Need info on Weaning

Discussion in 'Horse Breeding' started by CowGirlJennifer, Sep 30, 2013.

  1. CowGirlJennifer

    CowGirlJennifer Full Member

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    I bought my mare last December and surprise she was preggo and had a baby in May. Was not expecting that at all and am not really set up for dealing with foals and the weaning process. Just have a few questions about how to go about this?

    First off when I wean her I am planning on putting her in with my pony mare that she gets along with really well. Is this a good idea and also later on down the line will I have to separate her from the pony to make the foal more confident in herself? I have never done this and so don't know what is best.

    Next I do not have the ability to separate the foal and mare so that they can't really hear or see eachother and I can't afford to send the baby or mare to another facility. Does anyone have any ideas on what to do here? I was thinking of stalling the foal for a couple days with the pony and putting the mare and our other horse in the pasture together. Any thoughts on this??

    Finally I don't have multiple large pastures. I have two small lots and then the one large pasture. How long must the mare and foal be separated before they can be back together in the big pasture? Just trying to figure out all the logistics of this before we go about doing it.

    Thanks for any advice you can give me

    ! IMG_4235.jpg Here is a picture of the foal in question. She is pony sized but man is she built like a tank! This picture doesn't do her justice!!
     






  2. marksrn98

    marksrn98 Senior Member

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    You will probably get several differing opinions but we just weaned our colt and he is 4 1/2 months old..however, every foal is different in personality so its hard to say if your foal is ready...do you have to wean her now or are you questioning whether you should? She can stay with her dam and be weaned anywhere from 4-8 months old. We spent a lot of time with our foal and he is now very confident and has been through lots of separations from his dam for training sessions so weaning was no big deal for him...our barn and farm is small as well and my colt can both see and hear his dam...but again it depends on the foal and dam whether they have a meltdown or not-some do and some don't...it helps for the foal to have a buddy and our colt hangs out with a friends gelding but he is ok alone too...not sure if I addressed all your questions but hope I helped a bit
     
  3. marksrn98

    marksrn98 Senior Member

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    Oh and I personally would put the foal in a stall by herself and dam can go out to pasture...as long as she can't nurse...they can go back together once the dam's milk dries up, but be wary that some mares can start producing milk again if reunited with their foal too soon...we are going to keep our mare and colt separated for probably about two months just to be sure
     
  4. flower404

    flower404 Registered

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    I have always found that taking one of them to another property altogether if you can manage that works great. I got a stallion that was 4 and still drinking his mother milk everyday and had never been on a trailer or off the property he was born on . We took him away and he did not even cry for her. It was like she was never there. We were quite amazed as we were expecting a big commotion . But when I was younger the people I grew up around always took the mare to a friends house for a month and then would bring her back and it was no big deal and none got hurt or acted a fool. Hope that helps.
     
  5. CheyAut

    CheyAut Senior Member+

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    It's good that you have her with the pony as well. THe pony will help ease the weaning. I've only taken one off property when weaning. That was my half Arab colt, I wanted to send his dam to my trainer anyhow to learn to drive so that worked well. Other than that, I wean on property. They can't see each other, but they can certainly hear each other. I take the mare out of the group and the foals don't even seem to notice. I have 5 foals this year, 2 are weaned. Those foals never made a sound. Mares whinnied a bit, but not too bad since the foals didn't return their call LOL
     
  6. prairiesongks

    prairiesongks Senior Member+

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    Personally, I prefer to wean when the foal is about 6 months old, but anything between 4-8 months old can work. I also will suggest putting the mare in the stall rather than the foal and pony. The foal really needs room to stretch his legs and the pony will give him a friend. We've weaned foals right across the fence from Mom with little issue as long as the foal has a friend to keep him/her company. Just make sure the foal cannot reach through the fence to nurse.
     
  7. spacely

    spacely Senior Member+

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    4.5 months old is way too young to wean unless there is a medical reason. Try to leave them together until at least 6 months, or even longer if the mare is holding condition. You can do a fenceline weaning, and that usually works well, but as mentioned above, make sure the foal can't nurse through the fence. I don't put foals back with their dams until the following spring, if ever. I know people say 30 - 60 days is sufficient, but I would wait longer. I would not lock anyone in a stall. The foals needs to move, but so does the mare as her bag is going to be big, tight & uncomfortable for a few days.
     
  8. flower404

    flower404 Registered

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    I agree also that no one should be stalled . This will be stressful experience and one should be locked up. I also agree with waiting a while unless there is a problem. The 4 yr old i recently was given , lived with his mom ( and nursed daily) till I took him away at 4 and half years. And he is one of the most well built and fully developed horses I have had the pleasure of weaning. He did not act badly or misbehave at all. He never even cried out for her.it was a great experience that we were afraid was going to be a big hassle and a lot of stress and it was neither.
    also the mamma will have a tight milk sack. She will be a little uncomfortable for a few day at least.
     
  9. marksrn98

    marksrn98 Senior Member

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    Our foal is 4 1/2 months old and is adjusting perfectly so I don't think this is too young to wean; however, if the situation calls for longer and are able to accomodate, I would agree with 6 months...our colt is stalled and he is fine...he goes out daily with his gelding buddy and is doing well with it...our mare is getting exercise outside and her udder is ok too...I think all foals are different in their needs and ability to cope
     
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  10. Lopinslow

    Lopinslow Senior Member+

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    I weaned about 2 weeks ago when Lilly was 5 months. Since she is being shipped about 1000 miles the middle of November, I wanted her to be completely OVER weaning stress and if she lost weight during the process, i could get it back on her before the trip.

    The first day, I put her in a center stall with dam on one side and her best friend/full sister on the other side. the next day, i moved her dam across the isleway. then the next day dam went outside with her friends and Lilly and April started going out in one of the private paddocks.
     






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