About Our Foal Sitters
Some foal sitters have participated for years, and include local horse owners and enthusiasts, volunteers from many local universities including West Chester University, Villanova University and the University of Delaware, retired individuals, high school students, and even a group of registered nurses from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. In addition second-year Penn Vet students are required to foal sit for five shifts of six hours each as part of their curriculum.
“The foal sitters are essential,” said Dr. Jonathan Palmer, VMD, Chief of New Bolton Center’s NICU, and Director of Perinatal/Neonatal Programs. “To deliver the level of intensive care that we do, we need more help. Foal sitters are vital to our operation.”
Two foal sitters are assigned to each of the three shifts: 7 am to 3 pm, 3 pm to 11 pm, and 11 pm to 7 am. Foal sitting volunteer shifts start in February and go through June.
“Most mares foal between 11 at night and 6 in the morning,” Dr. Palmer said. “It is much more active at night. If you want to see the birth of foal, that’s when you want to be around.”