Kaitlin O’Kane: I use the Foal Birth Alarm Lite 2.0 foaling alarm which attaches to their headcollar. It works by inserting a SIM card that rings your phone when the mare lays on her side for approximately seven seconds. Because of it working off a SIM card - as long as you are using a signal it can ring you wherever you are. Last year was my first time using it on two mares and I absolutely loved it. It was spot on with both horses and I got enough notice to witness the birth of the foals. Looking forward to using it again this year!

Martin Walsh: Sigloo is very reliable, using for years now. Can put three or four phone numbers on it so if someone is in bad coverage or doesn’t have the phone on them, it will get the next person.

Donal White: Easy Foal Evolution - best on the market!

Claire Carey: Sigloo foaling alarm. Cost around €2,200. Simple to set up. Completely reliable so far. Have used the Magic Breed prior to this.

Catherine Jackson Garrett: I’ve used the Sigloo alarm for the last five years. We have no mains electricity so run it off car battery. Never failed. Wouldn’t be without it. Easy to use and very effective.

Angi Winnie: Magic Breed Plus and camera. A few false alarms, but wouldn’t be without it. Fingers crossed never missed a foaling.

Amanda Donegan: A good groom! I slept out in the field in a tent during foaling time and in the barn if l wasn’t able to foal in the field. So many things can go wrong so fast l would never rely on anything other than my own ears and eyes.

Jacqui Short Boyce: I used the Foal Birth Alarm Lite from Farmcare. Attaches to theheadcollar and calls when mare lies down longer than seven seconds. On the run up to foaling, it called me many times each night, all false alarms and then didn’t call the night she foaled as her head wasn’t flat. Luckily, I backed up with a camera and saw her. But on another mare, it did call. It’s not totally reliable therefore, and as long as you can put up with the false alarms, it is a good back up to a camera.

Luke McAvinue: Ark Equine Easy Foal Detection Unit works just off a mobile SIM plan! Can leave the receiver in the yard and you get a text when the mare starts foaling! The 70G Easy Foal Sensor is vertically installed on the top of the tail with special adhesive tape. There is no need for veterinary assistance. The sensor is then held firmly in place for up to 15 days. Immediately upon installation, the sensor is working, and after foaling is instantly reusable with another expectant mare.

India Matson: We are adding the Easy Foal Foaling Alarm to our Stallion AI Services collection. There are two different types available: The Complete Easy Foal Kit (Indoor) at £1,740.91 + VAT and The Complete Easy Foal Kit (Outdoor) at £1,904.55 + VAT. We choose Easy Foal, as it provides much needed peace of mind for the breeders and promotes the welfare of the mare. The Easy Foal foaling alarm does not run off WIFI. The SIM card you purchase and insert into the Easy Foal sensor needs to be the same network as your mobile phone, as it runs off signal only. You also do not need to worry if your house is not close to your yard where your mare is kept, because this foaling alarm runs off phone signal instead of WIFI, so the distance does not matter.

Lizzie Burcher: At Hawthorn Stud we watch all mares on cameras and then we are present when foaling occurs. The camera systems cost €3,000 and were without fail the best money I ever spent. When you know your mares you know their tell tell signs that foaling is imminent in the days prior. The cameras assist in allowing her to have privacy until her waters present at which time I’m always there. Our yard has horrific signal but this didn’t stop us. The alarm was set up as a Three dongle and outside waterproof box where we could get internet, hooked the cameras up to that, then I simply downloaded an app to my phone and hey presto I can see the girls from anywhere. I would not change to any other system as you can see in advance if mares are in trouble. With the chip system you can miss emergencies in mis-presented foals. I foaled for three seasons at a high-end TB stud where every mare was watched in person. Having foaled our own mares for decades, I feel if you’re there in the run-up to the birth and during it, then you stand a better chance of getting everyone there safe and sound. Machines and chips are great but nothing substitutes for human intuition and decision making capabilities in times of emergency.

Allison Geary: We used Foal Birth Alarm Lite 2.0. Worked very well on the first mare. Second mare lay down a lot prior to foaling meaning lots of false alarms so we didn’t realise the SIM card had ran out of credit. We missed her foaling and spotted her on the camera once foal was out. Thankfully all was absolutely fine!

Big plus is that it will call your phone directly using the SIM card and there’s no need for a particular range or signal box. Just make sure you put enough credit on it!

The down side is false alarms. If your mare likes to lie down a lot (our first lady had no false alarms).

I had a bad experience with a Sigloo stitch in alarm, so I’d be reluctant to use them again now. Foal was coming with head and legs back and there was nothing coming out to set off the alarm which is probably the most important time you’ll need it. Thankfully we picked her up on camera early on and we could save the mare.