Pregnant maiden mare

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Taya

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I have a maiden mare thats in foal. I have been trying to get her used to getting her udder touched/handled in preperation for her foal. Everytime I try she kicks out. Normally shes a quiet mare that you can do anything to, not a hint of nastiness. I thought id start trying now even though shes only half way through her pregnancy as I heard its harder later if she gets a bag its more sensitive.

I would like to know the best technique to get her used to it. I dont want to upset or stress her to much about it but id like to get her used to it aswell.

How much of a roll does nature take in this bearing in mind she is a maiden and it will all be new to her. What happens if me handling her udder is something I cant get her to accept will I have trouble with he letting the foal nurse?

Any advice will be great
 

Nickermaker

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I too had a maiden mare liket his this summer. If she wasn't trying to kick me for touching her bag she was trying to turn around and bite me. I thought "Oh great, this is going to be wonderful for the foal". Well she had a textbook delivery - I missed it but the foal was dragging the bag around when I got out to the barn - I was going to cut it off - Hippy (the mama) had different ideas about me messing with her baby. She was overly protective and had no problem with it nursing - she is an excellent mother.

This was our experience.
 

Songcatcher

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Taya, I had an almost identical situation. A mare that was the sweetest, easiest to work with, but would NOT allow me to touch her udder. She would throw the biggest conniption fit you have ever seen and go so far that I was afraid she would hurt herself. So, after talking to some others, I gave up trying to feel her udder. When she foaled, she was perfectly fine with the baby nursing, but still would not allow me to touch it. Second baby, same thing. I was NEVER able to check her udder except by looking. Babies never had any problem nursing.
 

Minimor

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One of my best moms is a mare that absolutely won't let a person touch her bag. It's worth your life to attempt it. This mare has had a number of foals--8 in all--and is just the best mom you could ask for.
 

Bess Kelly

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All true, all true! BUT ------

If you find your self in the position of having to touch that bag you are sunk!!! Soooooo, I personally keep working on them. Have found a slow process of across the belly, closer and closer -- usually at different days, I've held up one leg to slow their ability to move away, put them in between panels to keep them in place...etc....

You say "can't happen to me" but, this year I had a maiden mare foal who had NOT be handled in this manner. She also had it in the field ahead of schedule, 3 other mares with her and one decided it was HER foal. When I went to feed about 6AM, there it was.....finally got mom & foal out, one who wanted to be mom was coming over fence! Real mom was about to rupture a bag
foal didn't know her, she didn't want him and I couldn't milk her!! One of my few B mares & 350-400#.

Despite all efforts, this was a failure and after much expense, foal lost. I have promised myself this will never happen again. After over 20 yrs of foaling, it is the first and last time. The guilt isn't worth it. By the way, I did not breed this mare, she convinced a stallion when I didn't know it!!!! With her size she just never showed until the very end. At this point, I would tranquilize a mare to get to the point of touching before allowing to breed or be on the fenceline of a stud


Added: We did confine & twitch mare to get colostrum, milk out, hot compress, banamine, attempt foal to nurse--which she would not allow -- tested milk for mastitis, etc. She wouldn't hurt foal when with it but, no nursing or bonding was gonna happen!!
 
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Joanne

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I have been successful with scratching their belly between their front legs and moving slowly down to the udders. I only go as far and they are comfortable and they go back toward the head.

Once I do reach the udders I barely touch them. Slowly over time you will win her over.

On REALLY bad mares we do have a stock and can put them in that with some grain to keep them occupied while we do the same thing.

Positive support really helps these mares !
 

Taya

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Thanks so much for the replies


Bess Kelly im very sorry to hear you lost the foal, how heartbreaking.

That is the situation I fear. Shes only halfway along so will keep trying very slowly the way I have been.

I was concerned aswell as she has been turned out for awhile an when I have managed to get to her udder it needs cleaning inbetween. Maybe a warm wash with the hose?

I will definately keep trying an hopefully there will be some improvement by the time the foal comes, wish me luck


Thanks again for your help
 

Bluewater Minis

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Just be patient with her. I started ALL our mares and fillies with neck scratches or another favorite spot, and while scratching in one of those spots, I'd get the other hand working down towards their belly for a scratch or two. Just gradually desensitizing them over time (in some cases months) and keep trying to give belly scratches and slowly work my way back towards their teats. One of the mares that last year would have liked to have kicked the living daylights out of me now LOVES to have her teats/bag scratched. The others all line up for it too. Kinda a sight to see... teat "scritches" seem to be a favorite for the girls now. One of my soon-to-be weanling fillies has already discovered that "joy". It's actually a good thing that the mare who really hated it last year has come around, as her colt this year needed assistance and she needed to be milked several times. Sadly, we lost him anyways, but it wasn't for lack of him being able to get to the milk bar. I have one maiden who is now overdue, and she's now used to having things handled, which is one less thing to worry about.
 
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