Care for a weanling. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 3 Old 03-29-2012, 09:46 PM Thread Starter
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Care for a weanling.

Need a little advice. Purchased a colt from a breeder. Purchased colt at a week old. The owner has been breeding horses for 20 years. The colt is out of a proven mare and the stallion a champion show horse. OK so heres my question. The owner is weaning this colt at 3 months old and says this is how he has always done it. Im concerned as the more research i do im finding out it is recommended to wean at 4 to 6 months. Hes not budging on this yet. So if thats the way its got to be. What shouold i do to ease the colts transition. Is it best to place him with another colt? Is it best to put him with a pony? The breeder recommended leaving the colt by himself so he would buddy up to me. I am no horse rookie. That said i have always purchased my horses at an adult age. Also to ensure the colt gets proper nutrition is Purina equine Jr and a qualaty hay sufficient. Any advice is appreciated Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 3 Old 03-29-2012, 10:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Sentinel View Post
Is it best to place him with another colt? Is it best to put him with a pony? The breeder recommended leaving the colt by himself so he would buddy up to me.
This advice makes me crazy. You don't want a 1000# "buddy". They are a royal PIA as well as dangerous. He's a horse not a dog.

If you have access to other colts (fillies will work for a few months but they get too pushy and aggressive by about 5-6 months) that would work. They will spend their days doing what they need to do, eating, sleeping, rough housing and growing. A pony or gelding would also work at keeping him in line and teaching him some manners. He needs to be with his kind if he's going to grow into a horse that can survive in a herd situation. Don't stress out about him being weaned at 3 months. He's not getting much nutrtionally from the mare's milk at this point and most colts by then are pretty much off doing their own thing and only come back to mom if it's really, really important (like a drink). Colts especially start dragging down their dams at about this time. If she's bred back, the owner is thinking of that too.
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post #3 of 3 Old 03-29-2012, 10:55 PM
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I actually agree with the breeder. Here is why.

Milk loses nearly all its nutritional value at 3 months. SO after three months your just draining on the mare. As long as the foal is eating well out of a creep feeder or is on adequete pasture this isnt a problem

I also agree about the buddying.. but i don tlike to use that word. When weaning the foal wants to attach to someone or something. this is a GREAT Time to get them to look to you and trust you for everything. You bring all their meals... brush them. They learn to be good about taking halters off and on etc. I do this for 2-3 weeks until i am sure they are eating well and have good manners. THEN i start turning them out with other foals/horses. You will gain a respect from the horse you will not have otherwise if you just leave them with other foals. They bond to those foals instead of humans.
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