I'm sure you've probably noticed by now that I have a thing for broodmares. And not just because I've become one myself – there is a special place in my heart for mares about to become mothers. I especially love the ones who are part of the broodmare band at J. Drummond Farms.
The ones pictured above are downright hilarious. Every morning they get turned outside, after they have been fed their broodmare supplement. And every day they are brought back inside starting at 3:00 pm. Turning them out gives them their exercise, fresh air and a round bale to eat on all day long. We are able to turn them into pastures close to us so we can keep a close eye on each of their pregnancy progress and as they are handled each night when they come in, it's easy to monitor such changes as relaxed vulvas, dropped bellies or waxing.
In one more week, we will start lining 3 of their stalls with straw so the mares with the March due dates can become accustomed to their new bedding. Initially we find that they tend to eat the straw at first, but with a little time they quit this habit.
Anyhow, what makes me chuckle so much about these mares is the fact that at 2:00 pm every day, they start lining up at the gate.
In order of alpha status.
My ol' faithful non-pro mare, Chicolet is first. Then Chiclips, followed by Joker and Tyson. Every day it's the same. And yet, the mares don't actually come inside for another hour. However, they prefer to wait at the gate and give us all looks like, \”Hey you..! You should take me inside to my nice stall and the supper that awaits me…\” as we pass by.
It can be the most beautiful day and the mares will still line up early.
Tomorrow I will introduce you to another of our broodmares who is not pictured here. Tomorrow's mare is older than the others and often finds herself at the bottom of the pecking order. Therefore we found the perfect place for her: in the weanling fillies pasture.
Tomorrow, My Stable Life will also discuss some of the challenges owners face when breeding older mares, options for dealing with them and why these special sweethearts need a little extra TLC.
'Til then, have a wonderful Family Day!