Any tips on weaning?
 
 

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Any tips on weaning?

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  • Tips on weaning a colt
  • Weaning horses tips

 
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    10-09-2008, 03:00 PM
  #1
Foal
Any tips on weaning?

Hi, I am looking for any advice or suggestions on weaning my colt. He will be 4 months old in a bit. I am planning on taking my mare to a boarding facility for a month and going to have my colt with my Dad's mare (they are already all together anyways so he does know her) I am wondering if anyone has suggestions or ideas to go about seperating them. My colt knows how to lead, tie, ect and I often take him for walks out of the barn and away from mom and he does quite well. I have been told about stalling and such, but we have open top stalls- boards go up about 4' and then no bars or anything- I don't want him to try rearing or jumping. This is my first foal and I would appreciate any ideas or suggestions-
Thanks!
     
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    10-09-2008, 09:42 PM
  #2
Foal
I know that you can wean colts at 4 months but I personally wait til they are 6 months. Then I put the foal in a pen near its mother. So they can still see each other and such but the foal can't nurse. Much less stress on mom and foal. I did seperate one mare and foal much the same way as you are talking about, but the foal was l7l months old and she was with two other mares and a gelding.
     
    10-10-2008, 01:32 AM
  #3
Yearling
It sounds like you have the right idea putting the foal in with horses familiar to him. I have also heard it is a good idea to take mom off the property during the process.

We had to wean our colt just shy of 4 months (not ideal in my opinion, but the mare couldn't maintain). Our colt and mare were both very ready, and settled right in with zero issue. They were able to see each other. He kept trying to nurse on the geldings from time to time though. :)

Is there more of a turnout that you can have your colt in rather than a stall? I would think it better for him to be able to run around.
     
    10-10-2008, 09:41 AM
  #4
Foal
Hi,
Yes, they have a pasture that they can be in- I was just getting scared because some people have said make sure they are in a stall for a while until they settle down, ect. I would prefer to leave him in the pasture with my dad's mare and continue the routine and bring them in at night for feeding and stalled at night. I hope all goes without issues!
     
    10-10-2008, 09:55 AM
  #5
Showing
I wouldn't worry about stalling him, we never have. Its been a few years since we had to wean but it seems we did it gradually. Seperated them during the day then back together at night for a week or so before we seperated them for good. We have a dry lot and pasture seperated by the driveway. They could see each other all the way through the weaning process. I don't recall how long we seperated, it seems it was 3-4 months. We would put them back together and if the baby started to attempt to nurse we would seperate them again.
Its good you have another horse to be with your weanling, that always makes it easier.
     
    10-10-2008, 10:12 AM
  #6
Foal
I am trying not to worry and hope that things go smoothly- My mare is showing signs that she wants this part to be over- if he comes over to nurse (not always but sometimes) she will raise her leg as if to say NO, not right now. My mare during this whole time has been just fantastic about everything- hasn't really gotten worked up about anything. I think that it will work out. You gotta love the rocky attitude- pretty laid back- which is helpful for me as this is my first experience with the foaling process, weaning, ect.
My plan I think is to board my mare for a month and when I bring her back I may keep them in seperate pastures for a while before putting the 3 of them back together. At this time it sure would be easier to have more than 3 horses that way everyone could have a buddy!
     
    10-10-2008, 10:22 AM
  #7
Showing
Hey mine are all Rockys too! Thank goodness we had 2 mares that gave birth within a few weeks of each other so the babys have had a buddy through all of their training. We weaned at around 5-6 months I think, it was around that time when moms started to do the "not now" leg motion.
     
    10-10-2008, 10:56 AM
  #8
Foal
I have been so happy with the mountain horses as a whole. This experience was unplanned (the foal was a surprise as when we purchased the mare we did not know that she was in foal) but it has been quite wonderful and a good chance to bond with the mare. She was purchased as an "extra" horse for my hubby since I had my peruvian "do it all" mare, but a little over a month ago I had to put her to sleep due to the nasty dsld disease. I never want to go through that again. Its just me and my rocky mare now.....time for us to bond. I know that I could wait longer to wean but I am being a little selfish right now, but she is showing "the signs" of being done. We bought her late fall so I didn't get much riding in prior to our icky wisconsin winter then spring found out she was in foal and didn't know how far along so didn't really ride and now winter is soon approaching and I want to get some riding in on the trails! Fall is my favorite time to ride and the colors are really beautiful now.
     
    10-10-2008, 12:33 PM
  #9
Showing
Don't blame you a bit. We started riding ours several months before we weaned. Just started going out for 30 min. Then working up to an hour or more away. I think that helped with the weaning. They had gotten used to us riding off on the moms way before we actually seperated them.
Funny we had the same situation. Death of my husbands horse got us the mountain girls. We bought them maybe, maybe not bred, theseller wasnt't sure. We sure love them.
     
    10-10-2008, 11:51 PM
  #10
Weanling
It sounds like a good plan that you have. We wean most of our foals at about 4 months. We've always believed that "cold turkey" was the best way to go. IMO putting them back and forth together and then not is more stressful on them both. We do use a stall for the first couple of days, but if you don't have a safe one, it's not necessary. I prefer to put them with a horse they know (like you are doing). I have found that with a quick seperation they are upset for about a day and then it's over. It's actually harder on me then them.
     

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