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Weaning

This is a discussion on Weaning within the Horse Breeding forums, part of the Horse Breeds, Breeding, and Genetics category

     
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        07-10-2010, 07:51 AM
      #11
    Yearling
    We always wean cold turkey at around 3-5 months depending on the individual case. There's a breeder we are friends with that we have gotten babies off of that weaned the day we picked them up. They would load mom and baby on the trailer, hold on to baby and take mom off and we would be on our way. They do very well, and usually only scream for a few hours. Eventually we work them in with a few of the older quiet horses.

    The colt we have now will be weaned shortly, he's an April baby. He's eating more hard feed and hay than he's nursing, and he's very independant. He'll be ready in a few weeks.
         
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        07-10-2010, 03:20 PM
      #12
    dee
    Started
    I have a foal that I really didn't intend to have, and am not quite sure when I'm going to wean her. How momma is doing will have more impact on the decision of when than anything else. As to how - well, I really don't have the facilities for weaning - unless we put either momma or baby in the pen with the goats - which is probably not a good idea. However, baby will be going to live with oldest daughter once she is weaned, which may be the easiest way of all to wean her. I don't think they'll be able to hear each other when they are 35 miles apart.

    I guess this is essentially the same method Kassierae uses?
         
        07-10-2010, 05:56 PM
      #13
    Foal
    Foals should not be weaned until they are at least 6 months old unless there is something seriously wrong with the mare - they are still learing stuff from mum about how to interact with other horses and learning their place in a herd and just generally learning to be horses, they may not be getting a huge amount of nutrition from mum but it is still something too. Weaning at such an early age will predispose the foal to alsorts of behavioural and social issues and make them far more clingy to other horses in the future - they are still VERY much a baby at that age!!! If you are wanting to make a fast buck and get the foal away as soon as possible and don't want to have to give your mare extra feed if she is back in foal and therefore costing you money then I can see why people would wean so early, but it is not for the benefit of the foal - just the owners pocket!!!!!!

    We have always weaned at six months or older, and we wean cold turkey - we put all the youngsters in a barn, sometimes with an older chilled out herd member that they all get on with to give them some security and within a few days they are back out in their own herd without mum - we have only ever had them call for an hour or 2, mum is usually fed up by then and the quality of the grass isn't as good so the mares tend to dry up much more easily.
         
        07-10-2010, 06:45 PM
      #14
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Weaning at such an early age will predispose the foal to alsorts of behavioural and social issues and make them far more clingy to other horses in the future - they are still VERY much a baby at that age!!! If you are wanting to make a fast buck and get the foal away as soon as possible and don't want to have to give your mare extra feed if she is back in foal and therefore costing you money then I can see why people would wean so early, but it is not for the benefit of the foal - just the owners pocket!!!!!!
    Wow. You've got us all figured out. :roll: That is why I sold my colt as soon as I could and my mare is all knocked up again...oh wait, I still have my colt (soon to be a gelding) and my mare is never being bred again. Kind of pokes a hole in that theory, no? A great number of horses are weaned at or around that age and if, as you say, they become clingy and misbehave then, by now don't you think that we would be over run with monster horses? Most certainly there are people who do pull foals to for monetary gain, but they are few and far between compared to the good and honorable breeders that also pull foals at that age. Don't lump everyone together.
         
        07-10-2010, 10:25 PM
      #15
    Yearling
    We wean no earlier than 6 months. If mom looks like she is not doing so well, we will change diet/add more concentrate to help her out, but early weaning for us is a last resort. Last year most of the babies were about 7 months. We wean cold turkey. Simply move all of the moms to paddocks at the other side of the farm and leave the babes in the familiar field. All the babies have known eachother from birth, so it is pretty painless.
    We also usually introduce SHORT periods of separation beforehand - like when we breed mom back, for farrier work etc. It seems to help.
         
        07-11-2010, 12:02 AM
      #16
    Weanling
    We wean at 4 - 6 months cold turkey
         
        07-11-2010, 01:00 AM
      #17
    Foal
    Thank you to all who gave me advice on weaning. I think what I am going to do is get him gelded and leave him with mama until he is completely healed, then since mama is a breed lease, I will wean him by sending her home. We have 5 other mules so he will have a buddy. Thanks again for the informative advice.
         
        07-11-2010, 01:07 AM
      #18
    FHF
    Foal
    We wean at four months for our older mares and six months for our extra healthy girls. The weanlings are pretty independent by then anyway and with a buddy do great. Cold Turkey or slowly they adapt. Personally you can take them away from their mother once or over and over again. I choose once but everyone has there own take on it.
         
        07-11-2010, 03:11 AM
      #19
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Alexart    
    Foals should not be weaned until they are at least 6 months old unless there is something seriously wrong with the mare - they are still learing stuff from mum about how to interact with other horses and learning their place in a herd and just generally learning to be horses, they may not be getting a huge amount of nutrition from mum but it is still something too. Weaning at such an early age will predispose the foal to alsorts of behavioural and social issues and make them far more clingy to other horses in the future - they are still VERY much a baby at that age!!! If you are wanting to make a fast buck and get the foal away as soon as possible and don't want to have to give your mare extra feed if she is back in foal and therefore costing you money then I can see why people would wean so early, but it is not for the benefit of the foal - just the owners pocket!!!!!!

    We have always weaned at six months or older, and we wean cold turkey - we put all the youngsters in a barn, sometimes with an older chilled out herd member that they all get on with to give them some security and within a few days they are back out in their own herd without mum - we have only ever had them call for an hour or 2, mum is usually fed up by then and the quality of the grass isn't as good so the mares tend to dry up much more easily.

    All of our babies have been weaned at around the same time. All of them did very well. All of them have made excellent horses/ponies and are all still in the same home we sold them to. They always go out with a quiet older buddy, so they are not alone. None of our babies were weaned early for money, considering the fact that many of them were BOUGHT at that age. Meaning, we SPENT money. And they are all doing very well.

    Let me ask you this: If the mare is physically pushing the foal away and weaning him herself(as is our current mare) what would you do? Leave the foal with her and have him get hurt? All of the babies we have weaned on our property were pretty much weaned by their dams, we just made it permanent.
         
        07-11-2010, 10:23 AM
      #20
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Alexart    
    Foals should not be weaned until they are at least 6 months old unless there is something seriously wrong with the mare - they are still learing stuff from mum about how to interact with other horses and learning their place in a herd and just generally learning to be horses, they may not be getting a huge amount of nutrition from mum but it is still something too. Weaning at such an early age will predispose the foal to alsorts of behavioural and social issues and make them far more clingy to other horses in the future - they are still VERY much a baby at that age!!! If you are wanting to make a fast buck and get the foal away as soon as possible and don't want to have to give your mare extra feed if she is back in foal and therefore costing you money then I can see why people would wean so early, but it is not for the benefit of the foal - just the owners pocket!!!!!!

    All I can say to this statement is B/S. I have bred weaned and raised a lot of foals. All have been weaned between 3-4 months. NOT A SINGLE one has had any social issues. The mares and foals where feed the same as they would have been had the foal not be weaned. In the end the foals ended up being better horses b/c of being weaned at 3-4 months. They look to me for every thing. They still have social interaction with other horses b/c they are still turned out with other horses. Not one of your statement here hold water.


    We have always weaned at six months or older, and we wean cold turkey - we put all the youngsters in a barn, sometimes with an older chilled out herd member that they all get on with to give them some security and within a few days they are back out in their own herd without mum - we have only ever had them call for an hour or 2, mum is usually fed up by then and the quality of the grass isn't as good so the mares tend to dry up much more easily.
    Sounds like you do everything the same way others here have already stated except for the age. Also does not sound like you are feeding all that well if the mares are drying up by then. So who is doing what?
         

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