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Quartergems
29-06-05, 01:25 AM
Hello everybody! I am seeking help,"Please". I am looking at purchasing a Foal Alarm brand name which is,"Magic Breed". The company has been in business for 20 years which seemed to me to be a good advertisement for their product. Has anybody out there had this brand of alarm? If so are you happy with its performance? Did you have problems being called out to false alarms where the mare was only laying down to rest? I am balking at spending just under $800 because all of my horses,(at some stage through a day)lay down to have a kip. I don't know if this means I will always be getting called to false alarms or not. From the products website it appears to have a 8-10 second delay(probably long enough for a horse to have a roll). I am assuming that other users of this foaling alarm must also have horses who lay down to rest. Can anybody out there help me out by sharing their good(and bad)feedback on this subject please? Thankyou from: Quartergems

EA
29-06-05, 02:42 AM
I do use the magic breed alarms. Yes you do get heaps of false alarms, I have some mares that set it off so much that we simply dont use the alarm on them. What we tend to do is use the foalwatch milk test kit to find out within a couple of days when mares are going to foal and then put the alarm on them, saves having weeks of false alarms.

Quartergems
29-06-05, 03:55 AM
Thank-you for replying to my question EA. I have placed Foal watch into a search engine, (along with a few other headings) but to no avail. If you are back online and see this message would it be possible to trouble you to give me a brand name for the firm who make these kits and a contact number/website address/or email address. I am in Australia, I am assuming that you are in Australia also. What you mentioned re: using both alarm and milk test kit may be the way to go. I appreciate your help very much as I will anybody else who cares to share their experiences with me,(like I mentioned both good and not so good). Thanks again from Quartergems

EA
29-06-05, 06:49 AM
I buy the foalwatch kits from Mini Tub Australia, their contact number is 03 53420833 or email them at info@minitub.com.au There is an add usually in Horse deals for this product if you get that magazine. It is much more useful than just the alarm as you can narrow down to a few days when the mare will foal, and save yourself many sleepless nights.

Moose
29-06-05, 07:41 AM
OK I purchased a 2nd hand magic breed foal alarm prior to last breeding season. Had hired one for a maiden mare the previous year.

Comments - the range on both the 2 I have used was not as good as in the litrature. I ended up sleeping in the truck/stables to get full range on the paddock.

I missed one foal... maiden mare must have foaled standing (had visually checked 2hrs earlier but she must have lay down after as the foal was just starting to try to stand...I was there to watch/supervise so fine.

Same mare had a couple of 2 am snoozes last year ...false.... visually caught her starting to foal a couple of days later in the same snooze patch...before full lying down contractions. same mare set of allarm while rubbing on gate waiting for breaky.

others had the alarm on but Ive noticed visual changes during the 2 hr checks when the mares signs are closer. Powers of observations from the humans & not all mares show signs!!!One only had half a floppy bag & no pressure in teats or any hint of wax (was her 2nd foal)at breacky 8.30 am...90 minutes later a filly at foot - contractions noticed by hubby ridding on nearby arena, by time filly was on feet the mare was dripping milk.

Good luck - I consider that if the alarm saves 1 foal or vet visit & me a little sleep it is a good thing.

twinpines
29-06-05, 01:41 PM
We had some similar experiences as mentioned above with our 1st season using the monitors. It worked beautifully for 2 mares, both their 2nd foals. One of these had a slightly pinched nerve as a consequence of the foaling and i was glad to have been present as she was very unsteady on her feet afterwards. Two other mares foaled standing up hence no alarms, one we caught in the act and everything was ok. The other was a maiden and we woke up to see a new addition in the paddock in the morning! The last mare foaled during the evening feed up and the alarm wasn't needed, however it did go off. Most mares did not give us many false alarms except for one who choose to sleep every night around the same time for about a week before foaling!!

I guess i depends on the mare's behaviour but i would have to say it saved me a lot of sleep as i didn't have to check them as often during the wee hours. It seems that maiden mares would be the most likely to foal standing up probably due to their nervousness. We tend to check the mare's milk as the due date gets closer which, in experienced mares is a good indication of imminent foaling. we would then place the foal monitor on them when the milk changes. It is important however to know your mare and the changes in the milk and udder is different for each one. Once again maidens are the hardest to predict and it is best to err on the side of caution.

We also had problems with the range at first but MB was very helpful and even gave us the number of the guy who makes them so he could talk us through the issues. A friend of mine that uses them swears by them and she told me that the range I was getting at first was not right (a about 30m from the house). So after talking to the manufacturer we were a bit wiser. The problem was solved by purchasing a suitable CB aerial from Dick Smiths (not very expensive)and this was attached to our roof, adjacent to the paddock. The roof acted as an anttenae boosting the signal. we can now receive the signal up to 500m from the house.

As above if it saves one foal it has to be a good thing. I personnally would recomend using one. Try hiring one at first if you don't want to purchase one. MB do have hire rates as well.

Quartergems
29-06-05, 03:29 PM
Hello again and a big,big Thank-You to EA,MOOSE and TWINPINES. I really appreciate the comments and help you have all offered me. EA: I was so grateful that you answered me back a second time. I contacted the company you mentioned in your second posting,(Mini Tube). They no longer are distributors but both Terry and Alan were very helpful. They gave me another contact number for the new distributors of the "Foal watch kit". A company called; "Edwards Instruments"are now distributors. I spoke to a gentleman named "Ross" who helped me with information and consequently a Kit is on its way. We think we will probably purchase a MB alarm and use it in conjunction with the Foal watch kit, at least that way we should still get SOME!!! sleep. Last year reminded me of when my son was born, our doctor,(and good friend) said; "Guys nobody has ever died from SLEEP DEPRIVATION, but you'll think your gonna". He was right and I relived that feeling last foaling season, we were like walking Zombies from lack of sleep. EA in case you yourself need to get some kits for this foaling season(or anybody else who reads this and is interested)the telephone number(in Australia)is 1800024407. Cost at time of my posting this is; $143.00(incl.GST)Free Freight to most areas. Moose; Thank-you for your comments and sharing some of the senarios that may happen, Twin Pines; I thank-you sincerely also. I had no idea there could be so many variables. We only had 3 foals born for our first season (2004). Boy that was more than enough for an introduction but what a joy to behold. Mares and foals were healthy and happy so we were wrapped. We have 5 foals arriving this season,I am so grateful to the person who created this Forum website with its various sections. I am grateful to people like yourselves who are so forthcoming to share experiences and information. Being in a reasonably remote area I can see Cyberhorse being a big asset to me. Hopefully I can pass some info on to others to. My first mare to foal this season is in fact a maiden mare(Lovely Quarter Horse almost 16 years of age). She is so lovely to ride and handle, a great ambassador for the breed and so trustworthy with our son on board,it was very easy to keep saying, We'll put her in foal next year. Our vet prompted us by reminding us that she is no spring chicken. We mated her to a lovely buckskin purebred Quarter Horse and were overjoyed when she went in so easy. Lets hope she follows through with the "easy" bit.I am concerned as this is her first foal and therefore she is an unknown entity at this stage. She is due 28th July. I will post an announcement here when the happy occasion arrives. Thank-You all once again. All the best. Quartergems

EA
30-06-05, 01:56 AM
Thanks for the update, price seems to have gone up with the new distributor, they were only $100 last year. I had to foal 14 foals last year, so know all about sleep deprevation. Over the years I must admit we have made it alot easier, we now have cameras in the stable so I can check the horses from bed etc as getting up for months on end left me one very grumpy individual.

Quartergems
02-07-05, 05:58 AM
EA you are most welcome, since it was yourself who helped me in the first place. Your comment about cameras has really started us wondering about the close circuit tv idea. Our foaling paddock consists of a small safely fenced area with a stall. We wonder about placing a wide angle video camera in the corner of that stall. EA have you(or anybody else using video surveillance systems)any advice to offer us on this subject? Thanks again Quartergems

langford park
02-07-05, 11:37 AM
dont know if this will help

I am hiring one alarm base and two transmitters magic breed type from horse supplies direct for late sept /oct /november

it costs $99 for the first week and $33for each week after that I think will have to check paper work

although I did book my alarm back in january

hope this helps

LPS

zoo
06-07-05, 01:01 PM
After many years of MB and that shrilling noise in the night!!!!! Oh boy, especially to find out mare has her head up in the tree!!!! Or find the mare snoring their head off in the middle of the night (lots of horses sleep between 1 and 3 am safest part of the night) The milk test is great but not always accurate, my last maiden waxed and ran milk on and off 2 weeks prior to foaling. We have a hiace van, put mattress in the back and peek on mare every two hours in shifts with my daughter good old peg :) Had a mare last year, maiden and foaled standing up so MB would have been no good. Web cam i think is the go which i am looking into this year, Stay in bed and still watch the mare at regular intervals without getting out of bed.

Catchya

Quartergems
07-07-05, 09:08 AM
Thank-you both,"Langford Park" and "Zoo". I appreciate everybodies suggestions and information - I really do. Part of me says go for the foaling alarm in conjunction with a video surveillance unit. Gee "ZOO", I read your post and thought, anything weird or strange (like head up a tree or 40 - make that 400 winks that's my horses also). Our horses are a strange lot, certainly never boring but we love them nonetheless. I'm thinking that both Video and Alarm will be expensive, but once we have it we have it for a number of years and if it saves the life of one of our foals or one of our mares, it will have well and truly paid for purchasing expenses. Another person who answered my post(EA) made some good suggestions including video surveillance. That sounds like sound advice from somebody who obviously has a lot more breeding experience than we do. We spent hours on quite a number of nights checking out the internet for video equipment. Yes the internet can be very helpful but MAN!!!! it can get confusing to. So much stuff available!!!!(anything we found that looked like what we might need was in another country). Are there any breeders (in Australia) using video surveillance who can offer us any advice on the equipment we would need? Who(in Australia, email or telephone number)can help us with the supply of the equipment we would need to set up video surveillance. Any advice regarding Brands/suppliers etc will be appreciated. Thanks again everybody for helping us with info. All the best:- Quartergems

blackhorse
10-07-05, 07:03 AM
I haven't used Magic Breed or the foal watch kit ( my experiince with my mares is that only one of them produced milk prior to actually foaling).

I specifcally chose not to use the MB alarm as I don't like leaving halters on my horses. Instead I chose to use the (then) new one I saw advertised that comprised a strap round the neck/shoulder that is sensitive to a change in temperature based on the the fact that shorlty before foaling the horse's temperature goes up a couple of degrees.

I used it on three mares. The first mare we had lots of false positives. She foaled in February and we had rain on and off. When it rained, her skin got wet, the alarm went off. (You test the unit is working by wetting your finger and making a coinnection across the electordes whiht be says it is based on sweat, not temperature. We also could only have it on at night as during theday it was hot and she sweated. However, the night she did foal was dry we had it on her and it worked perfectly.

The second mare it was winter. We only had one false positive when we went out we found the unit lying in the dewy grass. When she foaled it worked perfectly. (She foaled standing up)

With the third mare we had a lot of trouble setting the sensitivity, it seemed to go off all the time. Eventually we thought we had it worked out. Cleary not, we woke one morning to find she had foaled (she had been checked by eye during the night and showed no signs when last checked) and the unti wa still sitting quite around her neck (the alarm goes off inside, the light flashes on the neck unit). Ther is definitley something wrong with unit at the moment but I am not sure if it is still sold here or serviced so we can get it repared. I am considering following up those antenna ones whcih I assume work on contractions, but I haven't checekd them out yet to find out if that is the case.

debrabrown1
14-07-05, 04:28 AM
I have a MB and on the normal antenna it would only pick up on the lawn. So I went and bought a CB antenna and mounted it on the tallest shed and now have a pick up distance of about 15 acres of hilly ground.