Pregnant mare

Discussion in 'Equine' started by minister man, Jul 14, 2017.

  1. minister man

    minister man Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    522
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2007
    Location:
    New Brunswick, Canada
    I have a mare that the last time I saw her in heat was the 25th of August 2016. She was with the stallion in the pasture. I checked her again 3 weeks later and there was no sign of her being in heat so I assumed she was/ is in foal. I started giving her some mare and foal feed about 6 weeks ago, so she is definitely fat, not sure if it's foal or feed. I would assume she is in foal except there is no sign of udder development. Is it possible that a maiden mare wouldn't bag up before foaling? or should I start to get ready for disappointment?
     
  2. Teej

    Teej Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    787
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2012
    Location:
    Southern IN
    Possible but usually you see some udder development even if they don't drop their milk until the last second. What type of grass is the pasture and or hay you're feeding? Fescue can have an effect on milk production, delayed birth and thick placenta, change of diet would be in order if this is what you have. I used to take my mares off pasture their last 60 days and fed them an orchard grass/alfalfa blend hay because our pastures were fescue. My vet said 30 days but I wanted to be cautious. If the 25th was the last day she was bred the way I calculate she would be due Aug. 4th (11 months + 10 days from last day bred).

    I used to have a farrier that swore this worked for a pregnancy check. I can't attest to it's accuracy because I always had mine ultra sounded within the first month. Anyway, you tie several hay strings together or use any kind of string that's long enough and put it around their girth area, mark. Now do the same around their flank. If the flank measurement is greater than the girth they are in foal. Make sure the string is in the correct spot all the way around.
     
    TerryR, Irish Pixie and aoconnor1 like this.

  3. minister man

    minister man Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    522
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2007
    Location:
    New Brunswick, Canada
    Thank-you, I will try the string when I go to the barn. She lives in dry dock most of the time with the occasional grazing. The hay I feed is mostly timothy. I don't know what Fescue is but I will look that up.

    I probably should have mentioned that the mare is a miniature so the string won't need to be very long, lol.

    When I say August 25th, that was the day she came INTO heat, I am not sure what the last day of heat would have been, and although she and the stud were out together, I never saw him breed her either. But I did hand tease her 2-3 days shy of three weeks later and for several days after and she wasn't horsing then for sure. I have watched really closely the last 6 weeks or so and she hasn't been in heat....... So I am hoping she is in foal....... Hopfully one will be just there standing and looking at me one of these mornings.
     
  4. minister man

    minister man Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    522
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2007
    Location:
    New Brunswick, Canada
    I wasn't exactly sure where to measure at, but I measured 2" behind the front legs and 2" in front of the hind legs. The measurement at the back is 2" bigger than the front measurement.
     
    TerryR and aoconnor1 like this.
  5. aoconnor1

    aoconnor1 Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    1,447
    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2014
    Location:
    Texas
    If she is late term in foal, you should be able to feel movement under your hand when placed low in front of her hind legs on her belly. Pat her belly a few times, if something pats you back, she is in foal:). I have been able to feel every foal we've had in a late term pregnancy by doing that.

    If she is a maiden she should definitely be watched closely to make sure she foals without issue. Especially true for a mini. Ease back on the mare and foal feed a little if she is getting really heavy, and replace that with a little alfalfa. She will be getting plenty of protein from the alfalfa but not the sugars and starch from the feed. Since minis founder quite easily I would be concerned about that. But that's just me:)

    Update as you are able! I had a mare who bagged up three months prior to foaling, as well as one who barely bagged at all until after she foaled. It is different for each mare. Mostly yuo can start checking her tail head for suppleness and muscle relaxing, and her vulva will lengthen and become very soft prior to foal time. She may become restless, nip or bump her sides with her nose, twitch her tail or rub her rump on stall boards or trees or whatever. Check her daily, twice a day, as it can happen very fast. A mare should foal within thirty minutes after the start of labor, so if it starts getting long on labor time, you need to see what's happening and have an emergency plan in place with your vet should the need arise. Especially make sure your vet will do a farm call in the middle of the night if that's the case!

    Good luck, and let us know when the time comes!
     
    TerryR, Teej and Irish Pixie like this.
  6. minister man

    minister man Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    522
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2007
    Location:
    New Brunswick, Canada
  7. minister man

    minister man Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    522
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2007
    Location:
    New Brunswick, Canada
    I guess it is possible that she may not have bred on the date mentioned, she might have bred on a later heat. but I never saw her back in heat, or heard them squealing like there were when she was in heat that time.
     
  8. aoconnor1

    aoconnor1 Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    1,447
    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2014
    Location:
    Texas
    I mean, she looks like she could be pregnant, but she could have a hay belly too!! On her left side, in front of the flank, I want you to pat her soundly (not hard!) on the bulgie area, see if you get a response:).
     
    TerryR likes this.
  9. Teej

    Teej Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    787
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2012
    Location:
    Southern IN
    She doesn't look like she's in late term pregnancy but I've been fooled before. What's her size and the size of the stallion? If the stallion is a lot smaller than her maybe she's carrying a small foal. My mini mare always got huge when she was pregnant, it would look like the foal was going to pop through her belly instead of coming out the right way and none of her foals were very big. She is 32 1/4 inches and the stallion was 32 inches.
     
    TerryR and aoconnor1 like this.
  10. minister man

    minister man Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    522
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2007
    Location:
    New Brunswick, Canada
    The mare is 35" and the stud is 30"
     
  11. minister man

    minister man Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    522
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2007
    Location:
    New Brunswick, Canada
    I tried feeling the mares belly, but felt nothing. So I guess I have to get ready to be disappointed. I bought the mare, and though she was probably in foal for last summer, since there was a stallion and a few colts in the pasture that she came from But no foal.... So couldn't find a person who was standing a stallion, ............ So I bought one... figured that I could breed the mare and resell him, but I kept him. They are outside together in the day time, but are stalled separate at night, and probably from November until march they were apart. The rest of the time they have been together everyday; however two disappointing years in a row makes it hard to keep trying. I thought pasture breeding would be easy and maybe she did breed on a later heat. The vet wants a few hundred dollars to preg check her.
     
  12. ShannonR

    ShannonR hillbilly farmgirl

    Messages:
    1,150
    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2012
    Location:
    State of Jefferson
    Buy a doppler so you can hear the foal's heartbeat. Very affordable, pregnant women do it all the time
     
    TerryR likes this.
  13. minister man

    minister man Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    522
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2007
    Location:
    New Brunswick, Canada
    how do you know where to find the heart beat of the foal?
     
  14. ShannonR

    ShannonR hillbilly farmgirl

    Messages:
    1,150
    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2012
    Location:
    State of Jefferson
    YouTube University. Or Google junior college is a good one too
     
  15. aoconnor1

    aoconnor1 Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    1,447
    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2014
    Location:
    Texas
    I have never, ever paid more than 40 bucks for an ultrasound to check for pregnancy. Try a different vet!!
     
    TerryR, Teej and ShannonR like this.
  16. cfuhrer

    cfuhrer Wood Nymph / Toxophilite

    Messages:
    1,462
    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2013
    Location:
    Columbia Basin, PNW
    Why not keep them separate and hand breed? Then you know for sure.
     
    TerryR likes this.
  17. wr

    wr Moderator Staff Member Supporter

    Messages:
    16,398
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2003
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    Old timers taught me to stand behind a mare that's standing true. A chubby mare will be symmetrical but a bred mare will be bulkier on one side (pushed out was the term he used). It's not easy to explain without an example but once you see it, you'll know exactly what I mean.
     
  18. minister man

    minister man Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    522
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2007
    Location:
    New Brunswick, Canada
    When I bought the stallion my intention was to hand breed. I have two mares. The miniature mare, and a Standardbred mare. About two days after he arrived the Standardbred was in heat. I had never seen her in heat before, but it was no problem to tell then....... lol. That little stallion worked him self up and there was no doubt he felt he was up to the job. So I know those parts work. I tried putting him and the mini mare together every morning to tease, and nothing. Three weeks later I knew that I must have missed her. So I watched more closely. I caught her in heat, but the stallion didn't seem as interested in her. So being alone with both animals, it seemed reasonable to turn them out together. I did that. That was the 25th of August last year. They were separated at night, but were together all day. I counted 21 days and started teasing her again on the 18th day and teased her to the 25th day and there was no sign of her being in heat. I did the same thing three weeks later and still nothing......... They are out together everyday although there is also a miniature gelding out with them two. The mare is the boss and puts the boys in their place but the only other reason I can see that he wouldn't have bred her is because the gelding wouldn't let him. could that happen?

    The stallion gets much more worked up when the Standardbred is in heat than he ever did when the mini was in heat.
     
  19. aoconnor1

    aoconnor1 Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    1,447
    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2014
    Location:
    Texas
    I would assume that the mini mare is pregnant if she never teased again for the stallion. I would definitely at least try to find a vet who could inexpensively confirm that though if I were you.

    I agree with what wr said, a pregnant mare will generally be bulked out more on one side that the other, nad I do see that somewhat in your little mare, her left side is bulged out more. I would again try to put young hand on the bulge and pat hard enough to wake a foal and make it move, but not so hard as to hurt the mare or make her think she is in trouble:). She might have been bred later than you think, but even so, by now you should be able to feel movement. Not on the bottom part of her belles, but on her side in front of the flank, right where the bulge is in the pic:)
     
  20. Teej

    Teej Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    787
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2012
    Location:
    Southern IN
    Trouble with an ultra sound pregnancy check on mini mares is most vets won't do it for fear of tearing something or dislodging the fetus (early check).

    Yes the gelding could be keeping the stallion away if it is a dominant type, especially if it ever bred a mare before being gelded. Maybe try separating the mare and stallion from the other distractions (the gelding & Standardbred mare) and see what happens.