Mule production. Page: 10
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10 FARMERS' BULLETIN 1341
of feed that will supply the needs of her ownl body as well as those
of the growing fetus. Feeds that are too fattening should be avoided,
also spoiled feeds such as moldy or damaged hay, as there is danger
that they may cause abortion. Exercise is a most important essential
to the health of the pregnant mare, as well as for the development of
a strong, healthy foal. The best and most economical way of giving
this exercise is by using the mare in regular farm work. The pregnant
brood mare should not be subjected to hard pulls or severe strains,
however, and the severity of the work should be regulated to fit the
stage of pregnancy. It is advisable to lighten the work generally as
pregnancy advances. If proper care and judgment are used, the
mare may safely be worked up to within a week or 10 days of foaling.
The average gestation period of mares-that is, the length of
time that they carry their foals-is about 340 days. This period varies
slightly with individual mares. It is important that a careful record
be kept of the date of service to the jack in order that the time of foaling
may be anticipated (table 1). A very sure sign that the foal will
be dropped in a short while is the appearance of wax on the teats,
which usually occurs 2 or 3 days before parturition.
CARE OF MARE AT FOALING TIME
About a week or 10 days before the foal is expected the mare should
be turned into a pasture or grassy paddock, where there is no danger
of injury from other animals. If the weather is mild, a paddock or
pasture is a desirable place for the foal to be delivered, as there is
usually less danger of infection there than in a stable. If desirable
conditions for foaling outside cannot be obtained, a roomy box stall
that has been well cleaned out, disinfected, and bedded witl fresh
straw should be provided.
It is well to observe the mare closely when the foal is expected, in
order that assistance may be given in delivery if necessary. To do
this it will be necessary for the attendant to be where he can see the
mare and yet be unseen by her. Should she need assistance, a veterinarian
should be summoned at once. If it is essential that aid be given
immediately, the service should be rendered by one who has had experience
with and understands the many phases of difficult parturition.
In normal presentation of the fetus, either the forelegs extended with
the head resting on them or the hind legs extended will first make
their appearance through the vulva.
If the foal has been delivered satisfactorily, the attendant should
remove as soon as possible any tissue or material that may be clogging
its nostrils and see that respiration is started. Assistance may be
rendered in this respect by blowing into the foal's nostrils, working its
ribs, and rubbing its sides with a cloth or wisp of straw. As soon as
practicable, without disturbing the mare unnecessarily, remove the
afterbirth from the proximity of the mare and, if foaling occurred in
a stable, clean out the bedding that has been soiled during parturition,
sprinkle lime on the floor where the bedding has been removed, and
supply fresh bedding.
To prevent infection, the navel cord of the foal sliould be saturated
with full-strength tincture of iodine and then dusted with powdered
slaked lime. This should be repeated each day until the navel cord
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Williams, J. O. (John Oscar), 1885- & Speelman, S. R. (Sanford Reed), 1894-. Mule production., book, 1949; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1784/m1/12/: accessed July 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.