Minimizing Foal Stress Levels in the Breeding Shed
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. Couldn’t that be just as traumatic for both the mare and the foal, though?
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