Consuelo foal watch

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MBENES

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In the process of introducing my mini, I included concerns related to foaling, not realizing that I was messing up the forum organization. I will update Consuelo's condition from here from now on, but the Introducing Consuelo posts have pictures from yesterday. I will be looking to this group for moral support. I've only owned her for about 45 days, and she was pasture bred, but could be due as soon as May 7th. This will be my first, and hopefully last foaling experience! I just want it to end well for Consuelo and her baby.
 

MBENES

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Consuelo has become even more touchy about her hind end, and I can't see past her belly now to get a look at her udder. I will try to take some pictures later. I was standing about 20 feet behind her and saw several violent kicks. First sure signs of life. My foal kit is ready, not sure if mini and I are though.
 

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That's wonderful you saw some kicks! She's done this before and knows what she's doing, she's ready and you'll be fine if you need to help. Waiting and thinking about everything that could go wrong is the hard part, once it's happening you'll just do it. Have you read about straightening out a foal and hip lock? It might help you to print out or sketch(if you don't have a printer like me) what to do so you feel prepared for that. I watched and read everything many times getting ready for my first one three years ago, then was watching on camera when she was in stage 1 labor, ready to get there and make sure everything was good as soon as she started stage 2. As she had the second contraction and I was putting my boots on he was delivered and on his chest right away, I got to towel him off though😊. My second one last summer, again I saw stage 1 and was out the door after the first contraction. By the time I got there he was out and she was up and had already gotten the sack off his head. He was a red bag and I would have been there in lots of time but again my mare(different mare, I rescue don't breed) beat me to it. I was allowed to help dry that one off too. I'm waiting on the first mare to have hers(big oops) this summer(any day now), she got caught by the rescued stud who came with last year, 6 1/2 weeks after I had him gelded. I'm really hoping and planning on this being my last. I don't think any of us nonbreeders are really ever ready but I think you're going to do just fine. Do you have your camera up yet? Waking up to check isn't fun but it helps to be able to look at them and know everything's fine.
 

MBENES

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I had Consuelo out with her new grazing muzzle for the first time today for about an hour. She made it difficult to get photos by following me around, putting her face in my phone. Tonight she was much calmer about my handling her udder, and I got a new shot of it. I am seeing small daily changes and like most everyone else, wish I had a better idea of how much longer. I bought a baby/pet monitor, but my son has to make some changes to the wifi. Hopefully it will be ready before she is.
 

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Taz

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Looking at her udder you still have some time if she's going by the book.
Has she had a grazing muzzle on before? If she doesn't figure it out you can hand feed her with it on so she realizes she can get food through the bottom. It normally takes a bit of them playing with it the first day. If you can put her on grass where you're not there as a distraction she would probably work at it more and get it figured out.
 

MBENES

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For the past couple of days when I have felt Consuelo's udder, she has released a few drops of something. Enough to make my hand feel wet, but I didn't see anything. I have the ph test papers, but they weren't within reach. Today I got several drops of clear liquid. It looked like water, but we were in a dry barn. I know what sheep colostrum looks like - yellow and thick. Is this normal? It certainly isn't milk.
edit here... I have had some time to research this and found a very helpful site
Foaling indicators: Mammary fluid changes

On a funny note, after years of neglect, my mini LOVES getting her butt rubbed as part of a daily grooming session. As my dog is also big on butt rubbies, I immediately recognized what she wanted. She swings her rear towards my front and begins backing into me. This is how I get her to let me examine her udder. Otherwise, she stamps her feet and gets a bit cranky.
 
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Taz

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Yes, normal but you already know that now. When you get some fluid to test try to use something other than your hand, your skin can change the pH reading.
I have a big mare who loves having her bum scratched, she'll back right into me too 😊
 

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I think MOST critters like their butt scratched. The only one I have ever met who doesn't is my mare Snickers, who delivered her foal two weeks ago today. She is a "don't touch me" grouch most of the time. Fortunately, her little one loves being touched so far!
 

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Yes, normal but you already know that now. When you get some fluid to test try to use something other than your hand, your skin can change the pH reading.
I have a big mare who loves having her bum scratched, she'll back right into me too 😊
Thanks for the tip about skin and pH. I will wear some disposable gloves for the task. I also think that I figured out why she is jumpier in the morning now. She probably has more edema, and after taking a walk, or grazing with her muzzle, it may be less uncomfortable in the evening.
 
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MBENES

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I have started getting Consuelo used to spending time at night in her big walk in stall with the lights on, a chair for me in the corner, and my equipment box. She gets her evening meal and hay there now, but I don't lock her in. She never uses it except in the worst downpours, but I plan to lock her in when I think she is close to being due, assuming my son gets the monitor issues resolved. Otherwise, I'll have to spend the night on a beach recliner, inside my sleeping bag in the stall. I want to get her used to these changes so she won't have any added stress. Anybody else have a mini that prefers the elements?
 

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Yes, I have one that will do that. I don't think he prefers the rain but wants to be able to keep his eye on everything.

Good idea getting her used to the confinement.
 

MBENES

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I have been taking pictures of her udder every other day to try to compare. Here is the latest, taken tonight. She is jumpy and doesn't want her udder touched, unlike a few weeks ago. I applied Vaseline to deter those pesky black flies, so it looks shiny. I have seen fetal movement occasionally and have no doubt she is pregnant, but when??? Pasture bred, I've only owned her since Mar 13. Earliest date would be May 7th, based on when she foaled last year and when she was put with a stallion.
 

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Can you post pictures of her from behind and her side as well as under her tail with her tail pulled to the side not up? It still looks like you have some time to go but they can be tricky.
 

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I will do it tomorrow. We have the barn camera working now, but of course she is choosing to stay outside. Once I think we are close to foaling, I will lock her inside. My plan is to set alerts to wake up every 1-2 hours and check the camera. Thank you for your input.
 

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So happy you have the camera working! It's not great waking up to check it but so much better than going out or trying to sleep out there.
 

MBENES

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Here are the latest pictures. I think she probably has a little more time, but it is just a guess. What do you think?
Can you post pictures of her from behind and her side as well as under her tail with her tail pulled to the side not up? It still looks like you have some time to go but they can be tricky.
 

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I agree, I don't think shes ready yet. Just going on how she looks I'd be guessing she has another 4 weeks at least. Unfortunately you don't know what she's going to do so it's watch and wait. Keep up with the pictures, it makes it easier to see changes starting. Some show nothing until right at the end and some drag it out for months, there's a reason foaling makes people nuts....
 

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