Whether this is your mare’s first time or she’s a pro, it’s important to keep a close eye on her before she foals. There are quite a few telltale signs to be on the lookout for. These behaviors indicate that things are moving along smoothly. It can even be helpful to create a checklist!
Normal Signs Before Foaling
- An enlarged udder. The udder may become full overnight, but shrink during the day when she exercises. If it becomes full 24/7, then the foal is coming soon.
- As foaling gets closer, the teats also become enlarged. They will project outward.
- Wax-like beads will form on the end of each teat.
- The hip and buttock areas will begin to relax, which creates a hollow near the base of the tail.
- The abdomen may shrink a week before foaling.
- The vulva will swell within the last 24-48 hours.
- Some mares may experience droplets of milk.
- She likely will become uncomfortable. This can include pacing, kicking her sides, and swishing her tail.
- Many mares break into a sweat and feel warm as labor approaches.
In most situations, the mare delivers her foal without help. You will want a vet on call for any abnormal signs. Things can quickly take a turn for the worse, so make sure to monitor your mare around the clock.
Is your mare delivering a spring foal? Check out ‘Top 10 Names For Horses Inspired By Spring‘.