In the February 2007 issue of Horse & Rider, foaling expert Jackie Lee Jackson shared her tips for creating a safe, efficient foaling stall. She recommends setting up a stall with washable flooring and walls. "Surfaces that aren't porous are easier to disinfect and won't trap germs. Ideally, the stall should have stall mats or smooth surfaces," she says.
Disinfect your foaling stall a month before your mare's due date so that you're well prepared (in the event the baby arrives earlier than expected), and keep the stall clean daily. Taking time to disinfect a foaling stall will help cut down on bacteria that can put a newborn foal at risk. H&R contributing editor Karen Hayes, DVM, MS, tells you how.
To Disinfect a Stall:
1. Remove all bedding.
2. Remove all removable objects, such as buckets and feeders. Using a mixture of hot water and dish detergent, scrub them free of residue. Rinse thoroughly, then scrub again with a solution of 1 part laundry-type chlorine bleach to 10 parts water. Allow them to air-dry without rinsing. Scrub one more time with hot water and dish detergent. Rinse thoroughly to remove any bleach or detergent residue.
3. Sweep cobwebs, dust, hay, etc., from the stall floor, walls, ledges and door.
4. Wash walls and other solid surfaces using a pressure washer (or garden hose), a stiff scrub brush and dishwashing detergent.
5. Mix Lysol Disinfectant Concentrate (2 1/2 tablespoons per gallon of water) in a garden-type spray tank. Wear protective clothing, including long sleeves, long pants, gloves, goggles and head gear. Spray a soaking mist of disinfectant onto all surfaces and allow to air-dry. Repeat.
6. Return clean buckets and feeder to your horse's stall. Bed with clean bedding.
For a complete list of foaling stall tips, along with a checklist for foaling kit items, see the February 2007 issue of Horse & Rider.