Mare, the female of the horse kind.
Having already stated under the article Horse, the proper management of mares, considered as beasts of labour, we shall at present give a few hints relative to their treatment, during the period of foaling.
Mares bring forth after a gestation of about eleven months. Before they are covered, it will be advisable to keep them in the stable for five or six weeks, during which time they ought to be fed with good hay, and sweet oats well sifted : in order to promote the object, about a quart of blood may betaken from each side of the neck, five or six days previously to their admission.
No mare intended for the stud . should be less than six years old.: the most proper period for accomplishing the purpose, appears to be in the beginning of June, so that she may foal in the succeeding month of May : when the meadows will abound with rich grass, which contributes to the abundant secretion of milk; but Mr. YouNg (Annals of Agriculture, vol. 36) thinks it is more advantageous when they foal early, for instance, in February ; or, which is perhaps still better, in January ; though he assigns no reason for such opinion.
The management and diet of the animal should not be changed for three weeks or a month after covering ; she ought likewise to be kept clean in the stable, and her feet should be well pared and thinly shod. To facilitate parturition, the animal's nostrils may be closed by hand, at the time of foaling; in order to prevent her from inhaling the air ; and, if such expedient be ineffectual, a pint of warm ale should be given her, with a small quantity of madder, If the mare be deficient in milk, it has been di-re rected to boil as much as can be drawn from her, together with lavender leaves, and to foment the udder with this decoction while warm, till the knotty tumors that prevent the milk from flowing, be discussed. Her drink ought now, for the space of a month, to consist only of white water, that is, bran and water stirred together, till the liquor appear white. At the end of that period, a decoction of sul-phur and savin should be given to the animal, which, as well as the colt, will thus be greatly invigorated.—See also Colt.