Weaning when is it to early? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 11 Old 07-28-2011, 01:15 PM Thread Starter
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Weaning when is it to early?

I am thinking Angel may be trying to wean Miranda. Miranda went to nurse Angel let out her get away squeal then Miranda tried again she kicked out slightly Miranda wll be 3 months next Saturday this is a first time witnessing this she has been the picture perfect mama this is her first baby could be she's just hot and horse flies are being a pita and she was grouchy but who knows. This is my second foal but the other foal and mama I had weaned at 6 mths so I'm wondering if I should be worried.

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post #2 of 11 Old 07-28-2011, 01:24 PM
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Maybe do a quick check of her teats and udder (and area) to make sure that there aren't any major fly bites or wounds that are making nursing painful for her?
Beyond that, I'm useless.
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post #3 of 11 Old 07-28-2011, 01:28 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustDressageIt View Post
Maybe do a quick check of her teats and udder (and area) to make sure that there aren't any major fly bites or wounds that are making nursing painful for her?
Beyond that, I'm useless.
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Yea I checked that nothing there.

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post #4 of 11 Old 07-28-2011, 01:38 PM
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That could just be the mare weaning her herself. My filly was weaned at 3 months and did perfectly fine. Mares will wean by themselves if humans don't do it for them, which is what this mare may be doing.
Another thought, maybe your foal has started to bite when she nurses, and the mare doesn't want to put up with that? Have you noticed the mare nipping the foal's bum when nursing at all lately?

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post #5 of 11 Old 07-28-2011, 01:44 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ilovesonya View Post
That could just be the mare weaning her herself. My filly was weaned at 3 months and did perfectly fine. Mares will wean by themselves if humans don't do it for them, which is what this mare may be doing.
Another thought, maybe your foal has started to bite when she nurses, and the mare doesn't want to put up with that? Have you noticed the mare nipping the foal's bum when nursing at all lately?
No not at all she infact is so gentle and loving with Miranda which is why I thought she may be trying to wean I was concerned because I had heard don't wean before 4 mths

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post #6 of 11 Old 07-28-2011, 01:48 PM
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I have heard between 3 and 6 months is fine. Regardless her age, you can't force the mare to want to nurse the filly when she doesn't want to.
As long as the foal will still be getting the correct nourishment, there won't really be much harm done. She should be mostly eating grass ect. Right now anyway..

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post #7 of 11 Old 07-28-2011, 01:55 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovesonya View Post
I have heard between 3 and 6 months is fine. Regardless her age, you can't force the mare to want to nurse the filly when she doesn't want to.
As long as the foal will still be getting the correct nourishment, there won't really be much harm done. She should be mostly eating grass ect. Right now anyway..
Yes she is she's on pasture 24/7 so her diet is mostly grass. I am thinking nursing at this point is a comfort thing maybe.

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post #8 of 11 Old 07-28-2011, 04:49 PM
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I am going to wean Will here with in the next week or so. He is 3 months today. He spends next to no time with his dam and she could really care less if he is there or not. He is eating well and I have not seen him nurse for a couple weeks. Even in the stall at night. Does not mean he is not at some point but it is not the norm. So I am going to pull his dam out and let him stay with all his girls. He loves the other mares and would rather be with them then his dam.

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post #9 of 11 Old 07-28-2011, 04:56 PM
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I really don't think there is anything to be concerned about health wise. Taz was weaned at about 3 months but his mom had been dry for some time before that (she was a really crappy mom). Other than seeming a bit dinky to me, he has always been healthy. Just make sure she's got plenty of access to good feed and no doubt she'll be fine.

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post #10 of 11 Old 07-28-2011, 07:19 PM
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Don't worry...that is perfectly natural behavior. As the foal grows older the mare will do that more and more. Natural weaning is a slow progression and takes a long time, with the mare becoming less and less tolerant as time goes by until eventually, usually around 6 or 7 months, the foal is actually only nursing for security and comfort rather than food. Of course, we usually wean them ourselves artificially by separation at 3 - 5 months, so most of them aren't natuarlly weaned. Actually, at 3 months it would be more of a concern if the mare weren't starting to discourage the foal now and then...you don't want the foal to be too dependent or the mare to be overly doting...
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