Foaling Journal for I AM Ranch Miniature Horses
3/12/14 The most exciting time of the year is upon us!! Treasure and Sam are both baggin up. If you look at the chart above, their due dates, when based on an average 336 days, are far apart. However, Treasure had a much longer gestation and Sam had a shorter gestation in 2011, and if they followed their previous patterns, they will have their babies about 4 days apart. Their bags are about the same in size right now. Their bellies are not. Treasure is fairly small and Sam once again looks like she has swallowed an exercise ball.
3/16/14 Both mares are staying about the same. We are testing both mare's milks with Foaltime strips. They both are not testing ready. Treasure's official due date is tomorrow, but I have to laugh at a due 'date' on horses. I think of it more as a due 'month'. We went for a very long drive around the neighborhood this afternoon. I took Beamer, Lisa drove Justine (due in Jan 15) and Jess took a very pregnant looking Cameo. I used to call her my dancing ballerina. Now, I call her my dancing pig!
3/30/14 Time has flown by. Touch of Class came and went. Beamer is still not relaxed and performing in the show ring like he does at home, but the judges liked him and he brought home the blues. We will keep working on his ability to focus despite being in the show ring. It may be ME who needs this focus too! The mares are so close that I am now homebound until the big moment arrives for Sam and Treasure. Both are very bagged up. They are not testing ready and we can hardly get any milk out o f either one of them. Cameo is bagging up too, but is not as far along. Sam was bred about a month later than Treasure, but she may go about the same time. They are all looking pretty good for being ready to foal!
Cameo is our tiny maiden mare bred to Beamer. Jess has driven her consistently throughout this pregnancy, and I am praying this helps her foal.
Treasure is having a baby from a Shetland that I have admired. We were at a show in Riverside and bred her only one time, then packed her up and brought her home. Our chances of this breeding being successful were low, but God started growing a wee one in her belly. Here is a video of her and the sire to be.
4/3/14 I am beginning to lose it in anticipation!!! Both Treasure and Sam are huge despite being bred one month apart. I also can't even tell you which one is going to go first!
4/3/14 My fellow marestarers here at the house have told me that my record keeping on these 2 mares previously was not good. So, here is an update.
Treasure is bagged up very large. She is holding her body in a funny position where she is crunched up and her backend is dropped. We have been unable to get any significant amounts of milk from her to test her calcium. We can only test her pH which is still too high for birthing. According to my foaling calculator, Treasure is on day 347. Last pregnancy, she foaled on day 349....Excitement is building!!
This morning Sam was restless and laying down during her meal and rolling. Her vulva has lengthened considerably. Up until this morning, we could only get tiny amounts of milk to test her pH. She was too high. This morning, we were able to get a tiny, tiny bit of milk that we mixed with water 1:6 parts and tested Ca levels. They are still too high too. Behaviorally she is acting ready, but I don't think she is there yet. Sam is on day 322 and foaled last pregnancy on day 328.
Tonight is a party with our marestarers! Homemade fried chicken and potatoes! Maybe a party will motivate these 2 mares to add a baby to the crowd!
4/7/14 Big changes in Sam. This past week we have been unable to get milk from Sam at all. We can barely get out enough to even test the pH. This morning, I noticed her lying down despite breakfast in her feeder. Jess went down to test and says that there is thick milk present and that her pH is 6.0. Thus, we are predicting that we will meet a foal within 24 hours.
Treasure continues to not change. She has milk in VERY small quantities too, and is testing more like 6.4 to 6.6 on her pH. She could change at any time and I expect that to happen, considering she is on day 351!
4/8/14 Sleepless night last night and no baby this morning! Sam was extremely agitated and restless....there were multiple times we were sure she was starting. Jessie stayed up with her most of the night, and watched every horse movie she could find - from Wild Horse, Wild Ride to Racing Stripes! This morning, Sam has lots of milk, still testing ready, very miserable, and no baby. It's supposed to be 94 degrees today, so we are hoping she waits till this evening when it cools off a little!
Treasure's pH test was a little lighter green than it has been, but not light enough to make us alert. She's at 352 days today. As we were watching Sam last night, there were a couple times that we thought Treasure was going into labor! She was up and down, and very restless.
In the past when the strips have tested ready and the mare hasn't foaled, the birth has been difficult. Last year, Sam did this to us for 4 days, and then Thunder was born with one leg tucked back. Praying that tonight brings us a baby!
4/10/14 Not a whole lot has changed over here.....Sam's bag could not get any fuller. She is so dropped and relaxed and ready! Sam's hind end is swollen, her tail head is loose and her bag is huge....as is Treasure;s. Treasure is at 354 days with an incredibly full bag tonight, and her vulva is very swollen and relaxed, too. Her teats still aren't quite straight down, but her udder is so stretched and tight. When we do the calcium test on her milk, she is not ready. Cameo is progressing quickly at this point. She's almost as full as Sam, her teats are already straight down, but her belly is still surprisingly small! She's such a little mare that I expected her to be much larger than she is. She is in excellent shape though and probably will not drop as much merely due to muscling. Tomorrow night is our church's men's prayer meeting here.....it would be really fun if one mare would have it in the middle of the prayer meeting!
4/11/14 Treasure went into labor at 2:45 AM. So thankful for the watchful eyes of my daughters and church family! Here is a video of the birth! Her milk never tested ready to foal, but she went any way. We have only had false negatives one other time and that was during our red bag birth in 2010. I do know another lady who had the strips give a false negative this year though with no red bag.
Sam is miserable. She is depressed, has tested ready for many nights now, but no baby. My personal belief is that the baby is malpositioned and thus, the feet are not breaking the cervical star. The cervical star is a place on the placenta that is weaker and designed to be the spot where the feet break through and the water breaks. I am not sure of this, but if the feet are not in the position to do this job, then foaling might be delayed. I would love to hear other's opinions on this. But, when we have had many nights of false positives on pH and calcium , this has been a problem. I have been told by 2 other breeders that they had false positives and all was fine. At any rate, we are concerned. Please be praying for Sam and for us as all will break loose at some time in the future.
Cameo is coming along quickly. She is testing negative, her body does not look ready, but her bag is full.
4/17/14 Sam is still miserable, very full, very loose and her milk tests ready daily. Some days there is wax , and every night, she is restless. We are praying earnestly for the safe arrival of this baby.
4/20/14 Happy Resurrection Sunday!! Dad, Anna and Jessie put on their church clothes to go worship our Savior and just Lisa and I stayed home. My first words on Easter morn when I woke up were, "Rats, I wanted an Easter baby!" I figured I had missed my chance since the night had passed and nothing happened. Lisa told me to mellow out and that I still had 16 hours to go in the day. Lisa had gone to the barn and I was in the house when the beepers started sounding off. I ran to the cameras and saw Sam down with her back leg swinging! I start shaking immediately and screaming for Lisa who is in the barn screaming for me. I tried to get her camera for a video, but I was too shook up and just started running. As I went through the barn gate, Lisa was yelling that all was ok and she had a nose and 2 legs presenting. Just like Treasure, Sam delivered standing up, but it was smooth and easy and I am filled with gratefulness to our Lord! Bay filly. We have never had a bay born here before and now we have had 2 in a row. Dad wheeled the van around and the rest of the family arrived just as "Katie" slid out. She is named "I AM A New Creation LR" and we adore her. Nice long neck!!! Jess kept her Easter dress on for pictures of her and "her" baby.
Sam gave us no special warning before birthing. Both strips were wrong, but all was well.
4/25/14 Cameo cooperated with the instructions of the milk strips!!! They tested she was ready. On 4/23/14, she almost tested ready with 3 out of 4 squares testing ready. By the morning of 4/24/14, she was testing with all 4 squares turning and her Ph said ready also. Her bag was very full and she was very relaxed. We called some people who said they have always wanted to see a birth and prepared for a long night of mare stare and movies. Around 9 PM, Cameo started to push. Cameo is the clown of the barn and her labor reflected her uniqueness as she started to push while laying flat on her back with all 4 feet up in the air. The birth was easy, miraculous and a tiny silver filly now follows mom around. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!!!