Here are some guidelines and facts concerning pregnant mares........
- the mare's udder begins to fill with milk 2-4 weeks prior to foaling
- the muscles of the croup and vulva begin to relax 2 weeks prior to foaling
- the teats become engorged 4-6 days prior to foaling
- "WAXING" of the teats occur 1-4 days prior to foaling.
Waxing involves the dripping of thick colostrum at the end of the teat in response to the hormonal changes that occur during parturition or delivery. This colostrum collects and sometimes hardens creating a resemblance to candle wax or honey.
- mares that are about foal often become very nervous and restless.
Some mares even appear to be colicky; kicking at her belly, getting up and down, pacing, biting at her flanks and sweating. She may frequently raise her tail and urinate. This is usually a symptom of the first stage of labor. If the symptoms of colic persist more than an hour without other signs of labor, your mare may actually be colicking and you need to contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.
**Your mare should foal either in a large quiet stall bedded with straw or outside on clean soft grass. Never allow her to foal anywhere that the newborn baby can get into trouble such as near a creek, mountainside, or close to a road. Keep dogs penned away from the mare during foaling.