Foaling Predictor Kits
Mother Natures Kit – Milk Testing Foaling Predictor Kits For Sale
SORRY CURRENTLY SOLD OUT – Can be ordered direct from the USA at www.mothernatureskit.com
Mother Natures Foaling Predictor Kit – Fast Delivery from the UK
Used by us for many years. We wouldn’t be without them so, in 2018, we agreed to be a UK distributor on behalf of Mother Natures Kit in the USA. Testimonials can be seen on the Mother Natures Kit website. The kits have helped us be present at foalings and inevitably saved foals. Not being there, for example to break the bag, doesn’t bear thinking about. We’re all only human and can’t stay awake 24/7 though but these kits help us know when to step up foal watch. They work by testing a very small amount of mares milk and when the 95% reading shows, a foal is likely within 12 hours, it’s worked every time for us.
Normally despatched same or next working day, first class post.
FULL KIT is £29.50 plus p&p (£3.50 to UK, £4.50 to Europe).
Payment accepted by paypal, bank transfer, or cheque – please email your order request and we will send you full payment details depending on your preferred payment method. Full kit includes a collection pot with lid, 2 five mm syringes, 2 test tubes, pot of 25 testing strips and full instructions.
EXTRA POT OF 25 STRIPS is £16 plus p&p as above. No extra postage costs if ordered as an extra with a full kit.
- Collect milk from your mare using the collection pot (see below for tips).
- Using one of the syringes, draw just a 1/2ml of mare’s milk from the collection pot and place it into the test tube.
- With the second syringe, draw 3ml of testing solution (distilled/deionised water) and add to the test tube with the milk.
- Place the lid on the test tube and gently shake to mix thoroughly.
- Dip the test strip into the mixture for 10 seconds and remove.
- Gently shake off excess liquid and wait for one minute
- Compare the colour of the strip to the chart on the bottle.
- The scale is right to left, from the non-foaling range to the foaling range.
If your test strip matches the test strip colours on the far left of the bottle (foaling range), foaling is probable within 12-24 hours, but is likely within 12 hours. You will see more a noticeable change on the bottom colour reading as it changes from the 10% brighter green colour on the right of the bottle to the 95% yellow colour on the left of the bottle.
It is important to test your mare prior to her foaling date so that you can get a feel for how she is progressing once you start getting colour change from right to left on the test bottle.The mare should be in the foaling range AND have the colours of 95% to mean that she is most likely to foal in the next 12 hours. Having BOTH colours at the far left means foaling is most likely.
Wash the equipment thoroughly between tests and rinse it with distilled water and leave to dry on kitchen paper until next use.
The photo right shows a test result at 95%, this indicates that foaling is likely within 12 hours,. Compare to the result in the non foaling range on the left.
1. How do I know when to begin testing my mare? As your mare approaches her foaling date, she will begin have inward and outward changes. One of the most reliable changes is udder development which will start approximately 4 weeks prior to foaling.
Compare the milk bag on the photo left, which is 2 weeks prior to foaling, to the milk bag on the right taken on the day of foaling. Maiden mares may start sooner or can also be later, so be watchful. Some mares can foal with very little bag at all though this is less common. All horses/ponies can vary but the 4 weeks is an average for the time the bag starts to develop prior to foaling.
- What are the stages of milk development and what stage do I begin testing? The stages of milk development are as follows:
- Clear and watery to
- Thin but cloudy to
- Yellow tinged and increasing in viscosity, like floor wax, to
- Definitely amber coloured and syrupy thick, to
- Skim milk to
- opaque white milk
Photos show amber viscous milk, shown left, and whiter milk shown right, taken on the day of foaling. Note how little milk is needed to do the test. Again, this is the norm but there can be variations so always err on the side of caution.
When your mare reaches the third stage, you should be testing her twice a day, in the morning and again in the evening. If you get either of the colours at the left of your bottle’s colour chart, you should pay very close attention. If you get the last colour, you will likely have a foal within twelve hours. I have tested this in the field for several years, and it has NEVER failed to be right when the last colour appeared.
Also, your mare’s milk can rapidly change once it reaches stage 4, so you may need to check more often. I have had one of my mares in stage 4 and move to stage 6 within two hours. Each mare is different so pay close attention.
- Is it okay to use the same test tube, and syringe for each test? Yes, but be sure and rinse out with distilled/deionised water and completely air dry on a paper towel. No water droplets should remain inside the tube when you run the test or it could affect the results of the test.
4. Can I use tap water for the test? No because of the mineral content of water, this will affect your test results and can give you false readings. You must use distilled/deionised water only.
5. Can I touch the coloured part of the tip of the testing strip? No. The tip of the strips must be kept dry and not come in contact with water or human hands.
- What is the testing ratio? Just milk a very small amount of your mare’s milk into the collection cup. Draw 1/2 ml out with your syringe, and place in the test tube. Then draw 3 ml total of your distilled/deionised water and place in the tube. For large horses, you may prefer to use 1ml to 6ml of testing solution. Put the cap on the test tube and gently mix the solution three or four times. Dip one test strip down into the solution for ten seconds and gently shake any excess liquid off the strip. Wait one minute and compare to the colour chart on the bottle with the large end of the strip facing down.
- Why do you like these strips better than the others on the market? I feel that these strips are more sensitive to the changes in your mare’s milk. Not one time have they been wrong, here on our ranch. I have always witnessed the birth of these foals when the mare went through the normal stages of foaling and “shaping up” in the udder development. There are a small percentage of mares that do not follow the “normal” stages of foaling. This can sometimes mean a problem, so if you are not sure, always consult your vet; they are, of course, the best source of advice if you are concerned about your horse. These are the only equine specific testing strips on the market; not a water test strip like most.
- How do I express the milk from my mare? This can be a delicate situation, especially with a maiden mare, so always use caution and cross tie your horse to ensure your safety. It helps to start to feel your mares udder as it starts to develop, before any milking/testing, to help desensitise her. If it is the first time you have tried to express milk from your mare, then go slowly and reassure the mare. Start by massaging her side and then work your way to the udder. Hold the nipple between your forefinger and thumb. Push up just a bit (nudging the udder like a foal would) and then ease down from the top. Be gentle. If she is ready to give milk (has a full udder) it should not be too hard to express the milk. If it is, you are probably trying too early and may need to wait a few days before trying again. Just because the udder is hard and swollen, it does not necessarily mean that the “milk factory” is working. If your mare’s udder is even larger the next day, you may try again, but if not, you may need to wait a day or two. Maiden mares may resist this process, but if you are gentle and patient, she will likely comply. Sometimes even using warm compress on the udder will relax her. ALWAYS put your safety first. Do not get in the “line of fire” so to speak when you are trying to express milk for the first time.
Another good way to learn how to “milk” your mare, is to take a latex glove, fill it with water, and poke a small hole in the end of one of the fingers. You can practice on this until you get the hang of it and then use your technique on your mare.
- Will I cause all of the milk to leak out if I start expressing milk from my mare? No….this is an old wife’s tale. Some old timers believe that if you disturb the wax or milk plugs from the end of the teats, that all the milk will leak out and that this “plugs” somehow keep the milk in. This is simply not true. The plugs will form, fall away, and reform. You are only taking a small amount of milk ie. half a ml (remember 5ml is a teaspoon) to take the test, so you are in no danger of taking the much needed colostrum from the new foal. Some mares run milk before foaling anyway and it’s often recommended to collect this if excessive or have your foal blood tested after birth to ensure immunity levels are adequate.
- Are “mls” the same thing as “ccs” on the syringe for measuring purposes? Yes….your syringes say ml which is the same measurement for ccs.
- Does the amount of time that it takes for the colour to change on the strip mean anything? Yes. After dipping the test strip in the solution, look at your watch. You should give the test strip a full minute to develop and then read the colour, but also keep in mind the time that it takes for the colour to change. A slow colour change taking a full minute to reach orange, may mean that you are further away from foaling time, than if it only took 15-25 seconds. The faster the colour changes, the closer you are, also. Keep this in mind when testing the milk solution.
- Do these kits work on miniature horses AND big horses? Yes! They work on all breeds of horses, large or small.
- What is the testing solution? The testing solution is distilled/deionised water, available at most large supermarkets and some garages from £1.
ABOVE INSTRUCTIONS & FAQs FROM MOTHER NATURES KIT, PHOTOS FROM KETTLESNOUT STUD.
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