Foaling and Newborn Questions & Comments

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Comments

  • KMMKMM Member
    edited February 2018
    Generally, there are mares that owners can"rent" to basically wet nurse a foal. A mare who has lost her foal is usually allowed to "dry up" naturally. They aren't put with orphan foals.
    They may reject orphan foal. Breeding mares tend to be valuable, and owners wouldn't risk their injury. Wet nurse mares have been vetted for their willingness to take on a foal that isn't theirs.
  • To add on to KMM's comment,
    Cant say it has never happened but traditionally, you want to have as a nurse mare, one who produces large quantities of quality (high fat) milk, are docile and easy to work around and with, and who have a history of accepting foals not their own (some mares even with their own foal with allow other foals to nurse as well). Draft, Quarter Horse, and various grade mares are most sought after. Thoroughbred mares as a breed are a bit higher strung. They can be fickle even with their own offspring!
  • @Paniolo_Gal

    There was a similar discussion when Zenyatta lost Z16 and @jen_bloom is on the right track to say there is no taboo against it per say, but it is not a common practice for some of the following reasons.

    Pairing a mare with an orphan foal is not as simple as "I have a lactating mare who needs a foal." The mare's temperament is very important and this is why nurse mares are worth their weight in platinum. Getting a mare to take an orphan goes against her instincts. Zenyatta was considered a possible candidate because it was noted that when she was in a field with other foals she was maternal towards all of them. This didn't mean she allowed them to nurse, just that she tolerated them as opposed to say this situation:

    https://youtu.be/ApumVasmEUI

    The video says "mean spirited" well, not really. She's just protective of her own baby and not tolerant of a strange foal who doesn't understand horse etiquette. Most mares fall closer towards her response to another mare's baby, than towards a nurse mare and let's just say there is a reason most of your nurse mares are from breeds that are obviously NOT Thoroughbreds.

    Even with a nurse mare, an experienced nurse mare, introducing her to an orphan foal is no guarantee of success.

    Now if say Marketing Mix was of a temperament that she might take on an orphan, then we get into the insurance side of things. Pairing a mare and orphan still comes with risks. Not huge risks but risks enough that the insurance company holding the ticket on a $1mil+ producer is going to get twitchy at the idea of trying such a thing. The owners and the insurers are both going to be taking on the risk to have Marketing Mix go through raising an orphan foal and they're going to want to be getting her in foal for 2019.

    There is no hard taboo against it, but there are a lot of factors above and beyond lactating mare + orphan foal = win!

    Also to keep in mind, mares are not human. Yes there are studies into animal grief and the grieving process and I don't discount those, but animals do not process grief like humans do. There is a high chance that Marketing Mix's own instincts told her the foal was not viable, remember she would have been able to smell the build up of toxins in the foal's body (from being unable to defecate) before the foal began to show distress.

    For all the studies we have on grief, there are countless breeders who can tell you the heartbreak of watching a bitch, queen, mare and animal mother, reject her newborn. I've seen it become a heated discussion point on various dog husbandry forums, about whether or not to respect that these mothers understand there is a problem and the baby (babies) are not viable and whether to intervene and hand raise the pups. Often the outcome seems to be 70/30 that the pups die anyway of a congenital defect, or are otherwise compromised and will require constant support for their lives.

    If she was handled properly (and I suspect she was in this instance) she would have been given the opportunity to sniff the foal's body, accept the death and move on. The same way Zenyatta was probably given the morning with Z16's body and by the late afternoon she was grazing peacefully with Vixana in a field back in Lane's End. Marketing Mix is probably much the same, she has moved on. It is the people around her who will hold on to the death and grieve the filly for much longer than the mare will.
  • Thanks, KMM, Wezzie, and Zenyen for weighing in here. Interesting discussion. And while we're on the subject of Marketing Mix's foal, I have a question that perhaps, @Zenyen, you might know the answer to. If the breeding contract is for "live foal" or "stands and nurses," but the foal is born with a lethal defect that doesn't become obvious until the foal begins to nurse and is unable to process the milk, how would this affect that contract? Are the owners of the mare out of luck because the foal was apparently healthy at birth and did stand and nurse, or is there recourse owing to the fact that the lethal defect was there all along? I feel a little cold-hearted even considering the business aspect of this, but I am curious.
  • jen_bloom said:

    Thanks, KMM, Wezzie, and Zenyen for weighing in here. Interesting discussion. And while we're on the subject of Marketing Mix's foal, I have a question that perhaps, @Zenyen, you might know the answer to. If the breeding contract is for "live foal" or "stands and nurses," but the foal is born with a lethal defect that doesn't become obvious until the foal begins to nurse and is unable to process the milk, how would this affect that contract? Are the owners of the mare out of luck because the foal was apparently healthy at birth and did stand and nurse, or is there recourse owing to the fact that the lethal defect was there all along? I feel a little cold-hearted even considering the business aspect of this, but I am curious.

    Without seeing the particulars of the contract, hard to say? I think a lot will boil down to the relationship the mare's owners have with Hill n Dale. If the relationship is pure business and the contract states "stands and nurses" then that might be the end of it.

    But I'd like to think that a situation like this would be an extraordinary circumstance and the fee would be waved, since ultimately the foal was non-viable from birth.

    I suspect it will depend upon the necropsy report. Think about it from Hill n Dale's side of the contract. If they gave a pass in this situation and then had a mare owner come to them and say "hey, our foal tripped in the stall hit their head and died within 24 hours, waive our fee" they could have a hard time arguing against it. But if the necropsy report provides them with evidence of a congenital defect, present at birth, resulting in the unavoidable loss of the foal, then they can grant an exception to "stands and nurses" without opening themselves up to more requests in the future.

    My assumption would be that they'll waive it on the strength of the necropsy report.
  • jen_bloom said:

    Thanks, KMM, Wezzie, and Zenyen for weighing in here. Interesting discussion. And while we're on the subject of Marketing Mix's foal, I have a question that perhaps, @Zenyen, you might know the answer to. If the breeding contract is for "live foal" or "stands and nurses," but the foal is born with a lethal defect that doesn't become obvious until the foal begins to nurse and is unable to process the milk, how would this affect that contract? Are the owners of the mare out of luck because the foal was apparently healthy at birth and did stand and nurse, or is there recourse owing to the fact that the lethal defect was there all along? I feel a little cold-hearted even considering the business aspect of this, but I am curious.

    Not cold-hearted, @jen_bloom, I thought of it too. Also if Curlin is out of consideration for Marketing Mix now for the future. I wasn't sure since if it was considered a congenital abnormality. I know often stud dogs/pedigrees are often avoided when breeding bitches who's lines ten to produce a lot of particular issues.

    Thank you for your answer, @Zenyen.
  • Marketing Mix is already on Quality Road's book for this year and he stands at Lane's End, not Hill n Dale.

    If everybody is playing nicely, I would think that Hill n Dale will want as much information from the necropsy as possible to determine if this was truly a genetic issue or a development issue. If it's a genetic issue then both parties are going to want to understand what it was about this combination that caused it to crop up.

    I've honestly never heard of a Curlin having this kind of issue before, in fact I've never heard of it outside of the lethal white syndrome. To have a foal present so perfect and then find this underneath the surface seems pretty rare, I mean look at that picture of her, she is the picture of bright eyed, alert, good weight and coat. It's hard to look at that picture and see any indication that she was fatally flawed.

    Usually when you're talking a genetic defect, you're going to see something at the time of foaling. The only exception to that, which I can think of, is lethal white; which is so heartbreaking because in all aspects the foals look perfect.

    Long story short I doubt Marketing Mix will ever go back to Curlin, which makes it even more likely that Hill n Dale will waive the fee and everybody will walk away a little more educated about their breeding stock.
  • Thanks again, Zenyen! :) You're right, much depends on what the necropsy shows. Sometimes defects just happen, a chromosome is damaged by a bit of cosmic radiation at just the wrong point, and won't ever happen again. If it were me, and I really wanted a Curlin foal, I would be poring over both family trees and the necropsy report to see if there's any history or any reason to think it will ever happen again. She was a beautiful filly, darn it! :'(
  • I second those thanks! I know how things are handled in my own sphere, but it's so helpful to ask those with experience with mares and foals how things would most likely be handled. I appreciate this thread and the ability to ask these questions and the patience of all those that answer. :)

    The filly was gorgeous, @jen_bloom, and even if she wasn't, a loss is a loss. :cry: Here's hoping Quality Road sends her an "X". Love the Quality Road fillies. :)
  • Paniolo_GalPaniolo_Gal Member
    edited February 2018
    Thank you @Zenyen and for all who contributed to this particular topic regarding Marketing Mix or other TB broodmares losing their foal! Providing insight on the issues of insurance, contractual agreements, etc. was also a multi-tiered obstacle besides just the temperament of the mare clearly explains why this is a rare occurrence in the TB breeding industry. This topic has truly been an educational eye opener for me and I am truly grateful for everyone's input!

    A side note: Not a thoroughbred mare but I thought this was a "feel good" story from Europe (The Netherlands) regarding two sad starts in life which ended well...

    Below is a touching image of a retired Dutch show jumping mare named Zindita who was mourning the loss of her stillborn foal (died in utero) just 2 days earlier but immediately fell in love with an orphaned filly that just lost it's mom named Tolanda. "This picture is taken an hour after the introduction.... It speaks for itself."
    image Photo by Dr. Patrick Brogan via www.ctvnews.ca (6/11/2016)

    Links to Zindita's background story with a YouTube video and facebook update:
    https://www.ctvnews.ca/world/vet-shares-touching-photo-of-horse-adopting-orphaned-foal-after-losing-her-own-1.2941876
    https://www.facebook.com/hashtag/waaijstud?source=embed

    Video shows a short clip of Zindita's first introduction to the orphan foal
    taken by Dr. Patrick Brogan. Note: the video cover image shows Zindita & her
    adopted foal clearly bonded enjoying time out in the open field.
    from YouTube from SlideShow ForFun (6-16-2016)
  • As a pinto owner and breeder I was doing a search for anything to document a Solid (AKA Breeding Stock paint/Pinto) genetically tested to confirm the lethal white gene and found this: A recent study involving 945 white-patterned and 55 solid-colored horses presented for DNA identification of the lethal white gene (Lys118 allele) The study stated that the LW gene CAN be present on Sabino pattern. When I first saw the beautiful Marketing Mix filly one thing jumped out at me like a ton of bricks beside her 4 Very high white stocking legs and her wide blazed face. Her tail coloring. I was puzzled at the whole under side of her tail looking pure white as like a Sabino patterned paint horse or QH. I then went looking for a Sabino foal at or near the same age and found this newborn Sabino foal which has the exact same white colored under tail hair as MM18 had. https://goo.gl/images/UNNkQ2 Knowing that TB's have extreme overo gene and pattern my curiousity now is could this beautiful angel have been a minimal Sabino Patterned LW foal?
  • edited February 2018
    So you don't have to switch forums to view MM18 https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DWvNbpeVAAA-a62.jpg
    Also noted she had a rather big white spot on her flank which is also a sign of Sabino white pattern present.
  • As a pinto owner and breeder I was doing a search for anything to document a Solid (AKA Breeding Stock paint/Pinto) genetically tested to confirm the lethal white gene and found this: A recent study involving 945 white-patterned and 55 solid-colored horses presented for DNA identification of the lethal white gene (Lys118 allele) The study stated that the LW gene CAN be present on Sabino pattern. When I first saw the beautiful Marketing Mix filly one thing jumped out at me like a ton of bricks beside her 4 Very high white stocking legs and her wide blazed face. Her tail coloring. I was puzzled at the whole under side of her tail looking pure white as like a Sabino patterned paint horse or QH. I then went looking for a Sabino foal at or near the same age and found this newborn Sabino foal which has the exact same white colored under tail hair as MM18 had. https://goo.gl/images/UNNkQ2 Knowing that TB's have extreme overo gene and pattern my curiousity now is could this beautiful angel have been a minimal Sabino Patterned LW foal?

    That is an extremely interesting theory. We know that occasionally there are Thoroughbred who throw pattern, we've seen pictures of them.

    If so I'd have to imagine it's in Marketing Mix's pedigree, since if it was Curlin, I'd have expected to see it crop up before now.
  • Frame definitely exists in Thoroughbreds, but according to the usually-reliable whitehorseproductions, only in a few select families. It could be hiding in others though.
    http://www.whitehorseproductions.com/pintotbs.html

    It is my understanding that all LW foals have blue eyes, even though not all are actually "white." It is very easy for frame to hide, though - the good stock horse breeders I know test every single horse in their program, even if they're solid. But if this filly was LW, both Curlin and MM would have to be hiding frame.

    Man was that filly nice. What a loss :(
  • Paniolo_GalPaniolo_Gal Member
    edited February 2018
    Thanks @AllZensonTrack for bringing up the possibility of the lethal white gene (LW) that may have affected Marketing Mix's filly. I hope your research on the Lys118 allele can provide the forum with your findings in the future regarding the minimal Sabino Patterned and LW genetic syndrome. This is definitely an intriguing subject that perhaps might be continued in more detail in the Genetics in Breeding and Pedigree discussion...thanks for your interesting theory!
  • Paniolo_GalPaniolo_Gal Member
    edited February 2018
    NURSE MARES
    @KMM and @Wezzie discussed that TB breeding farms usually rent/lease a proven "nurse mare" to take care of orphaned TB foals, when the mare rejects her foal, when a mare is unable to provide milk for the foal due to post foaling injury or who have difficulty in lactating.

    When I visited the Irish National Stud in 2016, they had both stallions and broodmares within walking distance on their huge property...along with retired champions like Beef or Salmon, a small herd of cattle and mini horses! We were informed that they also had their own nurse mares which they keep on the property in case of possible foaling difficulties.

    Below, meet the nurse mares of INS...Scary Spice (dark bay mare on left) with her matching bay filly by Famous Name-GB (2005) and on the right, Apple McFarney with her chestnut colt also by Famous Name. Scary Spice looked more like a thoroughbred, but Apple was definitely a draft mixed. Our INS guide said that they use their own stallions who have openings in their books to cover their in-house nurse mares in preparation for foaling season. Note: Famous Name now stands at Anngrove Stud for 2018.
    image Curious nurse mares and their foals looking for carrot treats at the Irish National Stud

    I know Brandywine had their own teaser stallion (a handsome sabino named Traveller) who was rewarded by covering leased nurse mares prior to returning the mare back to her farm. @Zenyen Do other larger breeding farms in the states (especially in Lexington) also have their own nurse mares or is it a normal practice in the states to just lease a proven nurse mare from another non-TB breeding farm?
  • Paniolo_GalPaniolo_Gal Member
    edited March 2018
    A THOROUGHBRED BROODMARE ADOPTS A REJECTED ANIMAL KINGDOM COLT!
    Thanks @Rachel for finding this article about Mazielle (by Seeking The Gold) who recently lost her foal (by Runhappy). Mazielle readily adopted an Animal Kingdom colt who was rejected by his dam (originally posted in Foal Watch 2018). This is a perfect companion article to @keta's posting just above! A very "Feel Good" story indeed!

    https://www.racingpost.com/bloodstock/colt-rejected-by-own-mother-finds-perfect-match-in-dam-who-lost-foal/321215
  • Made my day!
  • KetaKeta Member
    edited March 2018
    Paniolo_Gal Thank you & Rachel for the article about Mazielle & colt.
    Here is a photo of the two enjoying outdoor time together.
    Nice way to start the day. Keta
  • Have La Verdad before Memento d'Oro. La Verdad is due on March 15. She has been quite active and managed to require bandaging a hind leg for 3 days. She also LOVES to lay out flat to sleep which makes one think foaling the silly girl.
  • Just checking in on La Verdad (who is due on the 15th.) She looks small for being due in a week.
  • They had a scare when she started waxing up quite early for a healthy foal during the Nor'Easter storm. The whole farm went dark when electricity failed so no camera's for 4 days. La Verdad is now in the foaling stall as in the past she has foaled a few days after waxing up, however it was stated they felt she was stressed by the storm and has since stopped waxing and is comfortable in the Foaling stall.

    She has been rather odd at night in the past laying down flat out and seemed to be pushing one night, Then she settled down but the next day when the cameras turned back on(at that time they were not 24/7 yet she had a bandaged hind leg. She seems a tricky one for guessing a foaling date LOL.
  • Paniolo_GalPaniolo_Gal Member
    edited March 2018
    HOW TO BUILD A RACE HORSE...
    WELCOME TO THE WORLD! FOALING

    This article from Stonestreet was from a twitter link posted in Foal Watch by Keta (page 28). Although we've had articles on foaling previously, it does provide additional information many of us have not seen before...interesting article. I thought it was also great to have this information in this discussion as well. Just in time for La Verdad's upcoming foaling!
    http://www.stonestreetfarms.com/2016/02/11/welcome-world-foaling/

    Diagram showing the position of a foal in utero as it moves down the birth canal.
    Note- Additional coloring was respectfully added to help us see the positions of the foal in the womb & birth canal...
    image From Stonestreet Blog: How To Build A Race Horse- "Welcome To The World! Foaling" (published 2/11/16)

    btw...This is an earlier article from the Stonestreet Blog pertaining to "Physical and Behavior Changes" with the expectant mare...
    http://www.stonestreetfarms.com/2016/01/14/foal-watch/
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