Ever since we began foaling horses, Breeder Alert halter alarms have been part of our foaling support system. I originally learned about them from my mentor Linda Baerthlein of Sugar Creek Farms. She had been using them with great success. Miniature horses have some differences in foaling compared to full-size horses. They often foal much earlier than their larger counterparts, and those foals can survive if someone is there to help them into the world.
As our breeding program expanded, so did the number of transmitters we own. We now have a total of six transmitters, and two pagers. It is rare that all are in use, but there is often a period in spring where we will have eight mares in our foaling stalls at various stages of gestation. It is sure nice to have the back up of these alarms. And if for some reason one would need a repair, it is nice to have a backup unit. From personal experience, problems will only occur at the height of foaling season!
The way it works is quite simple.
The Breeder Alert® Transmitter/Pouch, attaches easily to mare's halter via a Velcro pouch. The Main Unit, which is located in the barn, along with an antenna, sends signal to a Pager that you are carrying (up to 1+ miles away), and/or Telephone. Each System can handle up to 20 Transmitters and you can be alerted on just one Pager. The Pager will show a digital display (number 01 - 20) to let you know which mare is sending alarm. This is helpful if you have multiple barns that your mares are located in, or a large barn. You can have as many Pocket Pagers per system as needed. We have two. One that is always in use, and a second as a backup should something happen to the primary one.
When mare lies flat out in foaling position for at least 13 seconds a signal will be sent from Transmitter/Mare to Repeater Antenna. The signal is then sent via Repeater Antenna/Breeder Alert® Main Unit, and then to Breeder Alert Pocket Pager, and/or Telephone.
We use Breeder Alert in conjunction with our barn security cameras, and Mare Stare to cover all possible scenarios. The owners of Breeder Alert have been extremely wonderful over several decade of owning their systems. We have updated to their newest system as technology has changed over the years. In the rare case when we are having a problem with a transmitter, they are quick to remedy the problem, as they are acutely aware of how important this device is to breeders.
** This system has been especially valuable saving foals where the mares gave little or no advance warning of foaling, such as some maiden mares. This has also been valuable on high risk mares that have had a history of losing their foals, or premature foaling.
Our Breeder Alert set up in the barn. Main unit is on top. Transmitter (left) and a Pocket Pager (right) are on the bottom.
Angel and her 2016 colt, "Spirit"
Treasure modeling a Breeder Alert Transmitter.
Tequila awaiting her 2017 foal.