Author: aimee

Mares colostrum quick facts

Did you know?

Colostrum is the first milk loaded with antibodies.  It is vital for the foal to get a good strong dose of colostrum very soon after being born.

The mare’s colostrum will be replaced by milk within about 24–36 hours.

Generally, a healthy foal weighing around the 50 kg mark will consume approximately 10 – 15 litres of milk daily.

Foals grow rapidly in their first month of life, gaining on average 1.6kg per day- and are expected to double their birth weight in just 4 weeks! To achieve this, they need to consume 25% of their body weight in milk/feed daily.

Smart Foal is getting Smarter!

Great news!

After years of Smart Foal being used by hundreds of people across multiple countries we have incorporated feedback and feature requests to bring you:

Smart Foal HOME

On top of the current Smart Foal features:

  • Up to 600m range (depending on terrain, hills, buildings)
  • Real time webapp
  • Long battery life
  • Water proof/stomp proof

Smart Foal HOME includes:

  • Improved lying down detection. We have moved the extra sensitive detection method in the webapp into the HOME base so now the hardware alarm is just as sensitive.
  • Offline mare detection.  If your mare goes out of range, or breaks out of her paddock, the hardware alarm will “chirp” and let you know.
  • Automatic override if your internet goes down. Have the HOME base set to Auto so that you normally get alarms through the app or on your phone, but if your internet goes down the hardware alarm can detect that and turn itself on – so if your mare lies down the alarm will still activate.
  • MUTE button! Our mute button is not like any other sleep button you have seen before. Our Mute button ONLY silences the alarm for the one mare who activated it in the first place. What does this mean for you? Well if one mare lies down to have a big sleep and you hit mute the alarm will stop sounding for 15 minutes. She can get up, down and fidget as much as she wants, the alarm will stay off; BUT if another mare lies down and goes into labour the alarm will still activate!

We have built in as much redundancy as possible to make sure your mare can’t sneak the foal out. This not only makes Smart Foal the most sensitive halter mounted alarm on the market, it means that anyone without internet, or anyone who just wants the screaming alarm on it’s own, can take advantages of our advances.

We are still putting the finishing touches on this version. It will be released to the public in the next month or two.

How we got started

How did Smart Foal get started?

Well it all started years ago when my mum was foaling down her mares. She would sit up at night until she was too tired to continue and then the mares were on their own. After loosing a few foals she decided it was time for a change.

She looked into the current foaling alarms available and couldn’t justify the price. So she asked me to build her a similar one. “No problem” I said… I built it – and it worked, kinda. The problem was that it worked ‘too well’. It was a screeching box, that went off at all hours, for no reason. Every single time the alarm went off, mum had to get out of bed and check the mares. It was basically unusable. So mum got annoyed and turned it off.

And that was the end of that.

Flash forward a few years and mum was diagnosed with breast cancer. That was the motivation I needed to actually do it right.

But what is right? Is another screeching box the way forward? Should I try to do something different?

While developing a very early prototype I had this “great” idea. Since I was powering the box off my computer – why not allow data to be displayed on the screen, as well as provide the traditional alarm? The user just needs a computer and to install some software.

I was so excited. I thought I had the reinvented the wheel.
I called mum and told her all about this great new idea.

Her response: “NO!”

“No computers! We are just simple, normal, technology challenged people. ”

“NO COMPUTERS!”.

OOOkay.

A lot of business advisers will tell you that getting an opinion on a business idea from a family member is great, but take it with a grain of salt. They want to support you and encourage you, so they might not be as honest as they should.

Uh-huh.
I didn’t get any of that 🤷‍😂🤣

So what now? Computers/programs/cables/updating software are all off the table.

Without a clear way forward, I just focused on collecting data.

While gathering data I had a real time display on my computer so I could match raw data to actual mare movements. After several hours I was able to tell what the mare was doing at any point in time. It was very handy.

While watching TV with my laptop beside me, my mum would chirp: “What’s she doing now?”.

“Eating”.

“OOh.” “What’s she doing nooow?”.

“Still eating, Mum”.

“And now?”

“Just standing there, dozing”.

This went on all night until mum finally said “Oh, you know, even that’s really handy. Can you put that on my computer?”.

*Sigh*  🤦‍♀️

The brutally honest feedback I received initially, resulted in the creation of a web app – rather than installing software locally. This means all maintenance and compatibility is taken care of by us, not the user. It also means that all the data and alarms are available anywhere in the world! A very lucky side effect.

And we couldn’t imagine it any other way.

💖

May the crazy eyes of a thousand mares not deter you from your path.

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