With breeding season just around the corner, many mare owners will be forced to haul their mares to breeding farms with a new foal on their side. While traveling is a stressful experience for any horse, it can be especially stressful for a new baby. This is why a great amount of preparation should be performed before attempting to haul a new foal.
The first thing that people should consider is whether the mare will be traveling with the foal. If the mare will be traveling with the baby, then owners or haulers will need to properly prepare the trailer to ensure that both the mare and baby are safe during the trip. The safest way to haul a mare and baby is to place a partition between the two to ensure that the foal is not accidently hurt by the mare during the trip. If it is possible, an owner may even consider leaving the mare at home so that more attention can be given to the foal at the vet clinic. However, this is something that owners will need to discuss with their veterinarian.
Another thing that owners will need to consider when hauling a foal is the condition of their health. A foal that is sick will have a very difficult time maintaining their body temperature during travel and can become very cold. This is because new foals do not have a great amount of body fat to serve as insulation and being sick will only make it more difficult for the foal to keep warm.
If it is absolutely necessary to transport a sick foal, special considerations will need to be made to ensure that the foal does not get cold during the trip. One way to help a foal stay warm during transportation is to haul them in a trailer that is fully enclosed. This will prevent any cold air from blowing on the foal during the trip. However, this may not be a possible solution for every owner.
In the situation that the foal must be transported in an open stock trailer, the owner should use a foal sized blanket to preserve as much body heat as possible. However, a great amount of heat can be lost through the legs. One way to prevent this type of heat loss is to wrap the legs. A foal should be constantly supervised any time leg wraps are used to prevent the foal from injuring itself.
It is important to get your livestock to their final destination without any injuries. Everyone knows that injuries are going to happen, but there are some things that you can do to reduce the risk of your livestock being injured during transit.
The first thing that you should do is allow enough room between the animals. Packing of animals either too loosely or too tightly will predispose them to injury. Partitions should be used to reduce the chance of the animals being injured. There should be enough animals within a space to minimize injury while at the same time providing enough space for an animal that is cast to rise with assistance. It is also important to make sure that the animals are properly separated from one another. It is recommended that the following classes be transported separately:
• Polled cattle
• Young calves
• Cow with suckling calf
• Hornless cattle
• Adult bulls
• Cattle that are greatly different in size
• Females in advanced stages of pregnancy
Lactating dairy cows that are in full production and without calves at their side should be milked at intervals not exceeding twenty four hours. When bulls are haltered and tied within the trailer, the head rope should not be fitted through a nose ring. Calves should be strong enough to withstand the stresses of transportation and they should be transported in vehicles with enclosed fronts to prevent wind chill. Newborn calves with wet umbilical cords or calves that weigh less than 50 pounds should not be allowed to travel. Cows that are more than eight months pregnant should not be transported for journeys that are longer than eight hours. Longer journeys will increase the risk of metabolic diseases and injury. All cattle should be offered food and water as soon as possible after they have been unloaded.
• Sheep that differ greatly in size
• Ewes and sucker lambs
• Ewes in advanced stages of pregnancy
Newborn lambs and newly shorn sheep are very susceptible to wind chill and should be transported in vehicles with enclosed fronts to protect them from the elements. Ewes that are more than four months pregnant should not be transported on journeys that will take longer than eight hours and they should be offered food and water as soon as possible after they have reached their final destination.
The recommendations for domestic goats are very similar to those that are listed for sheep.