1. Tell us more about Frosty.
Frosty is a 1994 Appaloosa mare. We have owned her since she was a yearling. She is a big mare as Appaloosas go, and is a real sweet horse. Very friendly and gentle. She is well trained, though we do not ride her when she is expecting after about the fifth month or so. Frosty is called a "snowcap" Appaloosa because of her large, solid white blanket.
2. What is Frosty's due date?
With an eleven month, one week gestation period, even two weeks early or late is considered right on time. Frosty is special in that she was the very first mare bred with frozen semen from Zip Me Impressive.
3. Will this be Frosty's first foal?
No, Frosty is an old pro at this. She has had many foals for us. They usually are very big and often Black and White. You can see some of them at Here Frosty is a great mom - relaxed, attentive and easy to be around after foaling. Some mares get quite upset and don't want anyone to come close to them or their baby after delivery, but Frosty is very people-oriented and calm. She's a great horse!
4. Can you tell us about the foal's sire (father)?
The foal's sire is Supreme Champion and 2003 World's Best Appaloosa Zip Me Impressive, or "Zippy" as we call him. Zippy is the youngest Supreme Champion ever in the history of the Appaloosa breed. He is dark bay with a spotted blanket, and is nine years old. We bought him when he was 13 months old and he is regularly shown in competitions. He holds 50 Top Ten World and National and Year End titles and three Bronze Medallions. ZMI as we call him is a Multiple Reserve World Champion, and Multiple Canadian National Champion.
5. How will you know Frosty is about to give birth?
Frosty will show fairly classic signs of labor. The signals we watch for include her tail cocked continuously to one side; pacing; her udder very full and waxed on the teats; getting smooth and elongated under her tail; the baby moving back into position giving her a more "cylindrical" appearance; and the ligaments on either side of her tail feeling soft and loose in preparation for foaling. In addition she may be not as hungry the day before or day of foaling; she may drip milk from her udder a few hours before delivery, and she may lay down an within one hour - but sometimes as quickly as 15 minutes, so watch close!
6. Does the light in the foaling stall bother Frosty?
No, the light is from a low-watt light bulb. We enhance the lighting of the picture via the computer software so that you can see things better at night. Lights are off during the day. We will also turn off the lights after Frosty foals and the baby is up and nursing vigorously. (about two to three hours after foaling) Mother and baby will be in natural light every day, whether they are in the barn or outside in their paddock.
7. What kind of technical equipment do you use to support the BarnCams?
We have six cameras in and outside the barn all devoted to supporting the technical side of the BarnCams. We have four wireless cameras and one video camera pointed at the horses we are featuring each day. An older, wired system runs from the foaling barn to the TVs in the house so that we can do hourly and then half-hour checks at night without running down to the barn. We have three dedicated servers to handle all the traffic - it has been incredible! In addition, we will use a hand-held camera for our BarnBuddy Club members when Frosty foals.