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Predict-A-Foal (Canada)

This page contains information on Predict-A-Foal for veterinary use.
The information provided typically includes the following:
  • Predict-A-Foal Indications
  • Warnings and cautions for Predict-A-Foal
  • Direction and dosage information for Predict-A-Foal


This treatment applies to the following species:
Manufacturer: Animal Healthcare Products

Foaling Time Predictor Kit


● Predicts Foaling Time

● Contains All Materials Required To Perform 15 Tests

● Complete Easy-to-Follow Instructions Included

Veterinary Recommended - Non-Invasive Tests


Store cool (58 to 78F) away from sources of light & moisture

GUIDE TO THE USE OF PREDICT-A-FOAL™ - Foaling Time Predictor Kit



1. Collect approximately one teaspoonful of secretion (“milk”) into the collection cup.

2. Take one of the plastic test tubes, hold it up against the Predict-A-Foal Test Chart and fill to the lower line with the test solution. Place in tube-holder, which is built into the test kit box.

3. Using one of the small plastic syringes, draw up 0.6 cc of milk into the syringe.

4. Empty the contents of the syringe into the solution in the test tube. Cover tube with cap. Invert the tube VERY GENTLY 2 - 3 times to mix the solution.

5. Remove one of the test strips from its sterilized packaging and dip into the solution in the test tube, making sure all the green squares on the strip are thoroughly covered. NOTE: It is important when performing this that your hands are clean and dry and that only the white plastic tip is held. On no account should you touch any of the green test squares, nor should the strip come into contact with any liquid other than the test solution.

6. Quickly remove the test strip from the tube, shake off excess liquid and note the color change after one minute, comparing the strip with the Predict-A-Foal Color Chart.

7. Remember - if you perform the test in the evening before going to bed, the results will indicate if you will be sleeping in your bed or in the barn tonight!

Note: The above is only a simple outline of the test. Please read complete guide for full understanding of test procedures and interpretation of results.



1. General introduction

2. Advantages of Predict-A-Foal

3. Signs of parturition

4. When to start testing the mare

5. Testing procedure

6. Interpretation of results

7. Reasons for erroneous results.


Mares are often very unpredictable in showing signs of foaling. The gestation length can vary several weeks and many evening and nights can be wasted sitting up watching and waiting for the foal to arrive. It is generally agreed that the average length of time that a mare is pregnant is approximately 335-340 days; however, pregnancy can range between 320 - 360 days.

The Predict-A-Foal test kit has been specifically designed to assist you in helping to predict when your mare will foal. It is very important when using this kit that you perform the test exactly as described and pay particular attention to the section discussing the interpretation of results.


1. Prevents unnecessary sleepless nights.

2. Easy to perform.

3. Economical, especially compared to night watchman or electronic monitoring device.

4. Can give additional information as to possible complications or problems, e.g. prematurity, placental infections, etc.

5. Allows safe and comfortable movement of mare prior to foaling.

6. Avoids the necessity of confining the mare to a foaling stall too early.

7. The test is safe, non-invasive and reliable.


These can vary considerably from mare to mare. Maidens may show no signs what so ever before they foal, while other mares may show every conceivable sign for 3 to 4 days or even longer. The indications given below should only serve as a general guideline.

(a) Distention of the udder - this can occur for up to 6 weeks prior to delivery of the foal, but usually begins to appear 2 - 4 weeks beforehand and increases gradually as parturition becomes more imminent.

(b) Slackening of the area around the buttocks and the base of the tail - this is something that is only detectable by frequent examination of the area. The slackening usually starts 1 - 3 weeks before the foal is born, and by the time parturition occurs the region around the base of the tail is very loose feeling.

(c) Filling of the teats - usually starts to occur a week to ten days before the foal is born.

(d) Wax on the teats -this occurs in approximately 60% of mares and is one of the more reliable indicators of impending parturition. Most mares will foal within 2 - 3 days of the wax appearing.

(e) Loose vulval lips - this may be often difficult for the inexperienced person to judge, but the best way may be to compare with another mare in the area. Excessive slackness of the vulval lips usually indicates parturition within 48 hours.

(f) Milk dripping from the udder - is a sign that foaling is very imminent i.e. within 12 - 24 hours. Some mares however will “run” their milk for several days and these mares will often have an internal problem, such as an infected placenta. Valuable colostrum is also lost during the process, and it is advisable to consult your veterinarian if this is occurring.


We recommend that you start testing your mare approximately 10 days before she is due, based on an average gestation length of 340 days. The enclosed Gestation Table will help you to determine this date. If you do not have an accurate breeding date you should attempt an initial test as soon as the udder begins to enlarge and secretion can be obtained from it. Some mares will begin mammary development much earlier than expected. This can be due to various factors including the presence of twins, an impending abortion or a wrong breeding date. Mares foaling between 300 - 320 days will produce premature foals and particular attention will be needed to ensure every possible chance of survival of the foal.


Before attempting to use the kit please ensure that it contains the following:

a. Fifteen test strips individually packaged in sterilized packaging. Store strips at cool room temperature away from sources of moisture. Strips must be kept dry. Extreme humidity may spoil the integrity of the test strips.

b. Sample collection cup.

c. Fifteen disposable plastic test tubes with caps.

d. Fifteen disposable plastic syringes.

e. Plastic dropper bottle containing test solution.

f. Test Chart and Guide Book.

a) Collection of sample

This is performed as late as possible in the evening to avoid missing the birth (just before going to bed), and may be the most difficult part of the test. Some mares are often resentful of having milk taken from their udders, especially maidens. Standing at the side of a normally cooperative mare, the sample is obtained by gently squeezing the base of the nipple between the index finger and thumb and then pulling towards the tip of the nipple. The collection cup is held in the other hand and close to the nipple, occasionally milk will come out in an unexpected direction, so it is important to keep the collection cup close to the nipple. (See photo 1)

If the mare is objecting to this it is advisable to massage the udder with either a warm damp cloth or with the palm of one’s hand containing a small amount of baby oil. This will help relax the mare and also be especially beneficial in maiden mares when the foal comes to nurse. A small percentage of mares, especially maidens, will still be resentful even after the above procedure and physical restraining may be necessary (i.e. holding a front leg up or applying a twitch).

Only a very small amount of milk is required, enough to fill the small plastic syringe to the half-way mark. If it is impossible to obtain any secretion you are probably testing the mare too soon, and you should therefore wait a few days and attempt the test again. At this stage the color of the “milk” should also be noted and more information will be given on this under the section “interpretation”.

b) Preparation of test sample.

Take one of the plastic test tubes, hold it up against the image on the Predict-A-Foal Test Chart and fill to the lower line with the test solution (photo 2). Replace this temporarily back into the tube-holder, which is built into the test kit box.

Using the syringe draw up “milk” from the collection cup. It is preferable to slightly overfill the syringe and then remove it from the remaining solution and expel excess fluid or air until the plunger on the syringe is lined up with the 0.6 cc mark on the syringe barrel (photos 3 & 4). The milk in the syringe is then emptied into the test tube containing the test solution (photo 5). This will bring the level of solution in the syringe to the upper line on the test chart (photo 6). The plastic cap is then placed onto the test tube and the tube inverted several times to mix the solutions.

c) Performing the test.

Take one of the PREDICT-A-FOAL test strips and remove it from its sterilized packaging. Make sure you open the end opposite to the green squares, holding only the white plastic. Dip the end containing the five squares into the test tube, ensuring that the solution covers all the squares (photo 7). It is important that your hands are clean and dry and that you do not touch the green squares. Immediately withdraw the test strip, shake off the excess moisture and wait exactly one minute. During the one minute period you should observe the squares on the strip and make a mental note of any color changes and how rapidly they occur. At the end of one minute exactly, compare the colors on your test strip with the enclosed Predict-A-Foal color chart (photo 8).

d) Subsequent tests.

The only item in this test kit which is reusable is the collection cup. This should be washed and thoroughly rinsed with distilled water and dried after each test. It is recommended that paper toweling be used to dry the inside of the cup as any residues left inside may interfere with subsequent tests. THE TEST TUBE, MEASURING SYRINGE AND TEST STRIPS ARE DISPOSABLE AND A NEW ONE SHOULD BE USED FOR EACH SUBSEQUENT TEST. When you first begin to test your mare you will probably obtain no color changes or just one square change on the test strip and it is usually safe to wait 2 - 3 days before a retest. Once two test squares change color, it is advisable to test the mare every day. Section 6 will deal with this in more detail.


It has often been stated that there is no such animal as a “normal” mare. Despite this relatively truthful statement results have shown that in testing over 200 mares, many of which could be considered “normal”, the chance of your mare foaling on a given test result are as follows:

Color Change

Possibility of foaling within 12 hours

- - - - -


+ - - - -


+ + - - -


+ + + - -


+ + + + -


+ + + + +



Color Change

Subsequent Test

Signs of Parturition

No color change

2 to 3 days

Filling of the udder (two to four weeks before foaling)

One square color change

48 hours

Distension of the teats (six to ten days before foaling)

Two square color change

24 hours

Waxing of the teats

Three square color change

24 hours

Excessive slackness of vulva lips

Four square color change

12 hours

Honey-colored wax falls off. Mare becomes anxious and restless, pace, sweat, raise her tail, urinate frequently (milk dripping from udder).

Generally speaking, if there is no color change or just one square change color, it is safe to wait at least 2 or 3 days before retesting the mare. This holds true for about 80% of mares; however, there are some mares that will very rapidly prepare to foal and actually give birth sooner rather than later. Therefore, you should be looking for any significant changes in the mare’s behavior, which may indicate foaling is approaching. If you observe any such change a subsequent test is recommended immediately. Once you get two squares changing, the test should be conducted every day.

The color of the secretion obtained also has some influence on the frequency of performing the test. Pale, relatively transparent, watery yellow fluid usually indicates that the mare is a considerable time away from foaling, and this coupled with no, or very little, color change on the test strips would allow one to wait at least 2 - 3 days before retesting.

If the secretion is milky white and plentiful, or thick and sticky, but the color changes are minimal, one should only wait 24 hours before a retest. The secretion of more than 80% of mares will have changed from a transparent watery yellow to a grayish by the time the mare foals. Maiden mares may not follow this pattern.

The speed at which the squares change color is also very helpful. A rapid change in 3 - 4 of the squares indicates that the mare is closer to foaling than a similar color change which takes a full 60 seconds. Mares which produce a secretion which causes a rapid color change in all five squares will usually foal within twelve hours.

Individual mares will again vary as to the rate with which they build up to a 4 - 5 square change. Usually this will occur within a 6 - 7 day period from the first square changing color; however, some mares will have a 1 - 2 square color change for many days. Patience is a virtue in these cases. Occasionally, square changes might go backwards from the previous test sampling; if this happens, simply repeat the test to verify results and follow directions.


A few mares will foal with either no color changes or just slight color change on squares 1 or 2. Results have indicated that either these mares are producing premature foals (i.e. before 320 days of gestation), or are producing foals at full term but the mare is in an undernourished condition. In either of these situations there is a potential of a problem arising with respect to the foal obtaining sufficient colostrum and/or milk. You should consult your veterinarian for advice in this situation.

A small percentage of mares will show a reading of 4 - 5 square color changes for several days without producing a foal. These mares will sometimes lose colostrum during this period and this could be very significant as far as the future survival of your foal. Some of the mares in this category will produce perfectly normal foals that may or may not need colostrum supplementation, others will produce foals that have a low grade infection either of the placenta and foal or just of the placenta. If you obtain 4 - 5 square reading for more than three days, especially if your mare is losing colostrum it is advisable that you consult your veterinarian to check that everything is okay. Mares that foal with this type of reading should be observed very closely, and it is very beneficial to preserve the placenta for inspection by your veterinarian. This is best done by putting the entire placenta in a pail of cold water immediately after it is discharged from the mare. An average placenta weighs between 10 - 15 lbs. If you have the facilities to weigh the placenta prior to putting in the pail of water this could also be beneficial. Infected placentas are usually very thickened and heavy and can weigh as much as 20 - 25 lbs. Particular attention should be paid to foals that are born with abnormal placentas.

Successful predictions are dependent upon accurate performance of the test as described and the proper interpretation of the results utilizing the factors set forth in Section 6. Because of differences that may be peculiar to a small number of mares, there may be some variations leading to erroneous predictions: where such variations are observed or peculiarities are known, your veterinarian should be consulted.

Note: This test is not 100% accurate in all mares. Every mare is unique and no test provides completely accurate and reliable results all of the time. This test was formulated by veterinarians to help in your foaling management program and predicting impending parturition.

The color changes on your test strips vary slightly from those indicated on the enclosed chart. This is not particularly important, the important thing is that the color changes from green to a shade of mauve or pale purple. There is individual variation between the batches of strips as to exactly what the shade will be, but this does not affect the accuracy of the test.


340 DAYS

Service Date

Foal Date

Service Date

Foal Date

January 1

December 7

July 10

June 15

January 11

December 17

July 20

June 25

January 21

December 27

July 30

July 5

January 31

January 6



February 10

January 16

August 9

July 15

February 20

January 26

August 19

July 25



August 29

August 4

March 2

February 5

September 8

August 14

March 12

February 15

September 18

August 24

March 22

February 25

September 28

September 3

April 1

March 7

October 8

September 13

April 11

March 17

October 18

September 23

April 21

March 27

October 28

October 3

May 1

April 6

November 7

October 13

May 11

April 16

November 17

October 23

May 21

April 26

November 27

November 2

May 31

May 6



June 10

May 16

December 7

November 12

June 20

May 26

December 17

November 12

June 30

June 5

December 27

December 2

Call Us

If you have any questions or problems, please call our Customer Service Center on 800 689-7601.

Manufactured in Canada by: Animal Healthcare Products Inc.

Leaders in Equine Health Management

© Animal Healthcare Products Inc. 2007

166 Boyer Circle, Williston, Vermont, 05495

Phone: 800 689-7601

Fax: 800 689-7602


NAC No.: 15250000

Telephone:   519-824-9570
Toll-Free:   800-510-8864
Fax:   519-824-3553
Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the Predict-A-Foal information published above. However, it remains the responsibility of the readers to familiarize themselves with the product information contained on the Canadian product label or package insert.

Copyright © 2018 North American Compendiums. Updated: 2018-05-30