Best place to foal Field or Stable?

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Quick update! Have moved her ladyship and little chap down to livery yard while I wait for my friends stables to be finished off and have told Beatrice to hold on for another month!!

But following on from the deep litter thread ( No I don't deep littler) but a comment was made on stables being much less hygienic than a field and I wondered was I doing the right thing stabling her at night when she clearly wants to stay out and is much happier out.

Slightly seperate issue but foal is much less active now and I am begining to worry. A month ago it was so funny and all over the place and apart from a little shimmy now and again it doesn't do much at all now - how can I tell it's still alive and well??

Oh the worry


I am trying to get some flattering pictures to post for you all but the weather has turned her into a mud monster
 
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in a happy place
You will see less movement as the foal gets bigger, possibly up until 24 hours or so before birth when the foal is adopting the 'diving' position.

Everybody has their own preferences. I prefer indoors under close supervision on a paper bed, others prefer straw, some like outside. My view is that if the stable is clean and it is an environment that the mare is used to, and you practise good hygene through birth and afterwards you minimise the risks - and you have access to power, light and shelter if something is going wrong.
 
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I wouldn't even consider foaling down a mare outside in the winter or spring months when the weather is bad.
If she was due from mid April onwards when the weather should be much nicer and warmer then foaling outside should not be a problem as long as she is close by to keep an eye on.If she is to foal inside the ideal should be a nice deep clean bed of straw in a box probably no less than 12 x 12 with good banks at the walls and no protruding objects from them.


www.ballyshanhorses.webs.com
 

Enfys

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I'd love to let them get on with it outside, but I foal mine down inside, purely for my own convenience (heated room, coffee etc) and the Vets if I need him. I can't imagine trying to light up a paddock for an emergency.

Beds are straw on top of shavings on a soil base in 11' x 20' stalls. No more, or less, hygienic than if they were foaling outside.

The best place is that which suits you and your horse the most, some mares take the decision out of our hands and they generally manage very well without us, it's when something goes a bit wrong that you really appreciate shelter and electricity. I have one mare that always foals during the day, I'll turn her out and she'll be banging on the gate, screaming to come back in, 10 minutes later she'll be in labour, she likes to be indoors and makes that very clear.
 
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imho the weather's too cold until April onwards for safe outdoors foaling.
1 of mine foaled outside (by her choice... at 11am!), another chose to come inside to foal (was living out but determinedly followed me to the gate and made it clear that she wanted to come in - 2 wks before her due date...!)
i prefer to have them inside to foal, on nice deep clean bed.
when's she due?
i wouldn't worry about the lack of movement, i think that's prob typical as the foal gets bigger, and there's less space in there for workouts!
 
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It's so nice to have such lovely replies - Thank you all.

She has a lovely clean deep straw bed but has just started being reluctant to come in. She liked it for the first week or so but has now decided now to come over to greet me and then smartly walks off in the opposite direction to the gate !

I'll try to stop being such a worry bean re movement !!
 
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I had stables all ready for my 2 to foal inside this year, cctv rigged up, everything ready and BOTH of them foaled outside in the field on their own, with nobody there.

That said, I wouldn't want them foaling outside at this time of year.
 

Laafet

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At this time of year, I would say a large stable with a fresh deep straw bed is best. Thats what we do for our lot (prof. TB stud) and we had two chose to go outside last year and they caught us out but were brought straight in as it was so muddy in the paddocks.
 
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The field can be cleaner and is natural, but if a mare foals outside in the dark, (or even the daytime) and there is no one around foals can easily end up under a fence etc. One I knew of fell in a pond and nearly drowned, one rolled into the river and was drowned.

Plus if the vet was needed it is not a good situation to be working in if the weather and ground conditions were poor.
 
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My TB mare knows far better than me what she wants and her last foal born late March she had in the field shelter as it was cold. she was in the paddock and simply went into the shelter to foal, then once the foal was up and about she took her into the paddock. On her second day it snowed! and mum and baby spent most of the day in the shelter by choice.

She absolutely hates being stabled and would stress herself stupid if in, I have a post and rail paddock to foal in 50x50ft and a 25x45m bigger paddock, I watch them closely it's inconvenient for me yes, but they are very relaxed with the herd nearby. I light it with subtle lighting, solar is perfect, but have the heavy duty stuff nearby if required. The paddock is very near the stables.


She had put off her foaling whilst it was raining and after too fine days she went into labour.

That time of year I give her a choice and I only foal her then as she seems to take better to early coverings. The ones that foal in the summer have the little foaling paddock and they hold off for good weather.
 
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