Weaning time!! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 08-21-2011, 09:59 PM Thread Starter
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Weaning time!!

Just wondering how do you wean your babies?

I'm doing the gradual sepration method. Right now we are in side by side stalls for the night and back out together in same pasture. This has been going on for a week. Tomorrow we will being doing side by side pastures. Another week and we will fully seperate. Not off farm, but not able to access each other.
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post #2 of 8 Old 08-21-2011, 10:28 PM
Green Broke
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When I wean my goats they go in a seperate pen with some wethers (geldings). They quiet down after a few days.
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post #3 of 8 Old 08-21-2011, 10:42 PM
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Mine are spending some time apart. Merit is stalled & fed while I work Lacey daily. He also spends a couple hours on pasture with my boss mare Jana in a seperate pasture each day without Lacey. Jana is sterile, not aggresive, keeps him out of trouble but won't take his colt b.s. She's been the colt weaning buddy for many years. She's good at her job! Once it's time to be completely seperate he will be pastured with Jana all day & stalled at night.

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post #4 of 8 Old 08-22-2011, 12:32 AM
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I did a gradual method too. I would take the mare out for short rides, leaving the baby with my older gelding. And sometimes I would take baby separate and walk him and groom him away from his mom. So they were used to being separated for short amounts of time well before weaning.

Then I would start separating baby for his special baby food feedings (Purina Ultium Growth) and put him in an adjacent pen, feed them, they put them back together. Eventually I put them in separate pens within sight of each other, but not sharing a fence line so baby couldn't nurse. Weaning was no big deal. Of course I waited until he was 7 months old too, so I think his momma was ready to kick him off the milk dispenser.

Baby would still attempt to nurse for quite a while whenever he contact his mother, but momma was cranky and wouldn't let him nurse after that. I think I kept them completely apart for about a month.
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post #5 of 8 Old 08-22-2011, 03:27 AM
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When the time comes, I hope to wean my foal gradually - she's only 2 months now but I'm thinking of weaning her when she's around 6-7 months old. I'd be interested to hear any advice on this method. My mare's not pregnant again (this was a one-off breeding) so I'm not in a hurry to take baby off her and we have the time and space to take things slowly.
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post #6 of 8 Old 08-23-2011, 05:48 PM
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With my mares foal a few years back, I just seperated them on two different properties, though not alone. The gelding was with the colt and the mare was with my 2 year old filly at the time.

Though, at my training school I'm attending, they halter break, hot walker break, show prep, wean... all for money. The people come in, drop off the babies in a stall and leave. 2 months later, come back with baby fully weaned, halter broke, and what ever else they want done with them.

So, I wouldn't know a gradual training method, I have no way of doing one. Any I have experienced or done have been sudden weaning.
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post #7 of 8 Old 08-24-2011, 11:40 AM
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A friend of mine does the gradual thing as well. When she turns them out to pasture though, she puts the baby in with another horse (goats could be used in a pinch) so that the baby isn't totally alone. It seems to work well without too much stress on the foal. Of course, if you have other foals to put your baby together with it is ideal - but how many of us have that option!
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post #8 of 8 Old 08-24-2011, 06:21 PM
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Because we keep our mares and foals in herd situations, we can wean gradually by removing the mares one by one from the pasture and take them to my family's farm where they cannot hear or see one another.
The foals are less stressed because they stay where they are comfortable and they come up for feed morning & night.
The mares dont call or worry as they got hauled there without their foals.

This year we had later foals so we will be doing things a little differently. I'm going to let the mares tell me when they want the foals off. They will all be in a paddock/field combo together, with the foals coming in to the barn together for their feed, as they are now. I will gradually move mares as they seem ready.
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