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Q: I’ve been told a mare’s due date will be around 340-345 days after ovulation. Is that correct?

There is no such thing as an equine “due date”. The normal gestational range is 320-370 days with some considerable range.

Less than 20% of foalings take place in the “average due date” range, so you should not expect your mare to foal at any predicted due date.

Do plenty of reading about the signs of impending foaling, and watch your mare carefully for signs that she is about to give birth.

What is the earliest a foal can be born and survive?

Realistically, foals born before 300 days of gestation have a very small chance of survival. Those born after 300-320 days will generally require extra care, but will normally have a better survival rate.

How long can gestation last?

Some foals have been born after 400 days, but these are extreme cases. Foals that are born after 370 days may be “post-mature” where they become overdeveloped, yet undernourished. Consult your vet if you think there is a problem with your pregnant mare.

When should my mare go back to stud for foaling down?

A minimum of 30 days before expected foaling dates. Most pregnancies will last from 320-370 days gestation, so around 300-310 days should be the absolute latest that you should send your mare back to the stud for foaling, or move her to her foaling box.

This will allow the mare to become comfortable and relaxed in her new environment, and also allow her to build up immunity to any different pathogens in the new environment that she is not used to, so this immunity can be passed on to the foal.

30 days will also give the stud staff time to get used to the mare’s usual pattern of behaviour, which will give them a better ability to be able to predict when the mare will foal.

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