Thursday, April 16, 2009

Ten "Must Haves" in Your Foaling Kit

Foaling Kits are important to have prepped and ready.  You can't cover everything, but most normal and many problem deliveries can be handled if you're prepared.

I'm sure everyone has their own personal set up and favorite 'must have' items.  We've tried different containers, stuff over the year and for the past few have used two plastic tubs - clear with lids - one the most used items, the other the dry items - blankets, rags, towel.  There are more things we keep on hand for foaling and horse emergencies - but for the normal and/or mild dystocias below is what is in our kits.  Between January-February we inventory, clean, throw out or reorder as needed.

I have a dystocia chart that I review annually (also the books Blessed Are the Broodmares and Blessed Are the Foals).  I've delivered over 150 foals, but a review always helps.  The first few years I had a written checklist in a plastic sleeve in our box to go over to make sure I didn't forget anything - it really helped keep me on track those first few foalings.

Other very important prefoaling must do - make sure your trailer is ready to go should you have to transport.  If you work with a specific vet let them know your mare is close too.  If you can, have your trailer hooked up just in case you'll likely never need it!  

On to the foaling kits!

Main foaling kit  - 
  1. Nolvason and a bottle/bucket to prepare a dilution (for dipping the cord and/or sterilizing hands, etc.) I use an old style film case or shot glass size jar for dipping and a bucket for everything else.
  2. Petroleum Jelly (vaseline is a name brand) for lubing.  I buy these at the Dollar stores and use one tub per incident (no mixing or contaminating that way)
  3. Clean towels, rags and a large sheet (dry off the foal, clean up mare, self) The sheet I like to put under the mare for clean delivery)
  4. Clean pair of scissors (sterilize with the nolvason
  5. Miner's headlamp (you wear on your head for hands free light)
  6. Phone with the vets telephone number preprogrammed  (not in the kit but ready)
  7. Extra pair of hands (friend, child, spouse) Okay hard to pack but oh so helpful!
  8. Garbage Bag for placenta
  9. Halter & lead for the mare
  10. Rubber gloves
Post Foaling Kit -
  1. Banamine (dose mare after foaling) with fresh syringe
  2. Ivermectin (dose mare after foaling) with fresh syringe
  3. Foal Blanket (a couple different sizes)
  4. Child size enema (dump out the contents and filled with warm water and a drop of soap)
  5. Udderly EZ (the easiest way to milk a mare) with a 20cc syringe
  6. Foal Response (dose the foal)
  7. Child's nasal aspirator (in case nose's need to be cleared)
  8. Digital thermometer (I buy new every year)
  9. Camera for that first baby photo (check the battery/card so its ready)
  10. Package of baby wipes (they're just great for everything)

So, what's your 'Must Have' items?

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