Foaling Journal for I AM Ranch Miniature Horses
4/26/17 FINALLY!! I started the journal for this year. We planned our babies for late in the season to avoid conflicts with the Arizona qualifying shows. There have been lots of struggles with our mares thus far due to udders blowing up prematurely. When an udder fills before it should, I suspect placentitis. I then start the mare on an anti-inflammatory, an antibiotic and Regumate. Both Lassie and McCarthys Cameo have had big udders during these last few months and so I pulse the antibiotic monthly with them. I keep them on Regumate. It amazes me how their udders soften and decrease quickly. BUT, Lassie's bag is not responding any more and is big despite our attempts. So, she will probably be having a baby soon. Please pray for a healthy outcome...please!!! Lass was the first horse that I have ever heard scream during foaling and I am hoping that it was just last year when she was a maiden. Second births are easier....right??? We did have one foal be born and he was already septic from the uterus. This was Colson and he was able to pull through and is not a strapping strong 2 year old. Thus, we are anxiously awaiting the birth of Lassie's baby.
Sprinkles also has a full udder, but she should have by this point. Her pH is dropping as is her calcium level. She might plateau on us, but if she keeps going as she is, I would guess that we will meet baby within a few days. My oldest daughter no longer lives with us and so foaling is left in our hands. Jess, Anna and I are ready! Thankfully, we still have our neighbors (now they are in-laws!!!) who also have stood by and helped with births. Our nights are around 60 degrees and our daytime highs are not overly hot yet. Perfect baby weather!!!
We use 2 types of milk strips. The first one tests just pH and I can drip the milk straight from the udder to the strip. The second type, I have to mix the milk with distilled water. This second strip tests calcium levels. I buy these Calcium strips from Nurenberg Scientific Supply in Portland for about $60 for 100 strips. They can be ordered by phone at (503) 246-8297. I cut our strips in half to make them last longer.
4/27/17 Lassie is blown up just HUGE! Her back end is loose and swollen. She looks very ready. Her pH could drop a bit more , but it is light green. I am not sure which mare is going to birth first at this point. Lisa is guessing Lassie
I am guessing Sprinkles. Her pH is also green, but a light green. Her calcium though has dropped greatly. Almost all 4 squares on the quantum strips change color. There is a slight hint of color that does not change, but very small hint on square 4.
Dusty and Lassie have noticeable body changes. Very soft tailheads, very swollen in the back, but neither have milk that is testing ready.
4/29/17 Lassie's pH has increased, so I don't think her foal will be here as soon as Sprinkles'.. Her pH increased due to it either being morning time or because she did not get her usual Regumate on 4/27/17 (pversight). Sprinkles' pH remains low. Sprinkles calcium has also dropped noticeably. She is testing ready to have a baby at any time. HIGH ALERT !!! HIGH EXCITEMENT!!!!
4/29/17 Lassie's pH continues to increase so I am concluding that the drastic drop was from her missing her Regumate for one day! Baby looks like it will not be showing its face anytime soon.
No baby from Sprinks! Her pH is 6 and the strip stays yellow....with a ever so slight tinge of green. Her calcium is in the correct range too. We fully expect baby to be here anytime. David and Lisa even slept here last night in anticipation of baby coming, as did Maryanne! Tonight, we are on our own!
Our days are warm and while my heart breaks for those in Texas and the Midwest who are experiencing horrific storms, our weather is warm and perfect for surfing~
7:40 PM I am yelling at the TV monitor, "Okay, Sprinks, it is dark, the barn is quiet...let's get this show on the road!!!" Her only response is a methodical pawing at her hay pillow!
5/1/2017 Sprinkles had an easy text book birth about 10:45 PM last night!!! The Lor d blessed us with a bay filly that is leggy and has a dishy head thanks to her sire. Hoping that she trots and don't really see how she could not.
Dusty is pacing and streaming milk. She is pawing and swollen. Her pH has dropped to the 6.0 level. We think she will not even hold out another 24 hours. She is heavily waxed and there are cow pie poops everywhere.
Lassie's pH has also dropped and the strip is yellow when the milk first hits. Then it changes to green.
At noon, Dusty laid down and started to push. We were so blessed to be there as was Maryanne (Dusty's owner!) This was truly a gift from God, for Maryanne never is home from work and it is so rare to have a mare foal in the middle of the day! Sprinkle's baby slipped out in under2 minutes.....Dusty is very small and it took about 30 minutes to get baby out.
5/4/2017 There is no easy walk through life....Dusty has been undergoing an awful impaction colic. She is improving, but the road has been rough! Chaparral Equine Hospital is an incredible place and we all adore Dr. Andrea! Sleep has been non existent while we have walked this path with Dusty, but are so thankful that all seems to be improving.
This morning, Jess tested Lassie's pH and said that we were a long way off. It was darker green. But, we all took a long after noon nap and just woke up. Jess tested her again and her pH is yellow! Lass' calcium has been testing ready for a few days, but not her pH. Jess is convinced that foaling is coming.......Jess was so concerned that we didn't even want Anna to go exercise on her bike. All hands on deck! Calling the Ronsicks and pleading for fellow Christians to pray for strength and wisdom.