There are few sights more beautiful to behold than the birth of a brand-new foal. If you’re interested in horse breeding, or just want to be part of the experience of watching a mare give birth, then Meadow Brooks Stables  in Alton, Nova Scotia has a job for you.

For the past 16 years the farm, which breeds registered Paints and Quarter Horses, has livestreamed their foaling barn for fans all over the world. The motivation isn’t solely to entertain and educate, but also to get 24/7 eyes on the mares who are due to drop a foal. Viewers or “volunteers” can watch and if they see any unusual behaviour from one of the mares, they can text or call the number on the livestream and alert the stable.

This past March one viewer messaged the farm and let them know a mare was “being suspicious.” And sure enough, the mare’s water had broken. The staff, including co-found Kaila Watters, had been doing chores and weren’t watching the cameras. “It’s always good to have extra eyes on the cameras, because of course we’re busy, we’re out putting hay in the fields,” Watters tells the CBC.  “It’s good to have extra eyes on them to make sure everyone is safe.” False alarms are a natural part of this type of set-up, but says Watters, “We’d rather that than miss something important.”

Meadow Brook is the creation of partners Watters and Anna Briand and the east coast farm began as a boarding stable before being turned into the successful breeding, training, and showing operation it is today. The duo and their clients compete in a variety of competitions including halter, colour classes, showmanship, trail, western pleasure and horsemanship. The goal is to increase the quality of Paint and Quarter Horses in the Maritimes. Many of the foals you’ll watch being born are already spoken for, having been sold in utero.

On Meadow Brooks’ Facebook page they post a link to the livestream on YouTube and explain how it works. “We will be bringing the mares in only when we feel they are close, as they are used to living out 24/7. Please do not message us if you don’t see them in the stalls as they may only be in during the evenings as they get closer. They don’t enjoy being inside, so we try to keep them outside as long as possible.”

The livestream has become internationally popular, with volunteers now tuning in from all over the world including Ireland, Australia, and across Canada and the US. “We’re getting more and more people every day and it’s nice to have people in different time zones because of course when we’re sleeping, they’re awake,” adds Watters.

It’s not too late to become a foaling volunteer at Meadow Brook Stables. There are still six foals due by end of May, and some mini-donkeys set to arrive at the farm to give birth as well.