Many breeders try to have foals as early in the year as possible, but we prefer to have them in the spring when it is not so cold, although here in central Texas weather is not too cold. With the weather warming up (a nationwide record of 92 degrees in Austin yesterday!), I realize that our busiest and most fun time of year is about to start: foaling. We are cleaning out the foaling barn getting everything in order for the time when mares will be put in the waiting pasture. In a few days we will sort out the mares, putting all the ones that are obviously pregnant in the foaling pasture. Once there the mares will be checked frequently for signs of approaching foaling. At night they will be brought into a lighted pen next to the foaling barn which is only yards from our house.
Our foaling barn has six foaling stalls and we have closed circuit TV so that we can watch the mares when they are moved into the barn. Using Breeder Alert monitoring equipment we are awakened when a mare lays down flat for fifteen seconds. The pager, which I carry during the day and attach to my pillow while I am asleep, alerts me to check the monitors which are located in several locations in the house, to see if the mare is in labor or just sleeping. If she is in labor I will quickly go to the barn in case she needs assistance. You can follow our foaling adventures as I plan to blog about it. So stay tuned.
While you are waiting you can take a tour of the ranch.