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.
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.