Research Report
Marike van der Spek and Johan Knapp, reported the results of a research project of the birthing process in a Dutch equestrian magazine dated 30 March 1995.

The study was conducted at the Horse Research Farm in Brunssum (Holland). Yearly, 40 to 50 give birth at this facility. This group of horses is kept especially for research, including fertility and the birthing process.

The article gives a detailed description of the birthing process, predictability of the time of commencement of the process and indications of the imminence of birth. Ninety births were observed in this study. In addition, the article reports on the results of tests of various types of observation and birth alarm systems.

On the Foal Alarm system, they reported:
This Dutch invented system is based on the fact that the mare - before and during the birth - lies completely prone. A small black box equipped with a mercury switch and transmitter is strapped to the back of the mare. The switch senses the difference between the normal sleeping and rolling of the mare and the typical position during foaling. When the mare lies completely horizontal for a few seconds, an audio signal is sent to the receiver, warning the breeder.

It is important that the strap fits properly so that it cannot shift and that the sender is positioned absolutely horizontal on the mare. Also the mare must not walk on a steep incline as this may effect the operation of the transmitter. Although not all data has been processed, the conclusion is that the system is reliable when properly used. False alarms are rare and the system can be used inside as well as outside.


 Return to Main Page |