Rhinopneumonitis vaccine is recommended for all pregnant mares at five, seven and nine months of pregnancy to help prevent abortion. Mares should be vaccinated one to two months before foaling with all vaccines so their colostrum (first milk) will be high in antibodies for their foals.
All injectable (not intranasal) vaccines, including West Nile, have been proven through field studies and time to be safe and effective for pregnant mares. All vaccines have a slight risk of reaction. The benefits of all the vaccines we recommend far outweigh that slight risk.
*New in Deworming Rotation! Ivermectin and Praziquantel (Equimax) (Can be used instead of double dose of Strongid to kill tapeworms.)
First 24 hours
Iodine navel at least twice with tincture of iodine (7%). Do not get on foal's skin.
Observe for passage of manure and urination.
Foal should nurse colostrum within 3 hours of birth.
Foal should be standing within 1 hour of birth.
Veterinary exam - Mare and placenta, foal; blood tests and vaccinations.
All foals should be vaccinated beginning at six months of age.
Foals should be vaccinated at 6, 7, and 9 months of age if the mare was vaccinated 1 month prior to foaling.
If mares were not vaccinated during pregnancy or if they have an unknown vaccine history, then these foals should be vaccinated at 3, 4 and 5 months of age.
Potomac Horse Fever and Strangles are optional vaccines that can be given between 3 and 6 months of age in a 2 dose series.
Deworm with benzimidazole drug (Panacur or Safegard) to target ascarids
If not weaning within the next three months, retreat with benzimidazole
If weaning now or within the next three months, perform fecal egg count
If already weaned, deworm with Equimax to target strongyles and tapeworms
If weaning, perform fecal egg count prior to deworming
Castration is usually done between 6 and 12 months of age
Complete separation, out of sight and hearing, is best. Mare and foal should be separated for 2 - 4 weeks. Most foals are weaned between 4 and 6 months of age.
Pasture or daily turnout is best. Epiphysitis or joint problems can arise from too much stall rest or irregular exercise programs.
Your foal will start nibbling on hay at 1 - 3 weeks of age. When your foal is 2 - 3 weeks old, a creep feeder for grain should be set up so that the mare can't fit her head into it. A 16% protein foal grain mix should be used in the creep feeder. Always take out what is left in the feeder each day and put in fresh grain.
A guideline for grain feeding is 1 lb. per month of age, up to 6 months. ( i.e. a 3 month old foal can be fed 3 lbs. of grain daily.) This should be adjusted with your foal's condition. Don't feed this much if your foal is getting overweight. The ribs should be easily felt and visible when a foal is running and playing.
Needs to be done on a foal after weaning if the foal is being sold, shown or traveling to another state.