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Kim's Foal Watch Diary 2007 Season

We thought some of our viewers might be interested to hear some news of Aurum's coming foals and their mums, if so this is the place to be!

(View Part 2 here...)

(View Part 3 here...)

The 2007 foaling season has finally begun at Aurum. Expenses was the first due but she decided to make us wait an extra week. Our patience was rewarded at 11:18 on Saturday night with a very straightforward delivery resulting in a stunning colt. The only thing that Penny did wrong (apart from having us on foal watch for an extra week) was to hang on to her placenta. As she still had not delivered it some 10 hours on we had to give her a little help. Her colt moves like you would not believe! You can see him galloping around the paddock leaping the long grass with his knees tucked under his chin and his hocks up under his tail. It is all I can do to not put a couple of fences out there to free jump him.

Friday 21st September 2007

Five of our girls are due to foal in the next 14 days. We have four in the foaling paddocks with alarms on. This was not the plan but Money Miss Spent (in foal to Aurum Invader) is one week over and is looking happy to wait for her friends. Penny (yes another one, frequently referred to as Orange Penny!) is a maiden mare and has bagged up but is showing no other signs of an imminent foaling.

RP Duelluta (Duellschutz/Valuta) is due on the 22nd of September. She is in foal to Summerhill Sampson (Salute/Ludendorf). She bagged up quite early and has been on treatment to ensure a full term pregnancy. As of tonight she has in fact started to wax up and so will be under close watch. This will not be her first foal but we purchased her a little over 12 months ago so it is our first time foaling her down. Poor Lucy has been in a yard since last summer as she has been suffering from stringhalt. She cannot believe her luck as she has been moved for the last two nights into a beautiful grass foaling paddock.

BP Montana (Daley K) is in foal to Aurum Flash Flood. This will be our first foal by this stallion and we are eagerly awaiting the arrival due on 23/9/07. Montana has in the past foaled early and so throughout this pregnancy has been treated with a regular antibiotic regime. This has proven successful and in fact she may well go over as although she has bagged up, she does not look like birth is imminent.

Cheval de Pas, otherwise known as Tatiana, is not due until 29/9/07 but, like Lucy, she has been on treatment as she threatened to foal early. Tatiana is by Baryshnikov who is by Kenmare, sire of Emily Anker's beautiful grey Keniski. Coupled with Aurum Brilliant Cut the foal is sure to be a stunner.

Also in foal to Aurum Brilliant Cut, is Rose of Helios who is our Kenvain (Kenmare/Vain)/Favoured Bay mare. She is not due until 4/10/07 and looks like doing the right thing. Although last year she did go 6 days early, but that is neither here nor there.

Money Miss Spent/Aurum InvaderMoney Miss Spent


RP Duelluta-Duellschutz/ValutaRP Duelluta

BP Montana-Daley KBP Montana



Cheval De PasCheval De Pas-Baryshnikov/Kenmare

BP Montana-Daley K


Yes, she is broad!

Saturday 22nd September 2007

The only change tonight is that Lucy (RP Duelluta) has foaled. A very 'Salute' colt with four white socks and a big blaze.

At the completion of the days lessons as I was riding Hewey, who is the 2 1⁄2 year old Regardez Moi colt that I am breaking in, Lucy was becoming agitated and was pawing and crouching. She had been squirting milk as I walked past to catch Hewey so I called Richard to move her to the foaling yard. This is no mean feat with her stringhalt as her preferred pace is a sort of canter, which she and Richard had to do past the arena. Hewey thought this was most exciting!

On arrival into the foaling paddock Lucy rested for a moment and then her waters broke. Hewey had the quickest untack, wash and return to the paddock ever.

Lucy decided that lying down was not an option so it was a few minutes before we actually saw any membrane. Pushing a foal uphill through a pelvis is quite an effort, and there is a fairly strong possibility of a foot pushing straight up and coming out rectally. So in addition to determining that the presentation of the foal was correct it was necessary to place a hand over the foals hooves to direct them down and out through the birth canal.

The foal was essentially in the correct presentation but initially was slightly rotated so that it was almost upside down. Generally this is corrected as the mare gets up and down a few times but we just had to wait and see a little as Lucy was not going to get down. The foal did correct itself and with a little help from Richard and Kim Solarius eventually arrived just as Lucy lay down!

Duellschutz/Salute foal
Duellschutz/Salute foal
Duellschutz/Salute foal

Tuesday 25th September

Money Miss Spent has progressively waxed up through the day. She has been a bit agitated and looks like she may well foal tonight.

By about 9pm she has become more agitated and has been walking and yawning which makes me think it will be a long night. Penny walked until about midnight and then started eating again. The colostrum is now dripping down her legs and I cannot believe that she has gone off the boil.

Wednesday 25th September

At around 1am Wednesday Penny was actually running milk and was getting quite crabby. However nothing eventuated and so there will be another long night tonight.

Meanwhile the other girls look much the same. Close to bursting but not imminent.

Today Lucy’s foal has really come out of his shell. We had a school holiday programme, so there were a lot of kids around to entertain him. Also he was able to watch the farrier in action, shoeing a pony in the stables.

In fact it was to be a short night as Penny had the decency to start at 7:29pm. By 7:40 and with a little help a chestnut filly arrived. Initially the presentation looked good but as the birth progressed it was evident that one front leg was not coming through, presumably the elbow was a little stuck on the pelvic rim. We decided to get Penny to her feet to see if this would rectify the problem, following which Richard was able to free the jam. The placenta was apparently separated so it was important to get the delivery completed quickly. The foal was a little floppy on arrival even though it had given a couple of strong ‘wiggles’ early on. We put her on oxygen straight away and she quite quickly sparked up. We gave her a couple of goes on the oxygen and after 10 or 15 minutes she was much brighter.

Penny was completely disinterested and had not really yet noticed what she had achieved. She lay flat for at least 15 minutes and when she sat up, got stuck into eating the grass. It was some time before she actually caught sight of the foal whereupon she was amazed! By now the foal was trying desperately to get to her feet so we moved her to within reach of Penny who gradually started to take some interest.

At 8:04 with a little help the filly was on her very unsteady feet. She had been sucking for a while so was keen for mum to get up also. Fortunately she obliged and, as the placenta had separated early, basically left it on the ground behind her. By 8:30 the milk bar had been conquered and so by 9:20 we were into the stable for a sleep. This did not last long and after more drinks, playing was on the agenda much to the horror of the brand new mum who had to keep spinning around to watch. 10:10pm saw the first of the meconium out and then by 10:30 the filly was sound asleep again!

Tuesday 2nd October 2007

Today after we had weighed and measured her, Bobbie (as Penny's filly has been named) went out into a yard for the first time. She was pretty surprised at the big wide world. Since we last weighed and measured her on the 28th of September Bobbie has put on 8.5 kg and grown 3⁄4 of an inch! Montana has bagged up more as has Rose of Helios, the Kenvain (Kenmare/Vain)/Favoured Bay mare.

Tatiana still looks content to wait but Montana really looks like she has had enough. Her last foal was born at 323 days and she is now 349 days so she has never been pregnant for this long! We brought Rose up and put an alarm on her as she is now 338 days and her last foal was born at 334 days. She does not look ready to go but neither did she last time so to be safe she needs to be up close.

Brilliant Invader foal

Penny and her new pride and joy!

Thursday 5th October 2007

Even though the three girls must all be very close to foaling, no one has waxed up, no one is agitated and everyone is eating heartily.


Friday 6th October 2007

At 5:15am Montana decided it was time to start. Rose thought that maybe she could help so was quickly whisked away after I first established that the foal was correctly presented. With the more experienced Rose out of the way Tat thought maybe she should be involved so she too was moved.

By this time with basically no help the foal was delivered. It was now 5:24am! The foal had not really moved but as I tore the bag and cleared its’ nose it sat up and started sucking. So far this was the perfect delivery, everything seemed in order and we established that it was a bay filly that had arrived. A lovely central white star and one tiny white hind heel. As she was trying to get to her feet, Montana got up for a look, disrupting the cord which bled profusely. Not a good look on a grey mare. She realized that she was not yet needed and lay down again leaving us to dry and look after baby. By 6:08 the filly was up on a set of very unsteady legs and as mum was still resting took the opportunity to test her legs with a very wobbly play about 5 minutes later.

As the filly was sucking well we encouraged Montana to get to her feet so the search could begin in earnest. 6:24am and the search was rewarded with warm sticky colostrum. Once the foal had her first drink, we collected 300mls of colostrum from the other side. We do this pretty routinely and this goes into our freezer so that we have a colostrum supply ready when needed. About half an hour later the afterbirth arrived and as bub was quite bouncy we headed for a warm straw bedded stable. On the way the first of the meconium made its way out so by 7:15, 2 hours after it all started mother and daughter were in the stable with everything progressing well. We like to put them on straw initially as it is warmer and cleaner than sawdust or shavings. Foals often sleep resting on their nose so when on sawdust it is easy for them to inhale it. If there are no problems and after we have done the IgG on the foal, we move them onto sawdust as it is easier to maintain. Also in a drought straw is scarce and very expensive.

On the way in to the stable we also did a quick weigh and measure. 55.5 kg and 41 5/8” tall. By 7:30 the filly was having a well earned sleep and Montana hoeing into breakfast.

The colostrum from Montana looks to be a worthy addition to our colostrum bank but we will get a better idea after doing the IgG on the filly. It is possible to measure the quality of the colostrum but the equipment needed for this is still on my wish list. If the foal drinks well and the mare produces colostrum that looks like egg yolk, or very thick orange juice, we take a foal blood after 24 hours to test their immune status. If the IgG is greater than 8g/l we are very happy. Less than 4g/l and we need to boost the immunity of the foal with intravenous hyper-immune plasma. This requires the services of the vet and is very costly, but the possible consequences of not doing it are worse.

So, enter our colostrum bank. If we have a mare who runs milk for more than a few days, or whose colostrum does not look good, or who is elderly or has a history of foals with low IgG, we can give our stored colostrum in the hope that it will raise the IgG so that we do not need plasma. If we are pretty sure that the foal will need the colostrum we give it by a bottle within the first hours of life. Otherwise we can do a 12 hour IgG and still bottle feed the colostrum with fairly good effect. The ability for a foal to absorb antibodies from the colostrum decreases rapidly to zero between 12 and 24 hours after birth.

Daley K/Flooding/Daisy foal

I know I look a bit dopey, but I just got on my feet for the first time OK?

Now I feel a bit better!

Colostrum-the elixir of life!

Saturday 7th October 2007

Not to be left behind Cheval de Pas delivered a bay filly by Aurum Brilliant Cut at 3:24am. We now have almost a full house in the stables with one foal by each of three out of our four stallions. This was a fairly straight forward birth for a maiden mare. The fit always seems to be a bit tighter the first time around. One front leg was a little caught and Tat was not keen to get to her feet but she did sit up and allow me to ‘wriggle’ and push and pull the legs until the caught elbow freed. It was then all over bar the shouting!The filly sat up pretty quickly and was on her feet in about 20 minutes, unlike her mother who although very attentive was happy just to rest a while. When Tat did get to her feet the placenta was half out, evidence of a probable early separation. At 3:45am the placenta was delivered and on inspection was complete and a good rich deep red colour. Frequently when the placenta arrives it has turned inside out as it sort of follows the umbilical cord out, so that you see the smooth shiny membranous side. In order to inspect it properly you then need to turn it back the right way around. If the placenta has separated early it is often red side out so you can see it more easily. We check to see if there are any areas of discolouration, differences in thickness or any deposits on its surface. This gives you an indication of how well it was functioning, whether the foal may have been stressed in utero or may be a warning of problems to come.

Now came the difficult part as Tat is endowed with the tiniest nipples! It took a good 2 hours for little Maisy to get a good drink. We had of course by this time moved into the stable so the humans could have an easier time of it, including the much needed Milo in the middle of the night. (I personally find that Milo and orange juice (not together of course) are an essential part of the foal watch kit!) Maisy weighed in at 46kg which is OK for a first foal and of course had the nice even markings that her dad passes to his offspring.

Sunday 8th October 2007

Fairly quiet on the foaling front. Bloods were taken from the two new babies and each had an IgG of >8g/l.

Maisy sleeping off her first drink.

Smartie having fun!

Mega and Penny.

Monday 9th October 2007

Rose of Helios (Kenmare/Favoured Bay) is the only remaining lady in waiting of this group. Once she has foaled we get a break. Last year she went 6 days early but this year she has gone over as she was due last Thursday.

During the day Rose set the alarm off and as I went to check her, she leaped up from her flat out position and trotted down the paddock. Her tail and the side of her hindquarter was dripping wet so I thought here we go. I moved her up to the foal paddock and quickly brought the kit and oxygen out as Richard is not here today. I then went to take a look for the foal presentation but there was nothing there. Odd I thought. I waited a while longer and Rose now quite settled checked the feeders and started on the grass. Hmm I hope she did not spit it out next door. I went to check but nothing there either. I gather that she had a touch of incontinence and jumped up to avoid the wet patch, thus giving me a start as well.

Later that night I was watching Rose pacing the foaling paddock and was wondering how long we would have to wait. I decided to go out and have a closer to look to get some idea. She walked up to me at the gate and straight away the flood started. I think she was waiting for some moral support! That was at 11:44pm and at 12:03 a bay filly had arrived. Initially the foal was up side down and Rose was taking her time to lie down. On this occasion I felt she needed to lie down to help the foal rotate. I could feel the head was there but the feet were pointing skyward and the nose was under the knees. We stopped her from walking and this encouraged her to lie down which started the rotation. Once the foal started we could then wiggle the legs a bit in the appropriate direction. I find it hard to know which way to go unless the foal has started to turn. A couple more up and downs and the foal was delivered. Again the placenta was fairly obvious but this foal sat up pretty well straight away. Interestingly the membrane was very tough and we had difficulty in breaking it and freeing the foals nostrils.

Rose was very attentive although in no hurry to get up and when she did delivered the afterbirth almost straight away. The foal, a bay colt with a star, was strong but took a while to get his long legs under control. He was sucking as he was trying to get up but once on his feet at around 12:45am he needed all his concentration to stay there. The attendants were getting tired and as he was taking a while to find the milk bar we started heading for the stables. We punctuated the trip with attempts at drinking and on the way in, at 1:30 he finally had a drink. Once in the stable Moses really worked out the drinking thing but as he could not remember how to fold his legs up, at 2:16 we lay him down for a much needed sleep. This of course did not last long as the eat sleep cycle moves very quickly at this stage. At 2:51 the first of the meconium was out and although it was a small pellet it was nice and soft so hopefully that will continue without help.

At 3am, as he was dead (tired!) on his feet, we lay him down again and as we were the same headed for a quick nap ourselves. At 4am I checked them and found both mother and son lying down. Rose was a bit colicy but was quite happy to get up for Moses to feed but then wanted to lie down again. This is not uncommon as the uterus starts to contract but it can of course also be a sign that all is not well. Her vital signs were alright and she was apparently only mildly uncomfortable so I just settled into the watching. Rose was very careful when she lay down and was clearly unhappy when Moses moved around behind her. Each time she positioned herself quite close to the wall and clearly wanted Moses in front of her. At about 5am Rose passed quite a large amount of manure whilst lying down. In our experience mares usually ‘empty’ themselves before foaling and we rarely find manure in their stable for the first 12 hours if not 24 hours. Maybe this was why she was uncomfortable. At 6:30 Rose got to her feet again and started tucking into her hay. Thank goodness! I watched them for a little while longer and then headed off to bed. The other horses wondered why I was coming out of the stables in daylight without feeds. I ignored them, fended off the cats who also thought it was breaky time and made it to bed for a couple of hours. At the next check all appeared normal and through the day there has been much eating, sleeping and playing.

Moses entertained us in his first few hours as he was quite vocal in response to squeaking noises. When I was collecting the colostrum, which I do using a modified 60ml syringe as a pump, the syringe was squeaking which elicited a call from Moses. Later on Nellie in the box opposite was squealing as she was playing and this also caused him to call

Well that's the first bunch on the ground, all safe and well. We now have about 4 weeks until the next babies are due so my foal watch notes might ease off for a while! Time to get the current crop handled and out into the paddock as well as to start serving mares for next season! It never really stops!

27th October 2007

Although things are quiet on the foaling front, there are of course next seasons foals to get started!

We are so impressed with the foal out of Expenses by Brilliant Cut that we have put her straight back to him. We will do a 14 day pregnancy scan to check for success and to make sure there are no twins.

Aurum Belle (dam of Aurum Rivière d'Or and Aurum Revoir) has been inseminated with frozen semen from Weltmeyer and again we will do a 14 day scan.

The other exciting news is that our two Regardez Moi colts are set to be fathers next year. Aurum Rivière d'Or has been away for collection of semen for freezing and Hewey has covered Money Miss Spent. We plan to use both of the boys next week over Duelluta, Better Pine, Montana and Cheval de Pas. They will have to split them of course!

By the way if any one is interested in chilled semen from Aurum Riviere d’Or in the next week or so, it may be available. Hewey is available for live cover.

Moses' first minutes on Earth!

Smartie having more fun!

Bobbi (Money Miss Spent) first day out.


Continue on to part 2...