The first foal produced by a Thoroughbred, among a band of heavily pregnant broodmares rescued from the slaughter pipeline Feb. 29, has made a dramatic entrance into the world.
Shortly after Murphy’s Code gave birth to a tiny filly with a slightly crooked nose, the newborn named Liberty was rushed to the veterinary hospital having developed colic and an impaction, says Gerda Silver, who lead the rescue effort in late February to save a band of heavily pregnant broodmares from slaughter, including Murphy’s Code.
“The night she was born (March 31) she started to colic and then had trouble passing manure. So she was shipped to the Virginia Tech’s Hospital and she spent two days there,” says Silver, founder of charitable organization Gerda’s Animal Aid. “At first the vets were concerned she might be having internal problems, so they did a battery of tests, x-rays, ultrasounds, and we were all on pins and needles. But everything checked out OK.”
After the filly’s vital signs were found to be normal, she was given a strong enema to flush out her system, but colicked once more before she was eventually declared out of the woods, Silver says. She notes the animal’s face was also diagnosed with a having a slight wry nose, a condition that will not get worse or better, and gives the appearance of being slightly crooked.
The condition hampered the filly’s efforts to latch on and nurse, she adds.
After seven days of worrying her owners, Liberty has found her spirit and is now doing circles around her mother, racing around the property of Lois and Mitchell Fritz of Virginia.
The couple originally agreed to foster mare and foal, but soon decided to keep them both, says Silver, noting that they were so touched by the story of survival that they named their property New Freedom Farm out of respect to the horse.
Murphy’s Code, who has been renamed Mabeline, was rescued with three other pregnant mares, and a fourth mare, in a highly publicized effort to either buy them back or outbid meat buyers intent on taking them to the slaughterhouse, Silver says. Please see earlier story here: http://offtrackthoroughbreds.com/2016/03/07/pregnant-horses-rescued-from-meat-buyers/
The Thoroughbreds rescued in a widespread effort, who came through the auction with paperwork, were identified by Silver as: Murphy’s Code, 15; Lilly and Ice, 21, Stratacaster, 19, (not in foal); Open Zipper, 10, badly crippled; Lovely Ness, 7.
All horses are either residing at foster farms, with new owners, or at Gerda’s Animal Aid.
With the first foaling behind her, Silver says she is hopeful the other three foals, due next month, arrive with a little less drama.
In frequent updates on a Facebook page dedicated to reporting on the mares, the deliveries, and upbringing of the foals, Liberty’s owners expressed relief and thanks to all who have supported efforts to help mare and foal.
“So grateful for all the support from everyone,” Lois Fritz wrote. “I continue to pray for the other mares and their human moms.”