Message Boards => Foaling Questions & Help => Topic started by: Holly on November 20, 2016, 06:51:16 PM

Title: Chamois
Post by: Holly on November 20, 2016, 06:51:16 PM
Has anyone used chamois to dry off a foal?
I usually use old bath towels, but with precious being due so early in the year I am wondering if chamois would dry the foal up faster.
I have a foal blanket, plan to bed deep, and may even turn on a heat lamp until foal is dried.
Title: Re: Chamois
Post by: Chanda on November 20, 2016, 06:52:42 PM
Never tried it, but should be something that would work well.  I think I'd keep old towels ready, too, but the Chamois should work, supposed to be superior for drying and water wicking.
Title: Re: Chamois
Post by: Rocklone on November 20, 2016, 07:38:34 PM
Honestly, i would just make sure the stall is well bedded and draft free (which i know you stalls are quit sheltered) and let the mare do the business. She will lick the foal clean, and it will dry off. If you feel at the time its getting TOO cold, like shivering uncontrollably, yeah try a towel or whatever but i'm for letting it all be natural. Think about the temps they are born in here, usually your winter temps in summer, and they are fine lol

Of course you have to know when they need help, but you also have to give them as much no help as possible.
Title: Re: Chamois
Post by: Holly on November 21, 2016, 03:19:13 PM
LOL I would be really brave not to dry off the foal! I even dry them off a lot in the summer :P I just cant not dry them.... every foal ive had born here between November & Feb has shivered... I just dont like to see them cold, probably because I dislike it so much!
I think I will get a few chamois to add in my foaling kit and as Chanda said keep my towels too.
Title: Re: Chamois
Post by: Rocklone on November 21, 2016, 04:10:12 PM
Haha I'm a do nothing type unless absolutely necessary.
Title: Re: Chamois
Post by: Ryan on November 21, 2016, 05:36:14 PM
The Chamois here seem to be a little like rubber and they are a little stretchy. I think If I used one one here they would tend to pull a little on the coat.

You can pick up some great old towels form the op shop. Good thing with drying off foals and wiping there dirty faces when needed is its great extra handling and good quality bonding time :)
Title: Re: Chamois
Post by: Holly on November 21, 2016, 06:53:00 PM
Ryan, I never thought of it pulling on the coat..... That is an issue to think of for sure! Thank you!
Title: Re: Chamois
Post by: paintponylvr on November 22, 2016, 05:49:22 AM
Holly - I've thought of using the towels in the auto section that "suck up" the water.  I've never had any around when I've been with a foaling mare. 

All of our shetlands have "cheated" and foaled in between checks (one foaled while I was getting feed - I'd moved her back to her old space in the barn, tied up in front of her bucket.  I heard the water splashing as I was scooping feed up for the next set of ponies - she foaled standing up with her head deep in her bucket.  I never saw the contractions...She didn't lay down until we moved her back into her clean foaling stall and she was sore/crampy/colicy.  Lots of pics - in the "Flashi" album).  We used regular towels to dry her off. 

( (

Tory foaled when I had her in the round pen - I was cleaning her stall - should have guessed she'd gotten it so GROSS due to being hours/minutes away from foaling.  I was actually stripping the stall - it was wet all the way thru also because of the heavy rainstorm we'd gotten and had water flowing thru the carport where the stall was.  Echo was pretty much dry by the time I brought them in, but used the towels to dry him a bit more and get my scent on him since Tory is our wild mare and I wanted her to understand he was "mine" as well.  Then I cornered her and rubber her neck/chest w/ the damp towels.

First pic should say 345 days.  She was covered only 1 time - May 10th, 2012.  The wet in the stall - behind Tory and along the wall between wall/chain link panel is rain wet from the water that had flowed thru.  The 2nd pic was taken about 345 am and he was born about 215am.  The round pen was very wet, but packed sand with no standing water.  It had started raining the afternoon before - after I took the first pic and was still "spitting" while she was in the round pen while cleaning up that "stall".  We had gotten around an inch of rain on already water logged ground, IF i remember right.

( (

Stuffy foaled - we'd spent 48 hours keeping watch.  Just swapping folks on a stool in front of the kitchen window where our laundry is(was at previous home).  We had some dog kennels set up in the car port and she was in the one.  Ponyfriend, Vicki, had to go pick up her grand daughters from school, so she left.  I did chores, didn't have as many ponies then, got done pretty quick (didn't groom or work any) and then back up to the house.  Made pizza and went physically out to check her while it was cooling before cutting.  Hmmm...  soon?  Didn't see any contractions and she was really no different.  Standing with her butt against the chain link panel.  Went back in, cut all 3 pizzas, dished up for myself, one of our daughter's and my hubby and sat down with mine in the living room.  I'd maybe consumed 3 bites of first slice, taken a drink and the back door(carport/laundry) slammed open and oldest daughter called "uuuummmmmmm pizza."  Then - "Hey, who's the new "cupid"????) and out we went to see the new colt trying to stand from w/i the corner his dam had just been in.  Think she may have foaled standing up, too...Towels used to dry him off as well.  AS you can guess - it was February, Valentine's Day weekend (though after Valentine's Day - it was the 16th) and it is COLD in NC at that time.  I even kept him covered with dry towels like blankets whenever he got the shivers - which wasn't often since he had a really nice fluffy coat.

Wet behind because I've just washed her.  I don't know exactly what time it is here (I'd have to pull/find original pic).  2nd pic is about an hour after foaling, we've towel dried the little "Cupid" (yes, that became his name) and removed her tail wrap.  Cupid was our first Shetland foal to be born on our property since 2000, so it had been 10 years, and he is out of our very first born "Stuffy" - whom was born in 1996 in MT.

( (

Anyway, I'm going to pick up some of those wicking rags and give them a try and see how they work.  They might pull the coat, too, though - so we'll have to see.

Title: Re: Chamois
Post by: Holly on November 22, 2016, 10:27:16 AM
Paula, Thank you for all the info! I love your stories!
Thankfully to date Ive never missed a foaling, I would be so disappointed. I do have to say though its because I have such a vigilant foaling team!
Please let us know how the wicking rags work!
I know it doesnt get as cold here as a lot of places in the country, barely below freezing in rare occasions. However we have a very long HOT season then right into cold, barely a cool down ( fall) so our ponies can get adjusted. So to me when the mare is used to being heavily bred during the hot months, then pops out a foal when the weather suddenly drops below 30 ( 40 LOL) I dont feel that our foals are as prepared. I think thats why their coats are shorter and they tend to shiver so much.
Course as Ive said, I prefer 90+ degrees, and 40 feels down right artic!   :D I grew up in New England so one would have to wonder what happened, but I believe the years of shoveling snow and walking up hill both ways to school in 5 ft of snow are to blame! Yes I definitely prefer warm & toasty, and  dont like foaling mares out so early in the year... Lets hope that I can keep Precious from getting bred back and have a warmer weather foal next time!