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Maiden mare at 346 days.

This is my first time posting so please forgive me if it is out of place.
I have a very special maiden mare who is at 346 days today. It is driving me insane! She is huge, bagged up and perfectly content. :eek:
This is my first mare to foal and I am so impatient. She has been bagged for weeks and I want the baby now!
I hear that maiden mares do whatever they please when it comes to foaling. Is that true? I have read every piece of literature out there about foaling and she is all over the board.
I am just looking for any advice and someone to talk to before going crazy.
Thank you.


Plan an outing where you’ll be away from the farm for the whole day. Guaranteed baby will arrive while your’e gone. Or, sleep in the barn for a week on foal watch, have a pizza that runs right through you and she’ll have the baby while you’re in the house on the john.

Only half kidding.

I’m no expert on foaling but the few I have seen (about a dozen) have mostly waxed up within 48 hours of foaling. Some waxed up in the morning and had the foal by that afternoon… Some were waxy for a week.

I like how you think! We will be gone most of the day today so maybe we will get lucky. She lost her mucus plug at 328 days (vet confirmed) and I thought for sure she would have the baby early. Nope. Not Sass that would be too easy.

All mares do whatever they please. What is her calcium and pH levels? It is really irresponsible and foolish to leave a late term mare unattended for more than a couple of hours in my opinion so please don’t do that. It would be a shame to come this far just to lose them both because they were unattended.

I do not know her calcium or Ph levels. In my reading it said that those readings were as undependable as bagging up could be. Pool testing kits are usable correct?

Yes, get a pool test kit that has pH go really low - you want below 7.

And I agree, don’t leave today without someone else watching. Her description says she could go any second, and when things go wrong there are just minutes, if that, to help.

Calcium is less reliable it seems than pH. pH is much more reliable, though still not to the hour or even quite the day - some mares hang on with really low pH for days. Those are the outliers though, not the norm.

Calcium and especially pH are very good at giving you an idea when they will not foal. They are somewhat unreliable with maidens who can change quickly but still worth doing. Regardless of what her numbers are you do not leave her unattended now however. The magic number for pH is 6.2 or lower so make sure your strips measure at least that low.

340 days gestation is MERELY a suggestion! LOL!

One of mine went 362. An ET foal, vets said surrogate mare would never go late. <<sigh>>

Thank you guys. I will get a kit and test her. I checked her late last night and she was standing at her round bale and wondering why I was there. She is even bigger now than the picture shows in the original post.

What makes you feel she is “all over the board” based on what you have read?

340 days is just the average. More mares go over, than under. My maiden went 353.

Is she leaking/dripping milk? Any wax? Is her bag going down any during the day and going back up at night, or is it pretty stable and very full, as in, ther isn’t any crease down the middle?

In her picture she doesn’t look particularly dropped, as if the foal had moved into foaling position, but that was 6 days ago so could have changed. How is the muscle tension around her tail head? Firm, or really loose?

How about her vulva - normal, or getting relaxed and elongating?

I know I know! Then I see all these posts about carrying a full year and so on. Oh my goodness I hope she doesn’t make us wait that long. lol

She lost her mucus plug at day 328 and vet said most go pretty soon after but could carry full term or longer. Her muscles and tail head are loose and “squishy” there is no resistance at all when moving her tail. It has been that way since 328. The day I noticed the mucus plug loss she was colicy appearing and rubbing her sides and rear end on everything. Then it all went away and shes been fine. Her udder will be big and full then go way down the next day and so on.
She is kept in a large run on the side of the barn separate from the others. In the afternoons while I ride and do chores I let her out to graze with the others. Some days she wants with them and others she stays as far away as possible.
Same with her mini friends. She is such a sweet even tempered mare and always kind to the little guys. BUT now some nights they can come in her run and other nights they better not look at her.
Sass is also on and off her feed. She will scarf it down and her alfalfa too then the next meal she is uninterested and so on.

Oh, maiden mares… I had one that went 392 days if I remember right - bagged up for months. And that is nowhere near a record!

I found the milk tests were not that accurate, but tasting milk was pretty accurate - if you can stand it. Salty milk means you still have a ways to go. Sweet, white milk means you have up to 48 hours of no sleep.:wink:

Mares may read the books, but they don’t follow them! Even non-maiden mares - I had one that went 339 days EVERY SINGLE TIME. She earned bonus points. Another who went anywhere between 325 and 358. I think her rule was - when it gets too hot, dump the load.

That is too funny. Im not sure I can handle tasting the milk but you never know I might get desperate. Oh I would love a mare like that 339 on the money must be great! I feel for those of you who have had to wait so long, I sure hope she has it soon.

Maiden mares can be frustrating. We have one at 358 days and finally testing ready. Had one foal during the blizzard in January at 335 days, tested 7.5 ph 250 calcium. I hope you have someone close that is knowledgeable and can help if you have problems. Foaling is not for the feint of heart!! If you read the last Chronicle Issue about the NICU at New Bolton the colt Dinghy was foaled by us.

We have one mare that is regular as rain. She’s had 5 foals for us now, and every single one of them was born 11 months 3 days after her last breeding date (with one exception, he was 11 months 4 days). I bred my favorite mare. She foaled out at 379 days! I watched her for 2 months of practically no sleep, terrified to leave her alone. She’s quite a quirky mare in a lot of ways, and I was afraid of what kind of mother she might be, didn’t want her to have an unattended birth no matter what. Turns out she’s a fantastic mom, and even mothers the other mare’s foal ALL THE TIME!

So I second everyone else. Don’t leave her alone at this point. I’ve had good luck with testing pH. Even my long overdue maiden. At the end, I was testing her 6+ times a day. She hovered at 6.5 for 3 weeks. Hit 6.2 and baby was here two hours later.

We had a maiden mare foal last night at 339 days with very little prior warning. Our other maiden mare (currently 345 days) has looked ready for a week but doesn’t seem to be in any hurry at all. Every mare is different and most of their variations are perfectly normal.

No worry. I had a maiden mare foal at 390 days! Just 2 days short of 13 months. No medical issues at all during the pregnancy. The mare and foal were perfectly fine! FYI most of my mares traditionally go to 12 months give or take. So this one was particularly worrisome going onto 13 months. My very experienced repro Vet said nature will take care of itself. He was right. This 13 month gestation foal is now a strapping 16.3 hh hunter at 4 years of age.

That is too funny. Im not sure I can handle tasting the milk but you never know I might get desperate. Oh I would love a mare like that 339 on the money must be great! I feel for those of you who have had to wait so long, I sure hope she has it soon.[/QUOTE]

Taste test is actually not that horrible - make sure your hands are clean, squirt a few drops of milk, and just put it to your tongue - you don’t have to drink a cup of it, hahahaha… A few drops is plenty. I read about it years ago on COTH, and after having milk PH testing that was totally inaccurate, I decided to give it a try. It proved to be way more accurate!

340 is a suggestion and we don’t worry until they go over 365.
When their milk first comes in, some mares will bag up and drop and then it will stop for weeks.
I have one that is due 5/9 and she bagged up and is dripping from her left side. It will most likely stop after a day or two. Had another mare drip and then stop a week, checked her bag and nothing so went to bed and within a few hours she bagged up and had her baby.
I know it’s impossible, but don’t worry. Mother Nature is wonderful, she will have it in her sweet time. :slight_smile: good luck! Foaling/breeding season is my absolute favorite time at our place.