Thursday, August 1, 2013

Our newest addition - cute foal photos!

We had our one foal this year (for us, I did foal out a boarder's mare back in April) on July 23rd.  Aya went into early labor around 8 pm or so, so I checked on her hourly all night long.  She was pacing, but not seemingly in much of a hurry so I didn't camp out in the barn.  I checked on her at 7 am and she was just standing by the water barrel in the arena.  At 7:20, I got a phone call from Nadia, who was in the barn to feed horses "There is a baby".  I told her no, no baby yet.  "Yes, the baby is on the ground!".  That woke me right up.  Sneaky mare, had that kid between 7 and 7:20.  By the time I got out to the barn, the foal was up.  I checked the important parts and let out a big sigh...another colt!  But, he was big and healthy, so that is ok.

He didn't seem to be finding the milk bar as quickly as I like, so we moved mom and baby to the foaling stall, where it's a little more contained.  He still wasn't getting it.  He bumped around the stall, trying to nurse on the wall, on her legs, on me.  I was starting to get worried.  Foals should have their first meal ideally within 45 minutes of being born and we were along about 2 hours now.  I kept trying to direct him to the milk bar, squirting milk in his mouth and every once in a while he'd latch on and get a few sips.   But, not the healthy guzzle you like to see!  I've had many foals born here and can pretty much see when something isn't quite right. Better to catch something like this right away, than hope and have the foal crash.

So, a call to Pilchuck Vet Hospital and Dr. Hollohan was on her way.  She did a thorough check of him and we got him up again (Stand UP! turned into Stan.  Sorry kid!).  Finally, with quite a bit of help, we got him drinking decently.  Aya was a champ the whole time, being very patient with all the human activity.  He had his first poop (important) and Dr. Hollohan took blood for an IGG.  I often don't worry about an IGG (to see how much colostrum they've ingested basically) if the foal is bright, normal and nursing well.  Stan wasn't quite there.  If the IGG is low, you have to go to the big guns, which cost quite a lot of money.  The results came back as 600 - low is 400-600, normal is 800 plus.  So he was high low...but was now much brighter and nursing very well.  He was bouncing around the stall like a rubber ball, so after consulting with the vet, we decided to wait until the next morning and pull blood again. 

The next morning, the results came back:  2300.  Obviously, he'd been doing a VERY good job of eating all night long.  Whew!  Out of the woods!

Since then, he's been a normal kid - Aya has taught him how to walk beside her (which really is kind of funny, watching a mare school her foal).  We put her out in the front pasture next to Cady, Xena and Annie and I swear she was telling Cady "THIS is how you do it, silly"

Stan figuring out how to keep flies off - 2 days old. Monica Bretherton photo

Stan is now a bit over a week old and is walking out to pasture each morning and coming in with a halter and lead (easy to just start that way, then they never argue) and all the mares (Cady, Annie and Aya) and Xena are out together.  I need to get some photos of Stan and Xena - she's almost 3 months old, so is quite big and robust and then there is small, slender Stanley.  The funny thing is, he's in charge.  I think Xena was a little startled when he started chasing her.  The moms just watched to make sure there wasn't too much 'horseplay' and then let them be. 

Stan at two days old - Monica Bretherton photo
Stan at 3 days old, Angela Davenport photo - do you see a theme?
So, as the Stan Man is exactly that, a man (male anyway), he is for sale.  He should mature between 15.2 and 16 hands and be big and stout like his parents.  He shows lovely gaits and has the calm, laid back Salam temperament.  Buy him now before weaning and get a great deal.  Buy him and you can change his name!

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