Five Foaling Kit Must-Haves You Might Have Forgotten
You’re not a doctor, a veterinarian, or even a midwife. But this spring you’re going to be called upon to oversee a birth, and be prepared to step in to make sure the newborn and mother are healthy and happy. Sound familiar? You might be a horse breeder.
If you are not ready for this yet and are just starting to consider breeding, and not sure how the find the right stallion for your mare; this link to our article on choosing a stallion offers a few suggestions, https://equinefacilitydesign.com/misc/choosing-stallion-mare.htm
Whether you have one foal on the way or a barn full of babies to look forward to, you want to have your foaling kit ready to go before they arrive. So here are five foaling kit must-haves you might have forgotten, and helpful tools to get your foal and mare on the right track.
A Portable Cell Phone Charger: Night watch can be a long, lonely sort of job. Especially if you have a mare who seems ready to go but just won’t get on with it. Resort to playing with your phone, as you do anytime you’re bored, and you might find that you’ve run down your battery right when you need it. If you need to call the vet, or someone else for assistance, you must have a charge on your phone. Grab a few portable phone chargers and keep them charged and ready as part of your foaling kit. Then you can bide your time playing your favorite app.
A Trash Bin with a Lid: It’s important to store the placenta off to one side once it has passed; you want to be able to study it in an idle moment after the foal is up and nursing, so that you can be sure it’s all there. It’s vital to be certain that all of the placenta has been delivered, or the mare risks serious infection. But certain other animals you might have hanging around the barn are also interested in placentas, specifically, dogs — or even coyotes! Put it in a bin or bucket with a fitted lid so that you can be sure you have a specimen to inspect later.
KY Jelly: Most foaling kits have an enema kit, in case the foal is having trouble passing the meconium. If you already know how to use the enema kit, you’re in good shape, but you might want a little extra lubrication. Although your tack room probably has a tub of Vaseline on the shelf, grab some KY Jelly for this sort of job. It’s water-soluble, which means it washes right away without any gunky build-up — the very thing you want to avoid in this situation. KY Jelly can also be applied to sterile gloves, in case you have to make any explorations.
A Pad and Pen: Yes, you might be able to scribble the outline of your great new horse novel while waiting for your mare to just get on with it. But it’s also great for writing down times: what time contractions are coming, what time the water breaks, etc. And should you need to reach your vet, only to be told to call an alternate line or other doctor, you’ll have someplace to jot down the new number, without wasting time searching for pen and paper.
Unscented, Clean Towels: You know a foaling kit should have lots of towels, but are your baby towels thrown in with the rest of your delicious, lavender-aromatherapy-scented Tide? Or are they washed with unscented detergent? You want the latter. A foal and a mare only want (and need) to smell each other, so if you’re forced to jump in and do some towel-drying on the foal, make sure you don’t leave him smelling like detergent. Even though, at this point, you could probably all use a little aromatherapy.
So these are five great tools to add to your foaling kit. What’s in your foaling kit? Tell us here, or at our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/equine.architecture, and happy foaling season!