Posted by: kanga | 2008/08/26

Horse - EDD

I have 2 mares, both currently heavily pregnant. THe one, previously a virgin, was " covered"  on the 20 September 2007, the other, a mare with experience (the others mother actually) was " covered"  on the 27 September 2007. Both are carrying heavily and have large udders. The maiden mare has now started producing milk. What is the normal gestation period for a horse and what other signs can I look for which will tell me the foal will come very soon. At the moment I m scared to leave them unsupervised in case something happens. THanks

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberVet

Dear Kanga

I have not worked with horses for a while. Can anyone else be of assistance here?

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

Our users say:
Posted by: Chill | 2008/08/27

Ah good - thanks for the feedback. I must admit I was a tad concerned at the thought of a couple of foalings without experienced supervision!

Glad all went well with the first one - I' m sure the other one will be fine, too - mostly they know exactly what to do!

Reply to Chill
Posted by: kanga | 2008/08/27

Thanks Chill.
My older mare gave birth last night without anyone knowing until this morning. THe younger we reckon will be another few days - she is secreting a clear fluid from her teats. We have a vet on standby and she is in a livery with experience of foalings. I am simply the owner and curious. But rest assured they are both getting first class treatment.

Reply to kanga
Posted by: Chill | 2008/08/26

The normal gestation for a mare is 340 days, but this may vary up to ten days either way.

There are various signs to look for to know when the birth is imminent, the production of actual milk, as opposed to a wax-like secretion, being an indication that something will happen very soon, usually within 24 hours.

If you' re not an experienced horse breeder, which it doesn' t sound like you are, then I would very strongly advise you to find and consult a vet in your area, because you aren' t going to learn everything you ought to know from a forum like this, and besides, if something goes wrong (which of course one hopes will not be the case) you need to know where to turn for help in a hurry. That isn' t the time to start making enquiries! Specially for your first-time mare, I really do think someone should be on standby.

In the meantime, if you put the words: horse gestation into Google, you' ll find quite a lot of information - look especially for a website called howtodothings which will come up in that search.

Other than that - the best technique is normally to let the mare get on with things with as little interference or disturbance as possible - keep an eye on her, though, so that if she' s in trouble, you can get her the help she needs.

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