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Our Newest Birth - Like Catching a Football

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Miniv

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We've had several foals that I need to announce, but this is our latest. Thought I should share my description of his birth to you because it was a bit unusual....This is perhaps only our third "standing birth" out of about 200 foals .......I just posted this on My Space....... (I'll post photos of our others on the Photo page soon.)

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I've never been good at team sports, especially when it requires me to catch a ball as its being thrown at me. But I was in top form for catching last night, even if it did include getting "slimed".

Our miniature mare, Maggie, has been telling us that she was ready to foal for two days now. We had her under camera at night, and she was wearing a sensor on her halter 24/7, so that when she lay down in labor, the beepers we each carried with us would sound the alarm. Most mares lay on their side when contractions begin.

Ever have that little voice in your head that tells you to stop and look or do something? Over the years, I've learned to LISTEN. So while Larry waited for me outside to go up with him to do some irrigation work, I stopped and looked at our mare, Maggie, on our TV monitor. She was laying on her tummy and glaring at her side. The red flag popped up in my brain. I described the scene to Larry as I went out and we both headed to the barn.

In Maggie's stall were a half dozen little mounds of soft poop all over. She was preparing for birth by "cleaning herself out". Larry told me he'd go up and do the irrigation so I could stay and watch.

I cleaned up all the soft poop piles, which upset Maggie a bit and she jumped to her feet. She was very much on "predator guard" for some reason. Her eyes were bugged out, her legs were set to bolt. So I watched her from outside the stall and spoke softly to her. She began to obviously contract, but showed no signs of laying down, so I ran and got a "birthing sheet" and a barn towel.

Lord knows how long she contracted. It seemed like forever before her water broke. Because she was standing, it was if she was vomiting backwards! Once that began happening, I entered the stall and waited for her to stop and place herself. As soon as she was pushing hard and heavy and STILL didn't go down, I knew this was going to be a different birth. I spread the sheet behind her and watched for the two feet to emerge…….then the foal's nose…….She pushed and squealed. Hearing her cry out concerned me because not many mares do that.

As soon as the feet were out enough to grab, I took hold, and with each push she did, I pulled. It took some work, and listening to poor Maggie squeal more, before the foal was out passed its shoulder. And then it was ALL DOWN HILL……..I held my arms like a scoop as the baby continued to be pushed out and I lowered him down to the sheet. (It was a little like catching a football in slow motion….but with legs!)

Maggie immediately looked back and checked her new package that was still partially dangling from the umbilical cord. His feet were still hooked into the birthing sack.

My next step was to spread some flakes of soft hay out around the stall for bedding. As I began that, the umbilical cord broke away between mom and baby, but I was prepared and pounced, squirting gentle iodine onto the foal's navel.

At about this point, Brianna walked in with her mouth hanging open, asking, "Does Dad know about this?"

Her dad was following her close behind……….so our normal teamwork for our births took over. The colt was up, given his selenium mineral shot, started nursing, and done his first poop by the time 2 hours had passed. Mom had been wormed, given a pain reliever, and was calmly munching on a special dish of grain……..All was good.

Maggie was so sweet to get the whole thing over with at such a decent hour……She began the process just before 9 p.m. and all was said and done by about 10:30! Of course, I should thank her son for being so on the ball as well………

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Larry took this photo this afternoon and his eyes are STILL puffy from birth.

 

Michelle@wescofarms

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LOL!!! Mary Ann - that was funny and I could just picture it happening - having been slimed/soaked to the skin by water breaking all over me a couple of times!

We've delivered a number of foals with mom standing (gravity helps at times!) especially malpresentations (we've delivered with a leg back 2 mares standing as well as a breech and one that needed to be manipulated a bit).

I do have to say though nice catch - very cute colt! So is he going to have some cute name - Fly Ball, Pass Intercepted - LOL!!!

Also - now I know who gave me the idea of the clean sheet - it was you! I always tell people about that but couldn't remember where I'd heard it before.
 

Miniv

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Oh Michelle, I knew you would be one to picture exactly what I was saying.....
 

REO

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Congratulations on your handsome colt!

One year I had two mares foal standing up!
But I was there to catch them both, so I know what you meant and I could relate! LOL
 

Southern_Heart

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Great touch down and soft landing!
You did good!


Congratulations!

Lovely foal! I like him!

Joyce
 

RobinRTrueJoy

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Very descriptive Maryann! You did a great job.

I , too use your birthing sheet idea. Its a great help.

He sure is a preety baby. I love his color and his legs too.

Its so wonderful when all goes well!

Robin
 

wildoak

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Yes, sounds like he needs a "football" name
. Great catch!


We had one foal a couple of years ago who was down, but never put her head down so never set off the alarm.....same sixth sense, I just got lucky and checked her at the right time.

Also - now I know who gave me the idea of the clean sheet - it was you! I always tell people about that but couldn't remember where I'd heard it before.
Me too LOL - thanks belatedly for that great tip!

Jan
 

mizbeth

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Great job and good looking colt too!

I like the name "Pass Intercepted" too if you can fit that into your farm/stallion name. Have fun naming him..............

Beth
 

PaintedMeadows

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Very neat!! Thank you for sharing your story. He is a beautiful boy!! Congratulations!
 

ChrystalPaths

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Wow I could feel the whole thing and "TouchDown!" well played and only you got tackled!
and how many points are those? 7? Congratulations MA he is a handsome fella!
 

Loess Hills

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Your description is so vivid..................I feel as if I were there!

You certainly got a beautiful little fellow, and glad the mare is doing well, also. Boy, what refinement!

Your description of a "football" reminded me of an old country song..........ever heard

Drop Kick Me Jesus Through the Goalposts of Life? It goes something like this:

Drop kick me Jesus through the goal posts of life

End over end neither left nor to right

Straight through the heart of them righteous uprights

Drop kick me Jesus through the goal posts of life.
 

Miniv

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Wow I could feel the whole thing and "TouchDown!" well played and only you got tackled!
and how many points are those? 7? Congratulations MA he is a handsome fella!
Ummm NINE! (I haven't posted about the other two born earlier this week).
 

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