Photo essay by CSU Photographer William A. Cotton
The cycle repeats every year in late winter and early spring: After 11 months of pregnancy, about 40 mares give birth at Colorado State University’s Equine Reproduction Laboratory.
The mares and newborn foals are watched closely by veterinarians and students taking a Foaling Management class, which is offered each spring.
The class gives students – primarily equine science and veterinary students – a chance to learn about and assist with mare care, foaling, and newborn care. The arrangement also gives horse owners peace of mind that expectant mares are monitored around the clock.
Along with students, a veterinarian attends each foaling and conducts well-baby exams.
“It’s a win-win for owners and students. This is an outstanding opportunity for horse owners to have their mares give birth in a well-managed clinical setting, and it’s a wonderful opportunity for students to gain hands-on experience,” says Dr. Patrick McCue, a veterinarian and renowned specialist in equine reproduction. He teaches the class with Dr. Jason Bruemmer.
After 29 years as a veterinarian and 15 years offering the foaling service, McCue still marvels at the miracle of birth.
“Every foaling is exciting,” he says. “It’s still a thrill to watch a mare give birth to a live, healthy foal.”
Learn more about CSU’s foaling services by visiting the Equine Reproduction Laboratory website.