A Whale of a Time

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Last week

Things had kind of stalled with Paige the last couple of weeks. She’s been on turnout a lot enjoying the sunshine and companionship with Legs and Chunk (A hasn’t named him yet…that’s what I’ve been calling him). Yesterday she had turnout because it was pretty out. She spent most of the weekend inside because it was cold and windy and I don’t want her to surprise us by dropping her baby outside in the grass when it is cold.

Yesterday I went up to check on her during my lunch break (she MAY have escaped her stall and eaten some extra grain that wasn’t for her…but she’s fine…) and noticed that her udder seemed to have filled in some more. So, naturally, I sent this picture to everyone in my squad who has foaling experience or interest in the topic and they all agreed that they are larger.

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Boobs. Sorry. Not really. 

I left her out, but stared her down before I left because she’d go back and forth between eating and staring pensively into the distance. Paige isn’t really prone to deep thinking, so that made me raise my eyebrows as well. Generally she’s one to focus all her energy on eating.

When I brought her in the barn last night, I gave her a handful of grain and went on with my barn chores. After she finished her grain, she just stood with her head over the wall looking at me pleasantly, then pinned her ears, then back to pleasant Paige. Huh. When I was done with feeding/watering everyone, I stepped in the stall and noticed that her, um, lady parts, were swollen and relaxed looking. I won’t share pictures of that on the web though, so you can scroll down without fear of seeing that. You’re welcome.

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Bumpshot instead. 

Naturally I sent that picture to the same squad that got the boobie pic earlier in the day and everyone oohed and ahhed at the changes. A (NJ) asked about milk, so I milked Paige into my hand a little (so scientific, I know; I’m going to buy the pH strips today…) and more shot out easier than any other time I’ve tried. It’s still clear and sticky though, so not visually where it should be for imminent foaling.

A (local) showed up to see how things were going and was pleased with how Paige is looking. She has foaled out several mares (owns Legs and Chunk in case you missed that) and said that her mares have gotten swollen looking vulvas in the evening like that in the week that they are getting ready to foal. Based on the color of her milk and the lack of wax, we didn’t think she was going to foal last night (and we were correct), but we have started watching her more closely regardless. I came back by at 10pm and she looked the same. A came by again after midnight and her vulva was more tucked up like normal. Sigh.

Generally another sign that the mare is close to foaling is that their tail bone loses the resistance when you pick it up. I saw this with Legs when she was close to foaling and tried Paige’s then (back in January) and her tail flipped easily then…so that sign is fairly useless. The muscles around the base of their tail look looser as well before foaling, but with Paige being a bigger mare, I’m not sure how much of that we’ll see either.

So things are changing again and I’m hoping she’ll go ahead and foal this week. She seems to get bigger everyday, which is obviously the baby getting bigger. I’d prefer she go ahead and let him/her join the world sooner rather than later to possibly avoid the birth being hard on her. She’ll be 320 days tomorrow, so any day around now would be fine as far as the baby being full term.

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Last night. Whale status.

Also. I did do the “nail test” and it says that the baby is a filly. I don’t have a lot of faith in the test, but I figured I’d try it for fun and see what it said. Now if there were a test so we’d know what color this kid will be… If you haven’t entered the contest, I’d go comment on the post NOW. You may not have much time! 🙂

 

10 thoughts on “A Whale of a Time

  1. Ah, this brings back memories from when I was on the Foaling Team in college. We would check all the broodmares nightly for these same things! If horses are similar to humans, the more babies you’ve had the less time it is between showing signs of labor and the actual birth. So, maybe it’s close!

    • Yeah, I’m paranoid she’ll have him/her in broad daylight when we aren’t expecting it where she’s so chill and doesn’t have huge amounts of self preservation. I feel like the at night part of foaling is something instinctual from pre-domestication so they’d be less likely to be spotted by predators. Paige really doesn’t have much fear of anything so…haha.

      • I just did a basic square knot. The nail hung at an angle (I posted a video of it on my blog earlier this month) but it seemed to work just fine as far as swinging back and forth or in a circle. If it’s not moving at least you know you aren’t influencing it!

      • True! When I held it higher it circled! I may look at your video (I don’t think I’d found your blog yet) and try again. Lord knows I have nothing else to do but wait around. 😅

      • Holding it a few inches up seems to be the proper method. I held it very close because I’m short and V was being mare-ish.
        I did the test a couple times in the morning and a couple times in the evening. In the morning it was mostly a girl reading and in the evening it was a 50/50 split on boy/girl.

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