you use when you first put your foals outside. I would think that paddock fencing would be dangerous in having to worry about cribbing, and nails protruding, splinters, and theres always the worry that the fence is either too high off the ground and the foal will roll under and escape, or the fence isnt high enough and a horse from another paddock might jump over it and into the foaling pen, or one of the stallions on the neighboring farm will crash through the fencing and run off my mare or kill my foal . I have had to run off two different stallions that were fully erect and charged at my mare and foal and that would have busted down a wooden fence in the past 5 years and believe that my electric fence saved the mare and the foal that were in that paddock. He got a taste of the fence, and mine is good and hot, and that was it, he took off at a gallop. To me, and this is only my humble opinion, I would be more worried with wood fencing than I ever have been with my electric. I did say in my second post that our mares and foals spend the first month in a covered arena, totally safe and sound from the weather and all other hazards. The sides are framed and plywood up 10 feet as we use this arena in winter to store our farm machinery and combines etc. There is a huge end door for the machinery to drive in and out, and also a man door for us to go in, with windows to watch the mares and foals without intruding on them. I share the coverall with my hubby, he uses it in winter for his stuff, and I use it in spring and summer for my mares and foals. Its so much easier for the mares without the distraction of horses in an adjoining paddock to worry about the foal getting too close to, etc.
Personally I have never had a single problem with electric cord. Mine is really tight and theres no slack so I have really never worried about a foal getting tangled in it, or strangled. Maybe electric is more common up here than wherever you are located. Im a bit surprised to read that so many people are so against it. For me,and this is only my opinion, there is no other kind of fencing that I would even consider.
Hi - my 'setup' is different again to what has been discussed above. The weather is hot here and so foals do find water troughs enticing! My troughs are elevated so that they can explore with their mouths wothout falling in. My foals have always drunk little amounts of water from their earliest days and so I don't put water troughs anywhere near electric fencing. To me, it's rather like encouraging them to hover exactly where I don't want them to be.
I have star posts with caps, 5 strands of wire with one inch wire netting from ground level to four foot height. I have one strand of hot wire attached from 10 inch wide stand off brackets above the netting to keep the mares from leaning on the fencline. By the time the foal is that tall - they are well able to learn one quick lesson. When they are turned out into our larger paddocks that are not netted - they are roughly a month old and have worked out that 'white wire' should not be approached!
Elizabeth, I'd move your water trough from where it is now, not because it looks like a drowning hazard, rather, your mare will be thirsty and the foal will follow her to and along the elecrtic fenceline. The other option would be to move it along further from the tape and put a board behind it whereby the mare and foal can distinguish that it is a safe place to drink, very much along the lines of Tahra's suggestion.
Working with the fencing you have, I would NOT have the hot wire turned on. Even after 10 hours, foals get tired, have 'moments' when they are learning flying changes and simply are learning distances for stopping. There are many mishaps in this normal learning process. They tend to just 'plop' down wherever they are for a rest and really do roll under obstacles most especially fences when sleeping.
My mares couldn't possibly prevent every occasion when their foals hit a fence ( maybe it's TB's who like to race..LOL) and so I do agree with Diana - keep it turned off for as long as you can!! Lattice is possibly the worst thing you could use at ground level as foals spend such a lot of time sleeping (between bursts of activity) and in stretching out..legs do get trapped and foals PANIC, even rural gates are a hazard. I hope something in the various postings today helps!
Do you have a picture of this netting you describe? I have never seen anything like that here. I know you are in AUssie as we discussed my selling a stallion to a client in Chittering on another posting.
I did something similar on the gates when the foals first go outside. I installed mesh on the inside of the gate so that the foal wouldnt kick through a gate and injure itself, or get a head stuck etc. I like your idea of elevating the water trough, I moved mine into the middle of the paddock away from the electric fencing when I did put it back in the paddock. For the first while I took the trough out completely and hung buckets on my wood posts instead. I cant even count the number of times I have looked out to see a foal standing in the trough with a *Look at me!* expression. FOals can be so very cute and mischevious all at the same time.
We use four board fencing that is inspected daily before turnout the lumber is decking boards such as you would use for a home deck (they are planed smooth) so the risk of splinters is minimal and we do not have any cribbers or wood chewers at our farm. We are lucky enough to have ample pasture for grazing. Our broodmare paddock does not share fencing with any other paddock and is separated by a 5 foot alley between the paddocks. We aren't lucky enough to have an indoor... Once the foals are 5 weeks they are turned out in Southern States Horse fencing which is a woven wire with a top board on it. This is great for weaning because they essentually bounce off of it if they happen to collide with it.
We are the only horse farm in the area we only have to worry about a stray cow every now and again. As for our stallions all are show horses and have the utmost of manners. I have yet to have any of them challenge a fence and all 5 only know they are stallions when they have their breeding halters on and have been washed prior to breeding. I use our pony gelding to tease. All are stabled in a separate barn but come out into general population for turnout. Our senior stallion actually is quiet enough to share a fenceline with our pony gelding and two yearlings...he is actually scared of the pony.
We were using Bayguard electric fencing at the time before installing the paddocks and the fencing still had the marker flags on each strand to alert the horses still didn't make a difference. This fencing was tight but bayguard is a poly wire and it stretches when run into full gallop with a 150lb baby and snaps wrapping itself around the foals neck as he continued to run then frantic to find mom which had rounded the corner to head to the other end of the pasture. I am sure you have seen in my previous post that I have worked in an Equine Vet clinic in the past as well as a TB racing breeding farm and most of recommendations by vets and professionals in VA is to go with wood, PVC or Centaur fencing. The feeling is that the risk is just too great for horses of all ages.
Suzanne: Your setup seems ideal. My broodmare paddock is also on its own and does not share a fenceline with the other paddocks. It also has 300' of PVC horsefence running along the top end, so only the sides are electric.
My stallions are housed behind 10' high metal pipe stallion fencing,and are located on the far side of the yard with their own batchelor barn. Each stallion paddock has 5' of space between it so nobody fights over the fencing, though this has never been a problem with the boys to date. My guys are also gentlemen and know the routine with different halters and the prep for collections. I dont pasture or hand breed my guys, mine are trained to collect for AI and we ship internationally.
My problem lies with the other horses on farms in this area. Most are backyard horses on inadequate strands of electric or broken down wire fence, and when my mares are in heat, we have problems as the stallions will come'a'callin.
This is dangerous for the kids here as these stallions appear on the property without warning,fully erect and ready for business. I tried to drive a repeat intruder away that was running one of my mares along the fenceline last year(I was on an ATV checking fence lines), and he charged me. We had had several conversations with this owner over the past few years and he just shrugged us off. The last time this stallion came over in April of last year, my hubby got out the rifle and fired a few rounds (not at the horse). THe owner came running and the stallion hasnt been back since.
My stallions are show stallions as well, and like you, they know when its time for breeding and time to work for shows. I take my reining stallion into the arena with mares and geldings etc and when I am at a show with as many as 800 horses, they have to behave.
I respect your opinions on the type of fencing that works best for you. My vet's horses are out on 6 strands of electric wire including the new babies and the stallions, while my trainer uses patent fencing and another breeder uses barb wire yikes! To each their own I guess.
-No electricity till baby is steady (I figure if baby can get up and down under control and walk/trot/lope under some semblance of control that will be a good indicator for the juice?)
-Elevate and recess trough. I was thinking that when the tank heater is no longer needed I would give Annie her own trough and place it away from the electric fence (an issue I had never considered). If that cannot be managed by the time the baby comes I will reverse the panel so that the trough is in the corner where two panels meet.
-Plywood or similar along bottom of panels-NO lattice!
Annie is a maiden mare of Arabian descent (thatís my way of saying that she is purebred Arab but no papers!). She is my faithful driving horse! She has pretty deeply rooted opinions on life in by now, I estimate that she is approximately 20-23 years old and in superb condition. She hasnít had a life of hard use, and looks like a million bucks. After the Pre-breeding exam, my vet gave the okay. Her take on life has always been that all other horses are pukes, and to avoid them like the plague. I think that she will take a little more proactive stance to protect the baby, but Iíll have to wait and see. I will definitely know if she is being upset by her neighbor and make adjustments if necessary.
I just read over this strand and I have to agree with DJ. That post was a rude attack on hers. You might not agree with her Diana, but you really should learn to be a bit more diplomatic in your criticisms. Just because you have been around here for a year, and posted a high number of posts doesnt mean squat. Quality over quantity
I have been lingering around this board for a few months now. I dont have any horses though I wish I did. I love to read all the questions and see what others are doing or what works for them. Ive never seen such disrespect. Anyway, just my opinion. I dont expect any reply, just maybe be a bit more considerate and respectful to those bothering to post an opinion or suggestion. Now, Ill back out of here quietly so that nobody throws a feed pail at my head
Kathy, stick around. Dont let people like this deter you from giving an opinion. There are alot of really nice people on here that are respectful and funny and you can learn alot from, even if you dont have a horse yet.
OMG! i didnt notice she wrote that until I saw the last post. Well, I guess that says it all. Isnt there a moderator on here that can boot her out ? DOesnt matter, Im outta here. I hear that there are some really good yahoo groups to join. So, same to you Diana.
Second of all i think it should be up to administration to judge whether or not posts or posters are apropriate. If you loved this board you would know that the administators do regularly monitor this board and i am sure they will read this very post.
Third, i happen to know that Diana is a very great friend of mine who has helped me with a lot of things when i needed advice. Not all of the posts that she posts are answers. a great deal of them are questions. I love Diana because she is wise. She is wise because she seeks other's wisdom. I think that someone gets wisdom from asking questions. Diana is my friend and i have nothing against anyone on this board.
Come on guys, let's stop attacking and maybe ask some questions and learn from others, after all that IS what this board is for.
Ladies.... it isn't surprising to me that when people write asking for help and sugestions, the respondants are likely to be 'opinionated' people. I know that I have written quite passionately at times about the need for much better knowledge of feed and nutrition ( which seems to be the cause of many mare problems discussed here) and in so doing many readers could find me 'heavy handed'! We all give opinions in 'good faith' and the suggestions can be taken on board or ignored...simple. Silly to get emotive and personal, or to run of to other forums.... I've found that a sense of humour is all that is needed with horse situations and horse people, sometimes!!
Cheyenne: read this entire string. I clearly said I used the name horselady back in 2005, and I dont even remember what name I used last year, probably my own name. Search horselady, and for what its worth, butt out. There is absolutely no excuse for what she posted to Kathy, and I know that Jos moderates this board. That kind of language doesnt belong on this board or anywhere above high school. As that was Kathys second post, I doubt she would have known that. Dont post my personal information its none of your business, especially when you have no idea what you are talking about.
When a teenager of all beings tries to give advice because big girls can't handle their problems you know that you need to take a look at yourself and when a teenager CHILD gets attacked you know that something needs to be done.
As I said earlier in this thread, I only pop in here in the early spring of the year, if at all, and I dont remember what name I used the previous year. We change and update our computers and other electronics in the office on a regular basis, so no cookie to remember that stuff for me.
After I was called a liar I did a search of names of my horses etc to find out that I had used Horselady, and I think last year I used my own name.. I never thought it was an issue, not like im sneaking in here under a bunch of different names at the same time.
I started on this board probably before 2005, but no clue what I might have registered as. I used Horselady after 2005 that year and maybe the next, not sure, then I changed my email when I went with a different email provider, so I had to change my user name as the previous user name was hooked to that email. I think I skipped a year when my mare lost a foal in 2006??? at 6 and a half months along and was back again when my filly (2 years old this year) was expected, and again last year I was here again while expecting my stud colt Jac.
Nothing devious, maybe just a bit lazy to bother to search out my old name and just easier to start fresh.
I remember Cathy when we talked about tobianos and homozygousity way back even before 2005, and Jan Owen and Jan H who were pretty good at predicting filly or colt, and lots of others on here over the years (sorry they dont come immediately to mind as I type this)
I also started a thread way back years ago called the Lost Foals Group where anyone losing a foal could talk about it and try to brain storm what might have happened to keep it from happening to anyone else. I even posted the Necropy on here.
"There is absolutely no excuse for what she posted to Kathy,...That kind of language doesnt belong on this board or anywhere above high school."
Speaking of high school....if you'd ever taken a high school politics course, you might realize what I meant by "stfu". Let me just fill you in, (we're going way back to the days of MLK, President Johnson and Nixon here)...back in the 60s and 70s during the age of 'peace and love', and the Vietnam War...with 5 kids in "university" surely you remember? Peace vigils, peace ralleys, citizens rallying carrying signs picketing WAR??? "Make Peace, Not War" "Stop The Fight~Unite"....things like that....only one of the greatest historical eras in United States History, but no biggie, if you missed it in your high school classes, I'm here to help you. Those letters became popular b/c of people sporting custom made silk screen shirts with the letters "stfu" on them (short form of the picket sign)...to protest war. I had no idea that there was any other meaning, other than this, until i spoke to my teenage son after you guys blew up...(he is a "text a holic").....now, DeeJay, I can assure you that I would NEVER say that to a total stranger, much less a newcomer on the board, regardless of their opinion. BUT I assure you this as well....HAD i meant what it means in the texting world, it would have been addressed to YOU PERSONALLY, IN CAPITALS, BOLD, UNDERLINED, AND ITALICS, IN A 60PT FONT. ~sincerely, Diana
Michelle Im still lurking around. Decided after some private emails with Dee that you cant let people bully you. I bet she used to steal kids lunch money too..
Dee, you live in Canada too right? Funny I studied US history one semester and I never heard of her explaination. Shes like 30 something so this was all way before her time, but cudos for thinking it up
but for anyone who believes it, I have some ocean front property in Arizona for sale.
Poor Elizabeth.... what started out as an enquiry regarding Safe Tough Fencing Urgently requiring assessment, became a thread of BARBED wire! Amusing, and, in between the barbs there were some really good tips! Glad to hear that everyone is still here reading!!
And this is the difference between an educated and an uneducated mind.... I might be only 37, and yes it was all before my time, but I have gone to the effort to educate myself...which is more than I can say for many folks here. Before you open your opinionated mouths, do a little research on what you're about to argue....look into it at least, you idiot.
You know I almost jumped into this right after I saw they thought you had typed that Diana...I have never seen you use those words and I really thought that to be very "not like you" at all....it's just a board for goodness sakes...but I learned something...I now know the proper meaning of that little 4 letter thingy! HA HA....but I slowly backed away and thought...she'll be back to take care of this and explain... I hope everyone learned something from this....have a great night...
quite entertaining . What is the acronym for idiot? Must be some very important fictional event in US history nobody has ever heard of and doesnt turn up in a google search either. Better google that one myself just to be sure.
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