First foalersFirst foalers coming up for the nightThere is a big buzz around the farm these days. You can feel the anticipation and excitement in the air. Foaling season is getting closer and closer. Despite the rumors around the area that some farms have already had foals, we are all still putting our money down on who’s going to be the first girl to brave it and introduce her new baby to the world. The first foalers are up in the roomy A-block stables (our equivalent of Hartford House’s Room 16) and the rest of the mares are in the process of being tested for pregnancy one more time before the season starts.

MaresMares up in A-BlockThese heavily pregnant mares can be just as moody as any pregnant woman and you daren’t mention within earshot how ‘big’ she is looking. Most of them are not happy yet either, with the idea that ‘some person’ comes into their stables first thing every morning, and last thing every afternoon, squats, and takes a good look at their udder. Their udder you might ask?

udderAn udder starting to fill with milkWell, a mare’s udder is one of the best indicators of how close she is to foaling (besides her covering date of course). It starts filling up with milk 2-4 weeks before foaling, the teats become engorged 4-6 days before foaling, and last but not least the teats get a wax tip on them 1-4 days before the big day.

This is understandably very variable, as we are talking about a living creature and not a motorcar. So while we’re still trying to catch as much sleep as possible before they start dropping anything from one to five foals a night, log onto our website and check out our stallion pages to get an idea about who’s going to be the sire of next year’s progeny. And by the way, my five Rand is on Shirley Singer to be the first to foal.

Posted by Annet Becker