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Waterbed the answer for sick foals

January 5, 1997

Got a sick foal? Then pop him on the waterbed.

That's what they're doing at Waikato Stud.

Manager Mark Chittick has built a "neo-natal foal unit", or a heated waterbed with padded sides.

The stud treats sick or premature foals on the heated bed - in an insulated room - using a ventilator or intravenous drip if needed, until they were strong enough to join their mothers.

The bed works well in keeping the foals' body temperature up. Mum stays in a stable next door and can see her foal.

Mr Chittick got the idea when working overseas.

This season the bed had been used for four foals, three off which survived. The other one was sent to Massey University for treatment, but later died.



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