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Foaling Supplies Checklist

Awaiting a foal this spring? Make sure you're prepared with everything you need to know, complete with a printable checklist.

By Cynthia McFarland

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Equine pregnancy lasts almost a year, but being ready in advance is always importantThe big day is just around the corner! Your long-awaited foal is about to arrive. By this time, you’ve decided where your mare will foal and have prepared the area, whether it is a stall or small paddock. If you plan to let the mare foal outdoors, you should have a securely fenced, lighted paddock with non-climb fencing to keep the mare and foal safely enclosed and dogs or predators out. Ideally, the paddock should be grass rather than dirt; don’t use the area until foaling so it’s free of manure and urine spots.

If your mare is foaling inside, clean the stall walls thoroughly with hot soapy water. Disinfect the entire stall, including the floor, with diluted Lysol or similar disinfectant and let it air dry without bedding. Ideally, leave the stall empty until just before foaling, then bed it thickly with clean straw, not shavings. Remove feed and water buckets when the mare starts to foal.

The typical equine pregnancy lasts 343 days, or a little over 11 months. Gather your supplies and have them ready well before the mare’s due date so you have everything you may need.

To ensure your foaling supplies are in order, use this handy checklist:


Foaling Supplies

  • Terry cloth towels—bath towel or half-size bath towels
  • Stainless steel bucket
  • Liquid soap such as Ivory, Dawn or Joy
  • Roll cotton
  • Baling twine or strong string
  • Scissors
  • Enemas (any enema safe for children is fine; a phosphate enema is best)
  • Tincture of iodine* or Nolvason solution for dipping navels
  • Small containers or 60 cc plastic syringe cases (for dipping foal’s navel)
  • Umbilical clamps or rubber bands (if foal’s navel bleeds more than normal)
  • Obstetrical sleeves or plastic rectal sleeves
  • Disposable tail wrap or gauze bandage for wrapping tail
  • Disposable latex gloves
  • Obstetric lubricant or K-Y Jelly (not mineral oil)
  • Small blanket or old down vest (should you have to keep the foal warm on a cold night)
  • Flashlights & batteries (in case of power failure)
  • Cell phone or cordless phone 
  • Phone numbers of vets, experienced foaling person (post near phone!)

* If you decide to use iodine to dip the navel, ask your vet which strength he or she recommends. Some vets use 2 percent; others prefer the stronger 7 percent iodine.

Watch for these changes in your mare, which indicate signal she is getting closer to foaling:

  • Udder fills out and become more dense
  • Muscles over croup and tail head loosen and relax in preparation for birth
  • Mucus discharge (a small amount of dense white or off-white colored mucus plug)
  • Restlessness, pacing, pawing, change in behavior

For a Print-Friendly Checklist, Click Here»

Further Reading
Be Prepared for Foaling Season
Newborn Foal Care

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