PH strips for foaling, who uses them?

Discussion in 'Breeding Horses' started by Coliban Quarter Horse Stud, Aug 27, 2014.

  1. Hi:) it is never too late to learn new tricks. All the years before we have been assessing mares by visual signs. I was advised to have a go with the strips, so I did:)
    My question is at what number should I put the foal alarm on. At the moment mares are at dark green(8) on the PH scale and 2 weeks off foaling by visual.
    Any tips?
  2. PPH

    PPH Guest

    I've not used these yet either and was lucky enough to have a friend lend me a foal alarm this year for Spice and her colt so I did not have to many sleepless nights. I have one more mare to foal yet though so want to try it on her. I know there is a particular type you need to buy, the one with the yellow lid I am told.

    From what i have read else where and understand, the mare's pH level in her milk decreases slowly until she foals so I guess you need to be diligent testing and noting the colour changes.
    Other things have have heard are that the result should only be read 15-30 seconds after dropping the milk onto the strip as if left longer the result may not be accurate.

    8.4 is apparently normal and a long way off foaling. From what i know, I would be putting the foal alarm on when she gets to the low sevens/high sixes. When it gets to 6.2 , foaling is meant to be very close.

    But then mares are totally unpredictable sometimes. read the other signs as well. :)
  3. Remaani

    Remaani Guest

    I still like having the alarm on a little early - with the Mini's, they tend to foal 300 days + (dam of one of my mares foaled 284 days well) & i have had a mare foal with no udder/milk/other signs... she went down & foaled 10mins after a check so the alarm is on even before PH testing just to reassure me.
    Have even had a mare sit on 8.4 for weeks & drop to 6.2 very slowly, then another mare go from 8.4 to 6.2 & below within days.


    I use these PH test strips, they seem to give a better/more accurate

  4. Thanks guys:)
    I am still testing two mares every day for an experiment sake. :)
  5. Off in the bin they go:( last night the mare tested on 7, and in the morning she foaled. If I were a first timer and trusted the readings on the PH strips, we could've missed the birth.
  6. Remaani

    Remaani Guest

    Agreed re missing birth.
    Though one would hope other breeders would rely on other forms of predicting imminent foaling.
    I have a mare due in a little over a week & i haven't bothing testing the PH levels, she's not ready to go anytime soon by other signs. :)

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