I have a mare due February 4th (unless she goes closer to her previous gestation of 320 days, then we're looking at January, but anyways..). She is a thin skinned Arab, gets cold very easily. She normally starts wearing her blanket in Novemeber, and typically has to wear it through April.
This mare is an overly sensitive princess, and if she gets too cold she will just stand in a corner in her stall and shiver. She won't even look at any type of food. We've had some mild colic episodes with her on nights that her blanket wasn't on, and she got too cold. So, I know it's not a problem until she starts getting close to foaling.
Then what? Do I leave it on her until I know she's in labor? There's really no way to heat my barn, as it's kind of more of a mare-motel on the side that I put the foaling stall.
Then what do I do when baby comes? I don't want the foal to have to deal with a blanket to nurse, but I don't want my mare freezing either. When she foaled in 2007 in May, it wasn't a problem.
I live in California, so it really doesn't get that cold, but I guess she's just a wimp lol.
I also have very thin skinned Arabs so I feel your pain! I kept a blanket on my mare until she was very close to being due but she foaled in June so it was much easier taking her blanket off in May than it would of been in January!
Does she give you good hints that she's about to deliver? One of my mares always start dripping milk and then delivers that night, with her I could leave her blanket on until hours before she foaled.
I wouldn't worry about after foaling, I put a blanket back on my mare after she foaled and the baby nursed fine.
aw, crud, hadn't even thought of that!!! JUst moved to OK from TX, and will probably need blankets...I have some foal blankets, and having babies in FEB...YUCK!!! Too cold for foal watch...can we RESCHEDULE!?
Annie- I'm too paranoid about barn fires with heat lamps, a family member's barn burnt down due to the one night she left a heat lamp on. Barn fires are my worst nightmare :S If I had a metal barn, then I'd def. think about hanging one, but I just don't want to risk it with my old wood barn.
Tracy- She has only had one foal, but she waxed and was dripping milk the day she foaled, so it was pretty obvious. Maybe if I just removed the hind leg straps? I just don't want baby being caught in them :S Hows Reggie's leg doing? I havn't heard any updates on him in a while.
Diana- Seriously! The things we do for these mares, lol.
Samantha, I can understand your concern for fire. I was also thinking heat lamp, but that really wouldnt make you feel better. I wonder if there is a design of a blanket that would work better for her to nurse than others? I was also thinking, that if you do blanket her before she foals, just take the blanket off when she seems really close and turn on a heat lamp temporarily. After she foals add the blanket back. If you have her on mare stare we will help you watch her!!! Then you have many eyes and wont miss it. Diana, I worry about the cold and I am still in Texas! LOL!
Samantha, thanks for asking! He's doing well, his leg does have a lump from his injury but he seems to be sound. I noticed he trips very easily now though so I'm hoping with time that goes away. I haven't ridden him yet but will probably get on him soon.
As for your mare I think I would keep the blanket on with the hind straps off and when she starts to drip milk, take the blanket off completely. After she foals, put her blanket back on and I bet you'd be fine!!
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