Students helped with the birth and care of the foals ‘Roti’ and ‘Cornbread’ born in late April
Image Credit: Jonathan Stephanoff
April was a busy month on the Campus Farm. Preparation for UMD’s first Maryland Day celebration since 2019 with students training to become showpersons for ANSC’s Livestock Show Competition was in full swing. In the horse barn there was excitement too, with two foals born in the last week of April.
Students in this spring’s ANSC 237 Equine Reproduction class assumed full care and feeding of two broodmares a few weeks before their foaling dates. Under direction of Dr. Amy Burk, the students monitored the mares’ progress towards their foaling - testing their milk for calcium and pH prior to birth.
As foaling grew close, Dr. Burk and her students spent nights in a nearby classroom and watched the mares closely on camera. When each mare went into labor, students headed to the barn to make sure the mare progressed and to assist in the birth if necessary.
A filly was born on Monday, April 25, with the students assisting in the delivery of the foal and helping her learn how to nurse. On Saturday, April 30, the students were back in the horse barn to help deliver a colt who initially could not nurse on his own, so Dr. Burk milked the mare and students bottle-fed the foal until he was strong enough to nurse on his own.
Students carefully monitored both mares and foals for the following two weeks until all four horses left campus. Both foals received barn names of different types of bread, the filly is Roti, and the colt is Cornbread.