Maybe your mare has been kept with a stallion or perhaps you bought her at an auction where her living arrangements were unknown, either way I’m sure you’d like to know if her growing belly is from hay or a foal. Determining if your mare is pregnant can be tricky, depending on how far along she might be. Follow these tips to find out if a foal is in her future.
A mare stays pregnant for approximately 11 months. During the first three months of her pregnancy, do not expect to see any outward signs. Early on, breeders must use an ultrasound to determine if the mare is indeed expecting. They can be used two weeks after breeding. Within two to three months, urine or blood with show a positive or negative result. After six weeks, a veterinarian may be able to feel if changes have begun to happen.
Your mare will begin to show visible signs as early as six months along. Her belly will begin to expand. Roughly two weeks before delivery, your mare’s udder will grow in size and produce yellow fluid. She should be more relaxed around this time and her tailhead very soft. Near the end, the foal will appear to drop in her belly. Her udders may form milky droplets at the end of the teats. And during the process, she might appear to have colic. She might get up and down, seem restless, and only nibble on hay.
Whether your hoping your mare is pregnant or you’d rather that not be the case, it is important to find out early on by having your veterinarian perform an exam. This can make a big difference in keeping your mare and potential foal healthy.