Top 10 Foal & Young Stock Care Tips
Tuesday 09 November 2010
1. When foals & young stock are born, ensure they are breathing. Take away mucus that can obstruct the nostrils. You can stimulate breathing by softly twisting the ear or slapping its face very gently.
2. Immediately after birth, baby horses and ponies could be susceptible to septicaemia. This can be prevented by dipping the umbilical stump into iodine.
3. Newborn foals & young stock should attempt to feed within their first hour of life. If he is latched on properly you will hear a slurping sound.
4. Within the first 2 hours of being born, you must check that there is bowel movement in the foal. Give an enema after the first time the foal nurses.
5. Horses and ponies are extremely protective over their foals, so the best horse care you can give is to leave the mare and foal alone together. They need to bond without intrusion.
6. Every day, spend about 15 minutes touching the foal’s hooves, feet, ears, nose and rubbing the whole body. This will prepare him for being handled in later life by adults, e.g. whilst being shod.
7. It is critical that a foal gets the first milk from its mother. This contains antibodies that young horses and ponies need to protect them from disease. Without this, they have no natural immunity.
8. Have your foal vaccinated by your vet for the best horse health.
9. Remember never to get too much in the way of the mare and her foal. She can become aggressive to anyone she deems a threat to her newborn.
10. If you encounter any sort of horse care or health issues, you should contact your vet immediately.