My husband and I have been breeding Egyptian Arabian horses for several years now. It’s magical when a foal is born and it’s crucial that they stand and nurse as soon as possible to receive the rich milk mom has containing important immune antigens the baby needs to help her survive for the first 6 months of life. If nursing does not take place within the first few hours of birth, the foal may not receive this important transfer and then be vulnerable to disease and serious infections. Over the years we have had very few happy moms ready and willing to nurse their children. Most are frantic about the process and some kick and rear up at the thought of having to feed their babies. Needless to say we have had many sleepless nights trying to help mom’s “motherly” instincts kick in so she will allow her baby to nurse. This has proved to be very frustrating and sometimes dangerous. In the end we usually work it all out, but sometimes not in time to make that all-important immune transfer and some of our foals have become ill as a result.
All this has now changed. Over the past three years we have birthed four foals from moms who have in the past exhibited issues with the nursing process. This time during their pregnancies we gave them herbs to help balance their hormones. We specifically gave the Mare Tonic and during the final month of pregnancy an extra helping of Red Raspberry Leaf. We also made a spray from distilled water and Young Living’s Peace and Calming Oil that we sprayed in the birthing stall and on mom to help calm her during and after the birth. In all, births moms were very attentive to the needs of their foals and let them nurse as soon as they were able to stand and find the food source. It was a lovely sight and a relief knowing the foals were getting a great head start as they were intended to. The only change to their pregnancies was the herbs and the calming oil.
In addition, mom will have a heat cycle about seven days after the foal is born which changes the structure of the milk produced for that timeframe. This change causes a nasty diarrhea to occur in the foals, which is so bad that you must clean the foals behinds and cover them in a diaper rash preventative cream. If you don’t, this diarrhea will burn the foal’s skin just like an infant with diaper rash. It’s a messy time and can happen each time mom comes into heat while nursing. Well, I’m here to say that keeping mom on the Mare Tonic after the birth has eliminated foal diarrhea during heat cycles. It’s amazing! It’s soft, but not squirting out five feet like a hose!! We will always give our moms herbs while pregnant because of the balance they bring to every aspect of birthing. I encourage everyone breeding horses to try herbs and oils for their pregnant moms. Your foals will be happier and so will you that you did! Pictured is Rasheedah Al Ameen – 2014 Filly.
Cheryl & Bill Corcoran