In books I have read on foaling it says that the mammary development increases from about 6 weeks prior to foaling.It can increase for a period and then experience a plateau of development before increasing again within a week or so before foaling. Realizing that there is always exceptions and some mares may increase for longer or shorter periods.
I guess what I want to know is when this statement is made, is it meaning any development? And I am thinking it means in the udder, not the area in front of the udder correct? I assume it doesnt mean full udder development as a mare can stop then continue closer to foaling. But now what I am a bit foggy on is that a mare can go from slightly full( thats what I would refer to Sandy as right now- correct me if I am wrong)to FULL- meaning getting colostrum with a hard bag- in a very short period of time say a few hours? But yet most will have a full - but not hard full- for weeks before foaling?But a considerably fuller than Sandy for weeks? I guess what I am asking is I realize Sandys udder isnt full as in imminent foaling full but is it considered in the "six week before foaling" full? I know yall cant say exactly as we dont know for sure, but when I ask will she foal 'soon' I am thinking we are in that 6 weeks period. I realize unless she does some drastic filling she isnt imminent for foaling but with in weeks? I am also curious about the filling and deflating- everyone says once it stays full it will be soon. So during the six week period can you expect the filling and deflating constantly until it reaches a FULL status and I realize that can last for days.... Having not foaled out a mare before and after being so confused with Bonnys udder adventure, I want to understand. I want to be there with Sandy. I realize there is always a chance to miss it. I am trying to put all Sandys signs together, as I have been told not to count on the udder alone. When I read it seems she is close- meaning with in the 6 weeks- but not imminent. This is confusing because member have shared so many different foaling stories that I have no clue which one Sandy will follow.And apparently she can change from year to year also.... So what is the secret? LOL! How do you know for sure??? How do you know when you should watch dilegently or not?I am not sure at all as some tell me not to take my eyes off and others say I have months...- Not that I am offended- I am not at all! I realize no one can tell for sure. But whats the deciding factor for you personally? When do you decide not to take your eyes off them? What is the one thing that makes you say "ok time to keep a close eye on her?"
I know we will all have different opinions on this. And I am hoping one will click for me!
Bonny sandy is in the 6wks before stage. Honestly every mare that foals is different and most ppl will say the same thing meaning differently. Sandy will follow her own pattern and until you get at least 2 foals you wont have a clue what her pattern is. There is never one thing that makes you say ok gotta start watching her now its a combination of things followed up by that gut feeling. To me udder development is in the udder itself not infront of it. I do watch for a milk vein tho as it can fill before letting milk down. In my opinion Sandy is imminent to foaling. This is why ppl are so big on dates bc you just never know and until you foal out the same mare at least twice preferably more it will all be a generalized guess.
An edema usually runs all the way across an area bc its water retention Milk veins are singularly larger and long some mares do not develope a lg milk vein others have a bulging one if you see it you will know what it is kinda like the relaxed vulva thing wich she is loose. Ive seen working mares that no one knew was pregnant foal after having a 12hr work day If they ever showed any signs or fullness someone would have noticed. They usually will fill out in the area above the flanks and thats the fullness you will see. Also usually they will get skinnier and higher this is the foal getting into the birthing position; but once again this can happen hours before or weeks before
ok, here's my 2 cents. I feel that if sandy were at my house, i'd already be watching her diligently. *maybe weeks in advance, and I know it's tiresome, but I've never missed a foaling b/c I am too obsessive*...Her bag is technically full enough to foal, and her vulva is definitely making great strides for getting ready soon. I personally would check everyday for milk to test. I'd watch her behavior more than anything though, as this seems to be a good indicator with all of my mares. Even if you dont' know her foaling history...you know her daily routine. ALL of my mares do something different the day of foaling....whether it's rolling alot, or shaking their head, or just changing their favorite spot in the stall.....look at her vulva, check color, changes in attitude, eating, drinking more, etc....she'll either let you know it's coming, or not. None of my minis have EVER been subtle about it....(well, except one)....there's always SOMETHING different about them, when put together with the signs that says, "NOW".
Bonny: I tend to agree with Diana on that each mare is different. That's why you're getting such a wide variety of answers. What one does is not necessarily how the other will develop along. And Jenni is right also, some mares develope a huge bag and retain it, while others don't. It does usually take a couple of foals and then you have your mare's pattern down.
One maiden had no bag...zero...zippo...just had the milk vein, she foaled (shockingly to me) three weeks earlier than I anticipated. She didn't change behavior much other than she got "the walk" and out of the blue one morning while I was "doctoring" my mare that foaled the night before, she whinnied at me and came trotting over, turned her back to me, broke her water and we were foaling. One maiden developed the up and down bag syndrome you are experiencing. Twenty-four hours prior to foaling, she retained her udder, we knew she was close but she exhibited no other signs, left for an appointment, came back to find a foal on the ground that was probably 1-1/2 hours old. She had to have had that thing as we were pulling out of the driveway! My experienced mare was quite obvious in her week of foaling. She gets a bag gradually and retains it all along, she lays down frequently AND her 24 clue is that she becomes obsessed with being in the barn! Can't get her to go graze in the pasture, she heads to the barn and wants to just stand there. The best advice is that you just keep documenting their behaviors (it will help you in the future and then you will know their signs).
I agree...if this were my mare, I would be diligently watching Sandy!
Diana, I agree totally with you on there will be Something different, the last 2 mares I had that foaled, (I had never foaled either one out before) They were not what I would call in your back pocket horses, they didnít like attention. All the horses I have raised, or have around for any period of time are like my dogs, if I go out side and they see me they come to the fence and want a scratch. These mares where the don't bother me I donít need a scratch kind, but the day they foaled they would not leave me alone. I mean follow me, get between me and the gate & not want me to leave kind of thing. Very strange behavior for both of them. I knew right away they would be foaling soon, and with in hrs of this behavior they both did. I realize not all mares will do this, but that has been my experience.
See, this is where it gets confusing. Last night Sandy stood in a different place in her stall. No foal this am. I can related to many clues yet still she doesnt foal. Obviously it wasnt a clue for her.lol. I am not stressed out, dont want yall to think that. I am just trying to understand so I am not reading into signs that arent there. I do think Sandy is in the 6-8 week period.I dont feel she is any day. Because- her walk comes and goes, her udder and vulva changes come and go.And her poo is still pelleted again. This am her bag looks weird. Its wider but not as full.
OMGosh! Wow that helps a lot. I love seeing comparative pics. I am going to start her temp tonight. I can see a big difference in her vulva and her teats did point out, seems like her bag wasnt huge and tight. I bet it was after she foaled. Thanks for the information.
If you go to Sandy foal watch in the 2008-2009 thread on here you can catch up on everything! I just bought her 9-1-08 so have only had her a month. She was pasture bred from the previous owner- never recorded dates etc..So officially I have no clue! But seems she is close. Your more than welcome to pipe in on her preg log- we actually started a second one as the first got long. I will be posting tonights pics soon!
Please note that opinions, product information, advice or suggestions posted on this bulletin board are not necessarily those of the management at Equine-Reproduction.com nor does the maintenance of the post position indicate an implicit or any endorsement of that information, opinion or product.
Further, although we have the greatest respect for the posters offering assistance here, you are advised to seek a consultation with your veterinarian prior to using information obtained from this board if it is of a veterinary nature.Proud to be sponsored and supported by: