Foaling Journal for I AM Ranch Miniature Horses
May 19, 2010 Back to the drawing board. and I am as lost as ever! I cannot even tell if Dream is pregnant. She is not very fat, has a very full bag, and would be due on June 21, 2010 if she has a 335 day gestation. But, Dream surprised us in 2009 by popping out her filly after only 313 days of gestation. I was sure she was pregnant and didn't see any more heats after breeding her last July. But, this past month she went over to Jazz's stall and solicited his attention with all her womanly charms. I was shocked and began to question if she was pregnant. I still do not know. If she has the same short gestation rate, she would be foaling on May 30! Here is Dream from last night. Not very big, but a nice sized bag with milk. Dream is in shape again from all of our driving, but her belly looks symmetrical and not lopsided like babies make them look. When I saw her in heat, I did breed her one time. Thankfully, over mini friends stopped me and said this could cause her to abort if she is pregnant. One goofball warned me I would have a foal with a funny shaped head due to my re-breeding her. So, we wait. Yes, I could go ultrasound her, or I can be patient.
I can't pretend that I am not mystified. Lisa caught me staring at her belly last night and watched me quietly for a few minutes before cracking up. Yes, I was looking for movement.
May 20. It is ten minutes into this new day and I am up testing Dream's milk. 1.75 squares change. Her bag keeps seeming to get bigger, but her belly does not. I pulled her into a foaling stall. Out of curiosity, I try and guess color Coat Color Calculator for Horses There is even more guesswork here for it asks me to plug in values I am not sure of. The father is Warrior who I think is a Bay Tobiano. He has always thrown bays and all have been solids. So, I am guessing he is Homozygous Black, homozygous bay and heterozygous tobiano. Dream comes from many reds...so I suspect no agouti is present. If she is heterozygous roan, we end up with 25% bay tobiano, 25% bay, 25% roan, and 25% bay tobiano roan. If she is homozygous roan, our potentials are: 50% bay roan and 50% bay roan tobiano.
Lots of 'ifs' in all these thoughts. IF she is pregnant, this foal will be a full sibling to Supreme who is a bay roan. Supreme was one we chose to keep and is a doll!
May 22, 2010 Oh my, her milk squares just said she is having a baby TONIGHT. The squares changed in 6-10 seconds. So, do you think my mystery is solved. Partly it is. I KNOW she is pregnant. Remember this is the mare I bred 2 weeks ago to Warrior for she was strongly soliciting him?!?! But, there is still mystery.....If Warrior is the daddy, and IF the baby comes in the wee morning hours of 5/23, then this baby will be born on day 306.
But, IF Bailey is the dad, then the baby will have been cooked for 362 days.
I bred Dream to Bailey 5/21-5/26/09 and bred her to Warrior 7/20/-7/21/09.
Anything I need to know about a baby if it is only 306 days cooked? They mystery will be solved as soon as I see the color on this foal. Red base will be Bailey and black base will be Warrior. More to come. We are scouring our neighborhood for straw. If we can't find it, we will use Bermuda hay as the bedding.
4 AM All is quiet here! I am really hoping the strips are wrong, for I think this baby would be premature if it appeared tonight. Here is how Dream looks; she is tiny for a pregnant mare. I think this baby needs more time in the oven. I was hoping we would not meet it until at least June.
May 23 Funny, funny outcome. I was up and down all night watching close and dreading this foal. I had spent hours reading on premature foals and learning what was in store for us. I did learn some interesting things. Did you all know that many preemies have floppy ears? I saw some pictures of this in some of my books. They also have silky coats and skin and of course legs that do not support their weight (Wendy must know this all too well), but what was really scaring me was the need to go rotate their bodies every hour around the clock to keep pneumonia from forming in a lung. We are handfeeding 8 baby Psittacines already and I can't imagine adding a premature foal to our busy days. If Dream was going to have this baby at 306 days, I wanted to be prepared for what was in store.
So, the night passed and she looked peaceful. I did go shave her down before bed, take pictures and find straw for bedding. A family from our Church came over and slept in my room in anticipation of meeting baby.
At 4:24 AM, as I was pondering everything, I realized an error in Jess' methods of testing the milk strips. She has used the wrong water (tap water) thinking she was using the distilled water. Tap water has calcium in it and would make the strip test appear to be accurate. We handfeed parrots and go through bottled distilled water like crazy. One container had emptied out in the afternoon and I had filled it with tap water and apple cider vinegar to take down to one of the aviaries as the drinking water for the parrots. This bottle was put away by someone else (who was probably just trying to help mom with kitchen cleanup) in the cupboard where the handfeeding supplies rest. That is exactly where Jess goes for the distilled water when she is testing the milk. No wonder it was positive. I even had Lisa go up and supervise Jess as she tested the milk again before I concluded that we were having a baby. Lisa had done that, but she did not know that there was tap water in the distilled water container!
And, when I realized it all, I started laughing, REALLY laughing. Laughing out of relief that there was not a preemie in my future and relief that the milk strip test did not fail me. I forgot to apologize to the family from church who was camped out on my bedroom floor in the midst of my laughter.
YAY, no premature baby. We would've managed, but I didn't want to walk down this road. I still believe this is a Warrior foal and we are on day 306. I hope those strips don't test positive until June! Off to feed more parrots.....
May 25 Dream is in a full heat again. I had Jazz (stallion) tied up to her rail while I harnessed him tonight and she was winking and peeing and showing all the signs of heat. But, her bag is getting fuller and her belly looks lopsided. She also is spending most of her nighttime laying down. Dream has got to be one of the sweetest mares I know. She sure shows a strong heat for being pregnant. Now that Jess is testing her milk with distilled water, all has quieted down and I don't think we will meet baby tonight. She does sleep often in a position that sets off her foaling alert buzzer and I am awake a lot looking at her.
It looks like Magic is no longer coming into heat, nor is Morning, and Angel might now be settled too. Lily just finished a heat cycle.
Dream's bag continues to fill up, but she also continues to show signs of heat. I do believe she is pregnant. All night, she sleeps laying down and bites at her belly. She sure hides her pregnancies well though and does not have much of a belly.
June 19: Her belly has not grown, I am finally giving up. She has a very full bag, but I think this is a false pregnancy. We are all disappointed, but are thankful for the 3 babies we did have this year.