Ready to Foal

7 Signs She’s Ready to Foal

Last Updated on March 15, 2022 by Allison Price

Are you anxiously waiting to see if your mare will give birth to the precious foal that you have been imagining for 11 months? A mare’s foaling date will be calculated from her last breeding date. The average gestation time in horses is 340 days. There is no way to predict when your mare will give birth. Breeders can expect a range of 320 to 360 days. This fact can be frustrating.

These are seven of the most important external signs that a mare will show before foaling. They also indicate the time period they usually display them before giving birth. These signs can vary greatly and will change from mare-to-mae.

Ready to Foal

1. Rubbing her tail – Mares that are uncomfortable during pregnancy might rub their tails. This could be interpreted as a sign that your mare needs to be dewormed. However, if your broodmare has been dewormed up to date, don’t worry. Some mares prefer to feel the discomfort of gestation and the increased weight by pressing their heads against the wall. This can happen between two and three months before foaling, or even up until the day of.

2. The mare will have a distention in her abdomen. This is usually seen within two to six weeks of foaling. Her belly will appear to drop and have a shelf-like appearance.

3.Release of croup muscle – In the mare’s hind end on either side, you will notice a “spongy” feeling to the muscles. This usually occurs between 7 and 10 days before foaling.

4. The mare’s udder development will occur between 4 and 6 weeks before foaling. This is often called “bagging up” by many people. Her teats will begin to grow and become shiny and dark within four to six days after foaling.

5. Waxing of teats- Colostrum starts to ooze from both the mare’s teats around 4 to 6 days before foaling. Some mares may wax one teat, while others will wax for several days. Others will wax for days or even quit for a time. It’s important to keep track of your broodmares’ behavior throughout the year.

6. Dripping of milk – This is the best sign your mare will foal soon, as it typically occurs within 24 to 48 hour of foaling.

7. Elongation and relaxation of the Vulva – As the mare approaches parturition, her cervical muscles begin to relax in preparation for her foal to emerge from the pelvic canal. This usually happens within 24 to 48 hours.

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