I had forgotten to publish this blog and found it in the drafts folder. Seemed a shame to just delete it so ive published it now in December instead.
Its been a very long day but we have a lovely new arrival to the Roble Stud family.
I went to bed about 1am this morning and watched the camera on the foaling box for a while. I fell asleep only to be woken by Ceni in the stable at about 02:20 so i quickly looked on the camera and she had a foal half in and half out. By the time i rushed to the stable she was just pushing the rest of the foal out.
Not wanting to interfere, i just observed for a while but Ceni didnt look 100% comfortable. I put it down to contractions to deliver the placenta. I checked her back end externally and there wasnt any bleeding. Whilst i was there i just untangled the foals legs from the placenta and had a quick nosey to find out if we had a girl or boy. I also soaked the naval.
Over the next 20 mins i watched the foal get control of its legs and then get more confident walking around. Unusually for Ceni she wasnt keen to get up. She did briefly stand but was a little wobbly and laid back down again pretty quickly.
Just before the hour mark, i went into the stable to get Ceni up so that the foal could suckle. She was a lot more steady on her legs by this point thankfully. The foal was quick to get the hang of the milk bar which is always a relief. I have never known so much mycomium come out of a foal but at least it was coming out. Ceni had been leaking milk slightly for a day or two prior to the birth which was a concern as it is the colostrum that was being lost. After discussion with the vet we had decided to milk Ceni the day before she had the foal and freeze it to ensure the foal had good enough quality colostrum and that it wasnt all lost to the floor as at that point we werent sure how long it was going to be before she actually foaled. I let the foal suckle mum before heading off to steralise the bottle and defrost the colostrum, because i wanted him to know exactly where he should go for his milk. From the amount of slurping going on, i think he drank a fair bit which meant he wasnt quite so thirsty when it came to having the colostrum from my bottle but we did manage to get him to take the majority of it. Whether this was necessary, we wont 100% know as we cant tell how much she lost prior to foaling but at least we know he got some good stuff. I would always prefer to let them do things naturally but as a foal isnt born with any immunity, it is vital that colostrum is consumed in a timely manner.
Unfortunately Ceni didnt look 100% still and she still had her placenta so i called the vet to get her checked over and a jab to help with the placenta. Horses can get very sick very quickly from retained placentas, unlike cows and ewes who can hold onto theirs for days. As always with this breeding lark, the call was out of hours for the vets and for the poor lady answering the phone in the early hours, dealing with Spanish horse names at that time was not easy.
Much to my relief, one injection of oxytocin and a little work by the vet and the placenta was out. Ceni was checked for any internal damage and thankfully there wasnt any. The placenta was then laid out and checked as we always do and finally Ceni was given a painkiller just to help her out as she was in a little discomfort. The foal was going from vet to me to mum and back to vet checking up on everything that was happening, bold as brass.
We gave Ceni and the foal an hour or so to chill out and recover before we turned them out into the field. I always find it remarkable how steady the foals are on their legs so early. He cantered along with ceni trotting to find her patch of grass. The foal met the other three in the field (mare with foal and my very elderly arab) but took it all in his stride. Soon they settled and Ceni started to fill her belly and he slept. He cant see the point of getting up when i go and check them in the field and he doesnt appear to have any fear so far.