The birth of a Shire foal will be broadcast live over the internet as part of a National Trust experiment.
Queenie, the only Shire horse mare at Wimpole Home Farm in Cambridgeshire, is due to give birth to her foal this month. She has had two healthy foals in the past, but has lost her last two foals.
Richard Morris, farm manager, said: “There’s no guarantee the birth will be straight forward, particularly as Queenie had a miscarriage last year and a previous foal had to be put down due to a deformity.”
Queenie is being carefully monitored by Wimpole Horse Manager Emma Warner.
“Queenie’s temperature rose this morning — which is the first sign of a horse getting ready to have her foal,” said Emma. “We weren’t expecting her to be ready to give birth until at least the middle of this month, so we are just now making sure she is comfortable and is kept calm, well fed and watered, and we’ll keep our fingers crossed that everything goes smoothly.”
A webcam has been installed in Queenie’s stable and viewers will be able to watch the birth as it unfolds, live on the National Trust’s MyFarm website. Infrared lighting is being installed to ensure that people can see the birth, even at night.
To watch the foaling, visit www.my-farm.org.uk and click on the ‘webcam live’ starburst on the right-hand side.