Miniature Horse Nursery Journal, April 2008!!!

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This journal has become way too lengthy. Thus, there are now monthly pages!

Click here to read February, 2008. This section is the start of our journal and includes all of our preparations for foaling.

Click here to read March, 2008. This section documents the foaling by Lucky Four Real Doll

Click here to read May, 2008. Who knows what this section will document??


April 2, 2008

We are predicting that Magic's baby will be the next one to show her face! Magic had enough milk to test this morning. All 4 squares changed in 45 seconds. Then at noon, we tested again. all 4 squares changed in 38 seconds. She is progressing! They are changing, but quite slowly. We will be having a baby in the next 24-48 hours!

April 3, 2008

1 PM: The strips keep speeding up in their conversion rates. The faster the strips change, the closer we are. I love it because it tells me when to be ready for this baby. Again, please pray. This mare is precious to my oldest daughter, Lisa.  She is one of our best.

April 4, 2008

It is 2AM and I need sleep. Last night was unbelievable!! I will fill in the details later this morning after I get some sleep, but for now, here is my only clue. This night may have been one of the best nights of my life..... next to the wedding to my tolerant hubby and the birth of my own children! Click here to read who was in those 2 placentas you see on the left.

BTW, you should be able to fill your placenta with water to check for holes after birthing. You don't want to have any pieces left in momma!

Click here to go to the page on Magic and Lily's foaling! There are more pictures and videos of the birth!

April 4, 2008

It is 8:12 AM, and I just came up from cleaning up the barn. I couldn't stop myself from singing the song by Rich Mullins, "Surely God is with us", the entire time. Both Magic and Lily foaled out a filly!

Painted Sun's Once in a Blue Moon

Ultra Mycall Jacksum x Crystals Easter Lily

Painted Sun's You've Gotta Have Faith

Ultra Mycall Jacksum x Wee Wees Double Magic Lady

We had a vet here this morning, and I learned some more interesting facts. Miniature horses make up about 5% of her practice. But, out of the emergency calls they get for dystocia, 50% of them are for Miniatures.

I also always thought that hair colic was only a problem for the foals. She told me about one farm last year where they lost 4 mares due to hair colic. Her recommendation was to take all the hair off and not just the bellies like I have done. The mares groom each other when they are out in pasture and can eat hair with all of the spring shedding going on. This vet necropsied the 4 mares and found balls the size of softballs and as hard as enteorliths. The balls were all hair!!

Other tips from these births?? Lily's baby was out when we got there. The momma was laying to the side and the baby was still attached to the placenta by the umbilical cord. We had to tie off the umbilicus with dental floss (glad we had it in our foaling kit) and cut the cord. Thanks to Kim of Crayonbox Miniatures, we knew to brace the cord on the stomach area to try and not cause a hernia. We cut about 1.5 inches long.

Tibbs Morning Star's milk is not right! It appears to have blood in it. She does not have a fever, her udder is soft and there is no heat. All of us rule out mastitis.

I add a page of to our articles of what to do post foaling.

April 6, 2008

We have a Dairy Farmer visit today and he says this bloody milk also occurs in cows. Confidently, he tells me that the milk will go white when the baby is ready to come. Denise, a human lactation consultant, also says not to worry. She calls it "Rusty Pipe Syndrome" and assures me all is fine. As our day progresses, Morning's milk turns white and the milk strip test squares change from green to purple in a matter of 25 seconds.

A family from church bring us pizza for dinner and they decide to wait the witness the foaling of Morning's baby. My bedroom once again is very crowded.



April 7, 2008

Morning's baby appears at 3:45 AM Click here to read the details and see the birthing video.

Lessons were once again learned. The eyelashes of this filly are turned inwards and are irritating the eye. My vet recommends suturing the lid open. Two other mini breeders advise me to just shave off the lashes. They say that the problem resolves itself when the lashes grow back out in 2 weeks. I shave the eyelashes off this filly.
She is also weaker and has trouble getting latched on initially. Here is how to make a Miniature Horse Breast Milk Pump: I cut off the end of the syringe and inserted the plunger through the cut off end. Then you have a smooth lip on the top to put around the mare's teat. Pull your plunger and you have a colostrum cocktail!!!

Then, we start milking Morning. To the milk we collect, we add pancake syrup and some probios. This is enough of a kick start to get her nursing on her own.

I also am going to milk out every mare now right after her foal and feed the baby to jumpstart him even before he stands up. I will milk out about 10cc of colostrum during this process. Some breeders start a colostrum bank  by saving some ccs of milk from every birth.


April 8, 2008

Jewel gets body clipped completely. Our friend, Leigh Anne helps us and leaves an 'L' on her hip! All the mares get body clipped completely due to hair colic fear!

April 11, 2008

Click here to see Crystal Easter Lily's baby enjoying the springtime at one week of age!!

April 14, 2008

We are all laughing at how we thought Jewel would be the first momma in the barn, but now I think she will be last. That'll be true in heaven...the first shall be last. Turbolina's teats are pointing downwards whereas Jewel's are still pointing at each other. Jewel is not giving off enough milk to test with the milk strips. We were able to test Turbo's and I am beginning to think she will foal tomorrow night. The test in the morning will tell us a bunch more. 

Here in Arizona, we irrigate. Even in the 115 degree heat of summer, flooding the grass once every 2 weeks is enough to keep everything very green. This weekend was our turn to irrigate. The horses are confined to their stalls for a few days while it soaks in. Their eyes glaze over as they stare beyond me to the grass and you can tell they are questioning why I am not allowing them out. This time was especially hard due to the babies all needing to stretch their legs. Tomorrow, they will all frolic once more!

April 16, 2008

UGH!! My prediction about Turbolina from April 14 is not going to come true. This is what happens when an 11 year old is your testing scientist. She double dipped Turbolina's milk strip. Thus, I got a false positive on the night of the 14th. Every evening, we sit in the front yard and  laugh as we watch the foals kicking and playing. The mom's are still protective, but are losing their vigilance slowly but surely. It is almost 6 PM and Jess just went skipping down to the barn for her nightly 'teat torture.' "Run Turbolina!" "Run Jewel!"

Jewel's milk is bloody too!! This time I am not worried though. Rusty pipe syndrome!

NEWS FLASH from the PINK PANTHER!!! Click here to view Painted Sun's News at 8 PM.

April 18, 2008

We are experiencing our first milk strip failure test! The strips changed again last night and we should have had a baby by now in my estimations! The first night, I assumed it was error on the part of my 11 year old. I don't know why things are different with this mare, but we are watching her like a hawk. The only difference with this mare is that she has more blood in her milk. Fortunately, I don't feel anxious about it this time. This year alone, the strips have been accurate on 6 out of 7 horses that we tested (including Aimee's).


We also have a dog ready to whelp on watch. The tell tale sign for whelping has always been a drop in her temperature. Her temperature was 99.8 yesterday morn and 99.1 around 5 PM. I would have put money on her whelping last night! Maybe she will gift us with day time puppies.

Is there a boycott going on here or what? I am sure glad I am not a betting woman!

10 PM! We are committed to a third night in a row with no sleep. I am too old for all nighters! My daughters have a state-wide piano competition tomorrow and they need sleep too. I feel like I could say with full confidence, just like I have done on the previous babies, that tonight is the night, but Jewel is sure fooling us!!!!

The blood is gone from her milk and the quantity of milk is way up. Lots of it tonight. I do think it is tonight, but I thought that the last two nights.

Jewel is co-owned with a friend, so I called her and begged her to keep watch tonight. Kindly on her part and thankfully on my part, she agreed to camp out in my bedroom while we sleep.


April 19, 2008

It is daylight and NO BABIES!! Jewel's better half stayed awake all night long while I got about 5 hours of sleep. Even Jubilee, the dog, won't let us see who is inside of her. In the picture, my room has sleeping bodies sprawled all over, while one faithful mare-starer is awake and grinning!

April 19, 2008 (11:30 PM - written by Lisa)

OK, we are all getting really tired of waiting over here! Anyone wanna come "mare-stare" with us?!?!?  We have milk tested Jewel for the past 3 days, and every time it has changed within the first 15 seconds. This morning, when we tested her, it changed within 12 seconds, and there was much less blood in her milk.....good thing! I think that Jewel is just doing all this to torture us. Right now, she is laying flat out, and she acts like she is going into labor, but nothing happens! We are crossing our fingers because tonight is a full moon?

Early this afternoon, we decided that we were going to take her for a walk to jiggle the baby around. The friend who we co-own Jewel with had to go to work, so her daughter was here for the day. We put the halter on very pregnant Jewel, the leash on very pregnant Jubilee, and headed out around the neighborhood. About 45 minutes later,  we came back home to find our friend (Jewel's other owner) in a panic because we weren't there!  Here is her point of view:

"I came over to pick up my daughter, and I brought some friends who had little kids that wanted to see the babies. We pulled up, went to the door, and everything was locked up...strange! So, we went down to the barn, and Jewel wasn't there!!! Panic!!! My first thought was, 'Oh no! She started having the baby, there was a problem, and Beth is hauling her into the vet...' but the trailer was sitting there in the driveway. My imagination starts running, and I'm thinking, 'She called a neighbor and used her trailer?' I called the house phone, no answer; called the cell phone, no answer. No answer is strange for Beth. OK, so we look at the babies, take pictures and call both phones again...still no answer. About 10 minutes later, four people, one horse and one dog come leisurely walking in the driveway! Everything was fine, but I was scared to death!"

So, we are hoping that a long walk, a full moon and lots of anxious people kick Jewel into labor tonight. We will be posting pictures and videos as soon as the baby comes! Stay tuned..........

April 20, 2008 (2:04AM)

Hey everybody...probably nobody is online right now, but this is Lisa (age 14), and I am bored! Jewel has been up and down, looking like she is contracting, kicking at her belly, biting her sides, and all the other signs that are supposed to be there...but there is no baby! UGH! She can't hold out like this much longer, and neither can we. Please pray that either the milk strips stop saying that she is going, or she just pops the baby out...we would prefer the latter!!!!We will be SO happy when this little baby it too much to ask for a colored filly?!?!? I just finished walking around with the camera. Click here to see a goofy bedroom in the wee morning hours.

8:27 PM Full Moon tonight. The gravitational pull is stronger on the night of the full moon. I have heard that more babies are born on a full moon than any other night. OK. So now, I have looked at scientific studies of full moons and birth rates and it sounds like there is no correlation. We hope they are wrong!


April 21 (2:09 AM)

I have stayed up many a night until 1:30, but I have never risen at this time. We are taking shifts. This is tough for I didn't get to bed until about 11:30 PM. The milk strips that we have always used tested once more with all 4 squares turning purple. We are getting false reads from these strips for the very first time. Just because they are mistaken with Jewel, I am not throwing them out though. They have saved me tons of sleep in the past and have been 100% accurate with many horses over the past 2 years.

I did have another breeder tell me to try the strips that also test the pH level in the milk. She believes these test strips to be more reliable. I hope she is right for they only cost $10 at Walmart and my original strips cost $60 via the Internet. In the future, it may be wise for us to combine testing and test with both strips. This is the very first mare I have tested with these, so I am obviously not as confident as with my original strips, but will be keeping data on what goes on here.

Click here to watch a video of the use of these strips. The test showed too high of a pH level for foaling tonight. Nevertheless, we take shifts and stay up all night.

If you would like to read about a farm that advocates using both kind of strips, click here.

It is also important for a mare owner to look at all the other signs of foaling. Click here to read more about what signs to look for.


April 21, 2008

Dolly got a bath today....and Majesty did, too! This was his first bath, and he wasn't quite sure what to think about it. Click here to see a video of it!

April 22, 2008

Well, we are now testing every mare with 2 strips: (Click here to see a video where we use BOTH strips on 2 mares). And click here to read more about the other test strips we are using.

Tonight, Jewel's calcium strip changed all 4 squares in 3 seconds...but her pH level was too high! Turbolina's calcium strip changed 2 and a little of 3 squares in a minutes...and her pH level was too high, also. I don't think we are having any babies tonight. Lu, our foreign exchange student, is leaving for Florida on Saturday. This evening down at the barn, she sighed and said with her cute accent, "I think that Jubilee, Turbolina and Jewel all got a meeting and said, 'Let's play with the people and pretend like we will have the baby...and then when Lu leaves, we'll have our babies!' I don't want to miss it!"

April 22, 2008 (evening) written by Lisa

We had a little scare this evening! When we went to the front pasture to move the babies down to the barn, I noticed that Majesty had a cut on his head and blood was dripping down. "OK," I thought, "I'll check him when we get to the barn where there is good light." But then on second thought, something made me pull out my flashlight and look...I was shocked! He had a huge hole in his head! Sending Jessie inside for Mom, I quickly got him and Dolly down to the barn. We took a closer look, and found he had a DEEP hole back in his head. Last year, we had a horse who got a big head injury, and after putting Trypzyme on it, it healed so nicely that there was barely a scar. Luckily we had Trypzyme left over, so we put some of that on, and will decide if we should call the vet in the morning. Pray for our little Majesty...we are hoping that everything turns out well, but extra prayer can't hurt!!!!

April 23, 2008

Our veterinarian came out this morning and stitched up Majesty's face. Again, we ask for prayer.  We are not sure what time his injury occurred. Typically, stitches need to done within 10 hours of an injury, but if the wound is to the head, you have about 20 hours. This is due to the increase in circulation. I am so hoping he does not rub out the stitches. Vets here in AZ really hurt your pocketbook too! Hopefully, I can show you before and after pictures as it heals. He did get a tetanus antitoxin. Watching how he harasses the mares with his curious boy personality, we are thinking he got nailed by a mare who did not appreciate his attention.

Then, our farrier dropped by. I asked her to make Majesty a fly mask that will NOT come off. She is an excellent fly mask seamstress!! After she measured his face, she glanced at Jewel and said, "That mare is going to have a baby TONIGHT!" Lisa asked her what made her say that?? Her reply?? "Well, just look! Her vulva is hanging down to her hocks!!" That made me laugh. We have been sleeping again thanks to the pH milk strips and I updated that page. They are still an experiment though....Jessie is in the barn as I type collecting milk. I will update later after we test. She did say that Turbolina was really letting milk out quickly.

Milk test report is in!! Turbolina's calcium changed! Last year, this was very accurate with Turbolina. Last year, the total hardness strip (=Calcium levels) changed in 7 seconds and she had a baby in 5 hours. This year, the total hardness strip (calcium) changed in 30 seconds. Her pH looks a bit high but not as high as Jewel's pH level. It is hard to see in the picture, but Turbolina's pH was just a tad less pink than Jewel's.

Jewel's Total Hardness strip (calcium level) changed in 5 seconds, but her pH levels remain to high for a baby. Who will be right?? Our farrier or the pH strip?

At any rate, tonight's testing of Jewel means another all night vigil! Anyone want to come play cards?

Here we thought Jewel was going to be our first mare to deliver and she is probably going to be last!

It just hit me that Turbolina's pregnancy last year lasted 338 days and that would be tomorrow if she follows the same pattern!

It is 11 PM and we tested again. The total hardness strips changed now in 10 seconds. My home will be crazy tonight. Turbolina is kicking at her belly down in the barn and Jubilee is pacing my kitchen floor. I have not found any way to test dogs, other than temperatures, but she sure acts like she is ready to have her pups!

It is 11:45 PM and Jubilee is starting labor. To see what Turbolina looks like right now, click here. She has been called a "pumpkin on legs!" To see what Jewel is looking like, click here.

April 24, 2008

It is midnight and Jubilee just had her first puppy. A Liver and White boy! If you want to read her story, click here.

It is 4 AM...Jubilee has 7 pups and Turbolina has a baby in the belly! About now, I was hoping to meet baby.

  At 7 AM, Turbolina gave us a beautiful baby boy! Our original Total Hardness Strips were accurate again. They have been 100% accurate except for with Jewel. Jewel's milk is also very strange after we put it in the milk cup. The edges dry out; whereas, all of the other mare's milk can sit in the cups for a long time and not dry out. He is named Painted Sun's Country Boy!

Click here to see what Turbolina looked like just before she foaled.

A very bouncy birthing video is being made. I have just got to get my 12 year old to hold the camera steady! This video is not as clear as the one made for Magic, but it does show yet another miracle of life beginning. How can anyone say, "there is no God?" His love for us is so evident in His creation! The video is online!

9 PM: I hate to make any statements, but after testing tonight, we have all committed to staying up tonight. Her Total Hardness Strips which depict the calcium level changed right away as they have done for the last 6 nights. The new developments were: a big increase in the amount of milk, and a drop in pH that showed up with the 6-Way Swimming Pool strips. The pH level is 7.7.

April 24, 2008

Painted Sun's Country Boy gains his legs! Watch him take his first steps.

1:42 AM: We just tested again. Her pH level has dropped considerably. It now reads 6.8!! So, it keeps dropping. We all sit and watch. The other owner (Pam) of Jewel has to go to work at 6:30 AM. Will the foaling happen before then?

And speculation continues as to why her milk is different?? She is HUGE! Does she have twins and is that why her milk tests have been like they are? Do twins always die? Pray, we are scared again. We did know one family who had twins last year and they lived. And, who gets the spare baby? Pam wants to put a sign on her that says. "Wide Load!!"


My farrier is an excellent fly mask seamstress! Majesty needed a fly mask that would not come off for protection of his stitches and wound. So, I called Susan, who measured him on the 23rd and came back on the 24th with this cute creation. Her price was $15 which is very reasonable considering she stayed up into the late night hours sewing this for him. She will sew for you, too!

April 25, 2008

(midnight...written by Jessie 11 years old)

At 2:00 pm, we milk tested Jewel again. Her calcium couldn't have been higher, and her pH couldn't have been lower (6.4.) We have a cake baking in the oven, caffeine soda on the table, and ready for a "party."

It is 12:04 am right now, and she is laying down. One of the three friends that is spending the night (now morning and no one is asleep) just remarked, "She looks ready to pop!!!" Her vulva is huge (both wide and long) and dark inside, the top of her back side feels like jello, and she has an incredible amount of thick, whitish milk. Earlier, I got a full cc of milk out of her.... EASILY!!!! I could've easily gotten much more! Tonight???

It is now 2:16 am, and Jewel has been constantly been up and down and up and down. Swishing her tail, kicking and biting at her belly.... etc. BUT, this is a rerun of last night. Same show on my TV!!

We got our new baby halters in the mail today from the Miniature Horse Tack Shop. The halter and lead were only $6.50 Everywhere else, they were close to $20 per halter. I am delighted with their fit, but Luna and Faith were not so delighted. This is halter breaking 101!

It was another stream of visiting friends today. We even had some friends bring us a picnic lunch!

                                             April 26, 2008

The two 11 year old detectives have been at work, and are ready to report!

Hi. This is Jessie, the 11 year old mare midwife! 11:57 AM We just milked Jewel for the morning. Her pH was soooo low. It was about  6.2 to 6.4. Her vulva is incredibly loose!!!!  I easily got a entire cc. The black teat happens to be the odd ball. It is still pointing in as you can see in this picture. 


We all keep saying, "I think it is tonight!!" But, we've said that for literally a week now. Her pH and calcium both say she's ready, but Jewel obviously didn't read the rules J Earlier, Lisa said, "Hasn't the foal already picked the day?" I said back, "Maybe there is twins and they are fighting over what day to come out!?!?!" Mom is saying that she is going to go crazy with lack of sleep! I was up until 2:30 AM when I finally went to bed, and slept until 9:30 AM. We are all so tired! We have been making up for never having sleep-overs! We have had four other people on mare stare for the last many nights!!

11:30 PM We are all on mare stare again! Right now there are 6 people in here. The same people that have been here every other night! We have decided that we need to recruit. We are not working very well anymore! Feeling broken down and tired. (Plus, we are getting tired of seeing each other every  nightJ)   We are now playing on a laptop that Jewel's co-owner brought to keep us awake. Eating ice-cream and cake are other ways that we have been staying awake. Last night we had soooo much fun making cake. After making the cake, Lisa, Luisa and Kailey all started goofing off and acting like they were crazy ballerinas! It was soooo funny!

So, here is the up-date on what we have been doing tonight by Anna (age 12)!

April 27, 2008

7 AM: Nothing!! Anna did not say that Jewel's pH was up a bit from the night before, but still low enough to be in the foaling range. Why is this ONE mare not following the same pattern as all the other mares that we have tested over the past 2 years? 

Majesty's head is healing up well. To read more about his head wound and see a video of the stitches going in, click here!

April 28, 2008

4 AM....My shift is ending. The test strips continue to say we should have a baby yesterday, but Jewel is not ready to let us see. She rolls, kicks at her belly, circles, gets up and down, but does not enter the second stage of labor. My 2 younger daughters have met their limits as far as sleep deprivation and are out of my bedroom and back in their bunk bed for the night. My Lisa took shift one, and Jewel's co owner is about to be woken up for her shift.

10:45 PM: A fellow family from our church is camping here tonight to help us watch and to give me sleep.  Lisa has gotten so run down that she is sniffling and complaining of a sore throat. I am calling them my Army Reserves.


I did call our Vet today and he has treated Miniatures here in Phx for 24 years. He is known as a reproductive specialist. He says he has never seen a case of twins in Miniatures. One breeder on an email list said she had one case, but that is all I have heard of. I sure hope we are not scheduled to be another very rare case. We don't want the notoriety.

April 30, 2008

Midnight! Good Morning! There are 2 of us die hard mare starers in my room tonight. Jess would like to be here, but she couldn't go to sleep and was evicted into her own room. When Jesie milked Jewel tonight, there was once more A LOT of milk. Jess claims it was a sudden increase again. I have given up predicting with this girl, but am just waiting. My co-watcher is my oldest, Lisa. I think she stayed up just to share my midnight bowl of icecream with me. Reading the original Ben Hur is really what motivated her! She is an avid reader. Jewel is up and down, still rolling,,, still kicking at her sides. She is a mare though that easily expresses discomfort.

Jewel is doing her usual nighttime dance of up and down, kick with the left foot, swish her tail, then swing her head round and round to bite at her belly. I am getting corny here due to lack of sleep....The hokey pokey just jumped into my head. You pick your left leg up, you put your left leg down, you bite at your belly and you lay your body down. You do the foaling dance and you turn yourself around...thatís what it's all about!!! Help, I am losing it!!!

Now to be serious....Majesty is finally coming back around to being his sweet self. Can you believe he was blaming ME for his injury and pain. Probably his pain was caused by his own rebellion and boldness with a mare. He was most likely warned, but ignored the warning. Then, instead of realizing he caused this painful consequence, he seemed miffed at me. Does that ever make me think of my daughters when they rebel and have to endure some consequence! But, to take it even often do we rebel, suffer in some way and then blame God for our troubles???


And here I was sure my foaling journal would end in may drag into May. She is busting with milk, wax is on her teats, and anyone looking at her is sure she is going to pop any moment. She also waxed up all the way back on April 16. Jewel is slowly becoming the most watched mare in America.

People I don't know personally are emailing me funny comments like "I don't know what I am going to do with myself when Jewel foals. I check your journal multiple times per day!" I know what we will do with ourselves....sleep!

I have heard many times that minis do not wax. This is our third mare to wax out of 6.


Silly girls are in the straw reading The Complete Book of Foaling to Jewel. Since this mare is not following the rules, we decided she just needed a refresher course on how foaling was supposed to go.... Anna even videotaped their lesson.

We are off to start a page for our May Foaling Journal!!! Click here to see if Jewel foals in the month of May.



Click here to go to the February, 2008 foaling journal. This section includes all of our preparations for foaling.

Click here to go to the March, 2008 journal. This section includes the foaling of Lucky Four Real Doll.

Click here to read May, 2008. Who knows what this section will document??

Painted Sun Miniature Horses is sharing with you what we do to maintain the health of our horses. This is not intended to direct you on how to care for your horse. The intent of this is only to share what we do. We advise you to consult your veterinarian before making any changes in your horse's health care. The information found on our website is not to supersede the advise of your veterinarian. Painted Sun Miniature Horses cannot be held liable for the care of your horse(s).