Nurse mares IS a business. The mare who gave birth is typically compromised.. maybe dead or did not produce milk or had some other issue. The nurse mares will accept another mare's foal and it is ticklish business.
The mare who gave birth (on every farm I was ever on) was the desired mother to raise the foal. However, birthing is a dangerous business.. and mares can die or founder or colic or something.. and then the foal is better off raised by another mare.. if a nurse mare can be found.
The nurse mare is typically returned to the nurse mare owner (the mares are "rented" IME) pregnant. Some of the nurse mares are quite good.. and some of the stallions they are bred to are more than the teaser stud.
If you spent $500,000 for a breeding (Storm Cat stood for that) and the resulting foal was left with out a Mother due to complications of birthing or other accident, you would pay a lot to get a nurse mare in.
BTW the nurse mare owners I knew NEVER killed the foals. Often they had a another nurse mare that was not rented out and because these mares accepted foals from other mares, they would "double" up the foals on one mare. Supplemental feed (milk replacer) was given if need be.
Judge not lest ye be judged!
There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man. ~Winston Churchill
) Dinosaur Horse Trainer
Last edited by Elana; 05-14-2013 at 11:36 AM.