Minimizing Foal Stress Levels in the Breeding Shed

What would be the best plan for handling a foal whose dam is being covered by a stallion?
Share
Favorite
Close

No account yet? Register

ADVERTISEMENT

Minimizing Foal Stress Levels in the Breeding Shed
Leaving a foal on the trailer or in a stall outside the breeding shed can work for some mare and foal pairs. There is some research suggesting that having a person stay with the foal can reduce its signs of stress. | Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt/The Horse
Q.What would be the best plan for minimizing foal stress levels in the breeding shed when his dam is being covered by a stallion? Every farm seems to have their own way of handling the foal during live cover.

In one facility I worked at the foal was kept in a padded pen in the corner of the breeding shed. That was pretty good in that you knew it was safe and contained, except that the foals I saw in that setup fussed the whole time, mostly calling and trying to climb out of the pen. And when the stallion mounted the mare, some foals seemed to become frantic. And then everyone got upset. Another way I’ve seen is to have a person hold the foal off to the side of the breeding shed. That also was usually okay at first, but it was difficult to calm the foal after it got upset about the stallion jumping on the mom.

Both ways seemed pretty upsetting for the foal, and it could not be helpful for the mare to be concerned about her stressed foal. Some farms say that’s why they like to have the foal in the trailer or in a stall far away from the breeding area or even leave it back at the mare’s farm

Create a free account with TheHorse.com to view this content.

TheHorse.com is home to thousands of free articles about horse health care. In order to access some of our exclusive free content, you must be signed into TheHorse.com.

Start your free account today!

Already have an account?
and continue reading.

Share

Written by:

Sue M. McDonnell, PhD, is a certified applied animal behaviorist and the founding head of the equine behavior program at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine. She is also the author of numerous books and articles about horse behavior and management.

Related Articles

Stay on top of the most recent Horse Health news with

FREE weekly newsletters from TheHorse.com

Sponsored Content

Weekly Poll

sponsored by:

What do you think: Can pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction (PPID) be managed by medication alone?
157 votes · 157 answers

Readers’ Most Popular

Sign In

Don’t have an account? Register for a FREE account here.

Need to update your account?

You need to be logged in to fill out this form

Create a free account with TheHorse.com!