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Foaling Mare & Newborn: Preparing for a Safe and Successful Foal Delivery -
click this link to the American Association of Equine Practitioners Brouchure
 

Foaling Predictor Kit (Click for printable version)

 Equipment needed: 

  1. Total Hardness Test Strips (available from water testing lab)
  2. Distilled Water
  3. Little plastic disposable cups (Dixie cups),  clean (not sterile)
  4. 3cc and 6 cc syringe. 

Procedure:        

  1. Milk the mare into one cup (you only need 1 cc -- a few squirts)
  2. Measure 6 cc of distilled water into a second cup.
    In the small syringe, draw up 1 cc of milk and squirt it into the cup of water.
  3. FLUSH the syringe in the distilled water at least once. This is such a small sample that it can affect the test if you leave milk in the syringe.
  4. Dip the strip, which has four color blocks on it, and time exactly 1 minute and read the results.

Analysis:

 1-2 blocks changed -- You are a long way from foaling. The milk will be clear sticky fluid or slightly cloudy, and probably hard to get. Test every other day. 

3 blocks changed -- At this point, the mare may look like she is ready, but not tonight. Check the mare, but it is highly unlikely that anything will happen. The milk will be cloudy, and may almost be white. Test every day, same time each day.

3 blocks change right away, 4th changing if strip is left out after 1 minute -- Not yet. Continue as above...        

4 blocks changed WITHIN 60 SECONDS – Your mare is  within 48 hours of foaling, probably closer to 24 hrs or less. The milk may be white (in which case you probably don't need to test).

CAUTIONS:

  1. Measure precisely. The sample dilution is critical. Use the syringes, and flush the milk as mentioned above.
  2. Test at room temperature. In a really cold barn, the speed with which the chemical reaction occurs can be slowed up.
  3. Store the test strips per manufacturer recommendation.

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