Burch Farm Blog

Happy April Foals Day!

I'll start with the photo because we all know that's the most important thing. I mean look at this handsome guy!




Now for the story: 

First of all, who would have thought that a Walking Horse farm's first foal of the year would be a Thoroughbred! This mare, Vitalia, is by Awesome Again and was bred to the great Einstein to produce this big guy. Both mama and baby are owned by College Grove's own Walter Ogilvie, owner of Peacock Hill Farms. 

Now, we always take special care of our mares before foaling, but this year we got our first stall camera and "foal alert" system. Basically you attach a sensor on the mare's halter and when she lays down (theoretically to have her colt), the beeper that we keep on hand BEEPS, and if you have your camera set up, you can turn on your TV to see if the beeping was actually foaling. So for the last week and a half, literally, this thing has been beeping every single night, and more than once. Unfortunately, we only got our camera set up the morning after this foal was born. So of course when we hear a beep, we rush to the barn to hopefully see the new foal only to find that the mare munching on her hay, no baby in sight. 

This is frustrating, as you can imagine. Many times, a mare will act as though she will foal that night, but could go on carrying for another month. In fact, one of our favorite ponies, Tater, was carried exactly a year and one day (compared to the typical 11 month gestation). So with this mare only a couple of days past her due date, we started giving up hope of seeing a baby anytime soon.  But late last night we just had a feeling, and when we went down to check on Vitalia at about 2am, the colt had already been born. 

Funny thing is, the foal alert beeper NEVER EVEN BEEPED. Moral of the story, don't trust a foal alert, trust your gut. But when all else fails, get a stall camera. And now that ours is working properly, we're ready for baby number 2!