Fescue poisoning causes very odd things to happen with the foals. Especially if the mare is small. Was the hair really 1.5 feet??? I thought that was a typo and you meant inches?? That would be very abnormal. Do you have pictures?? Were there any other deformities?
also this article says they can have abnormal growth given the gestation in months which is probably what happened to your foal. Im so sorry!! If at all possible its best not to let mares in foal graze on fescue. I think the minis cant handle it as well as big horses
The normal gestation length in horses is approximately 11 months. However, mares that graze on endophyte-infected fescuecan have pregnancies that last up to 13 months or more. This is a problem because the fetus continues to grow during the extra timewhich can result in dytocia (difficult birth). The foals born after prolonged gestation may appear to be immature despite their extra fetal development.
The characteristics of a foal born after prolonged gestation include a large frame size and poorly developed muscles. Also, some foals may have overgrown hooves, while others may have premature and irregular eruption of baby teeth. These foals can also exhibit hyperthyroidism, resulting in poor suckling reflex, incoordination, and low body temperature.
[Fescue Toxicosis][The Plant][Fescue Pasture Mgnt & Eradication][The Endophyte][The Alkaloids][Toxicosis in Mares][Toxicosis in Foals][Treatment][Other Sources of Info] [Return to list of toxicants]
Fescue Toxicosis: Effects on Foals
The newborn foal can suffer greatly from the effects of fescue toxicosis. The range of fetal deaths in the last third of pregnacy for herds affected by fescue toxicity varies from 0 to100%.
Generalized symptoms associated with foals born to mares grazing on endophyte-infected fecsue include
* prolonged gestation
* abnormal foal maturation
* starvation (due to dam's agalactia)