Really stupid weaning question...but I've not been through this before
 
 

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Really stupid weaning question...but I've not been through this before

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        01-23-2011, 12:07 PM
      #1
    dee
    Started
    Really stupid weaning question...but I've not been through this before

    Has anyone had a mare wean her own baby?

    Dancer and Rain cannot stand to be separated - Rain at five months old cleared a five foot fence from a standing start. She more recently jumped a five foot woven wire fence when she charged out the gate and suddenly realized she was separated from her mommy.

    We'd just about decided we were going to have to sell Rain just to get her weaned, when we noticed Dancer wasn't letting her nurse. Nothing wrong with Dancer - no irritation of her teats or bag. It's just that when Rain would try to nurse (which isn't very often we've noticed), Dancer would move her leg to block her or just walk away. Rain wouldn't try again.

    Dancer's udder now looks almost like it did before she got pregnant, and we haven't seen Rain try to nurse at all for well over a week. Granted, it's very possible that she may be nursing when we aren't looking, but they are right next to the house and we do keep a pretty close eye on them after the October incident with DJ. Dancer's weight has suddenly exploded - and daughter has been working her lightly to build her muscle back up.

    Any thoughts? And please - no bashing this time. It's a simple question...
         
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        01-23-2011, 12:34 PM
      #2
    Foal
    Mares sometimes do wean their foals themselves. If her udders are shrinking then its likely the filly isnt nursing much if at all. But I would do something to split them up if you want to break the bond they have and make it easier on Rain to understand to not be herd bound. If you have to stall her till she "gives up" or maybe move her to a different location or make your fence higher...Id definitely figure something out but you don't necessarily have to sell her.
         
        01-23-2011, 12:48 PM
      #3
    Yearling
    My mare Ellie did pretty much wean her colt. I seriously thought he was going to get hurt, she was so mean to him when Ellie decided she was "done" . He had a half-brother of similar age and we moved them to a nearby pasture and they did fine after mama started the weaning process. Make sure the baby has plenty to eat, and she will need a buddy of some type. She is a herd animal and is probably anxious if she's by herself. Can't remember if you have another mature horse that you could put the baby with. If the mama's not running the fence and driving you nuts, you're halfway there. You have 2 issues, though, weaning plus teaching the baby how to be separated from the mama for when the day comes for her to be trained or ridden.
         
        01-23-2011, 12:48 PM
      #4
    dee
    Started
    Older daughter and her hubby were going to take Rain, but decided they couldn't afford a horse right now. Then, they were going to finish a pen that was already on their place to put Dancer in for a few weeks, but they haven't done it yet, so we are pretty much stuck at the moment. Hay is very dear here and no one wants to board either one of them - even with the hay thrown in - for a reasonable fee. (We have plenty of hay, even with our new rescues, so we are lucky there.)

    I think hubby will be going to older daughter's house in the next couple of weeks to help finish out the pen and then we can move Dancer...weather permitting. It's just that there is no shelter in that pen other than a tree just outside the fence, so it will take a while to get it ready for her.

    I just hope that Rain will be content to stay in the lot with Auntie Mistie and her new Auntie Nutmeg when Dancer is hauled off. That could turn out to be disasterous. The only other time I've been involved in weaning a colt, he tore himself to pieces running through fences to get back to his mother. Sadly, she solved the problem permanently by dying on us. It has taken over a year to get the colt's knee to look normal he cut it open to the bone...
         
        01-23-2011, 12:52 PM
      #5
    dee
    Started
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ladytrails    
    My mare Ellie did pretty much wean her colt. I seriously thought he was going to get hurt, she was so mean to him when Ellie decided she was "done" . He had a half-brother of similar age and we moved them to a nearby pasture and they did fine after mama started the weaning process. Make sure the baby has plenty to eat, and she will need a buddy of some type. She is a herd animal and is probably anxious if she's by herself. Can't remember if you have another mature horse that you could put the baby with. If the mama's not running the fence and driving you nuts, you're halfway there.
    Mamma's not the problem - Dancer could really care less. Rain is the problem. I had thought about putting Dancer in the pen with the goats (Rain was in there, but cleared the fence). Dancer likes the goats for some reason. Unfortunately, that would leave Rain in a barbed wire pen. I hate that the pen is barbed wire, but that's what everyone else around here uses. Rain would still be with Auntie Misty and Aunty Nutmeg, so she wouldn't be alone, but I'm scared to death take the chance that she would run through the wire...
         
        01-23-2011, 01:52 PM
      #6
    Started
    I would take the baby somewhere safe with appropriate fencing and out of earshot of her dam.

    I don't care what everyone else has, barbed wire and horses = disaster/huge vet bills/dead horses.

    Lizzie
         
        01-23-2011, 02:12 PM
      #7
    Green Broke
    Usually the foal is put in a safe stall ( not a fenced area) for a few days to get over the initial shock and not get hurt. Regardless if she is weaned they need seperated or you will never be able to do anything with the foal
         
        01-23-2011, 10:34 PM
      #8
    Yearling
    I had one foal that would probably have killed herself to get back w/ her dam, she was also quite a pain to halter break (I waited alot longer then I should have to get her started), in the end I had to take mom far, far away so that neither could see or hear each other, sounds like that is what you are going to have to do. Believe it or not as soon as Classy (mom) was out of the picture Comet (foal) acted like she was born halter broke and never gave me another problem.

    Her mom may wean her, but you do not want them so bonded that they can't be separated.
         
        01-24-2011, 08:40 AM
      #9
    dee
    Started
    Right now, I'm really not as worried about the bonding/separation part as I was the weaning part - and getting weight back on Dancer. With Dancer gaining weight like crazy now since Rain isn't nursing, it gives me time to get that pen finished at the older daughter's house. It won't have any barbed wire at all, so we can move Dancer over there. Will be replacing the barbed wire around the lot with a better fence in the very near future, so Rain will be less at risk - and she'll have plenty of company with Auntie Misty and Auntie Nutmeg, daddy Scooter and half-brother Junior (both about to get gelded) and her new friend America.

    I'm thinking once we are certain that Rain's been weaned, we'll bring Dancer back and maybe send Rain over to the older daughter's for some "away from the herd" time. If that isn't an option when the time comes, our own round pen should be completed and if that won't hold Rain, nothing will.
         
        01-24-2011, 09:16 AM
      #10
    Green Broke
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dee    
    Right now, I'm really not as worried about the bonding/separation part as I was the weaning part - and getting weight back on Dancer. With Dancer gaining weight like crazy now since Rain isn't nursing, it gives me time to get that pen finished at the older daughter's house. It won't have any barbed wire at all, so we can move Dancer over there. Will be replacing the barbed wire around the lot with a better fence in the very near future, so Rain will be less at risk - and she'll have plenty of company with Auntie Misty and Auntie Nutmeg, daddy Scooter and half-brother Junior (both about to get gelded) and her new friend America.

    I'm thinking once we are certain that Rain's been weaned, we'll bring Dancer back and maybe send Rain over to the older daughter's for some "away from the herd" time. If that isn't an option when the time comes, our own round pen should be completed and if that won't hold Rain, nothing will.
    So what is to keep Rain in the fence? When you seperate them
         

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