How Much Vet Care Does a Foal Need and When Can He be Weaned? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 06-28-2011, 07:56 AM Thread Starter
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How Much Vet Care Does a Foal Need and When Can He be Weaned?

A 4 week old mini colt. Not weaned yet (obviously). Any shots he needs? Will be selling him as soon as he can be weaned. I read he can be weaned between 3-6 months. Is that true and how do I go about it? Don't know hardly anything about foals! Thanks for you help!

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post #2 of 7 Old 06-28-2011, 09:27 AM
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You really need to contact a vet about when to start vaccines. It usually depends on where you live. Typically vets will vaccinate 1st rounds anywhere from 3-6 months. Right now your foal is getting antibodies from momma, but still needs to be protected from rabies, encephalomyelitis, things of that nature. Like I said, discuss that with your vet.

As far as weaning, I usually wean at 5-6 months, depending of the foal. I start weaning very slowly ie, putting mom on the crossties (right out side her stall) and brushing her, while foal waits in the stall. Then i'll move mom a set of cross ties a little further away. When the foal is okay with that, I'll take mom a way for a few mintues, hand walk her around the ring a bit. (keep in mind that someone should ALWAYS be around the foal when you do this in case some thing happens) The idea is that the foal gets used to being without momma for a little, but knows that she'll be back. Then one day...she doesn't come back. It makes for an easier transition for all. You can expect some screaming and some bad behavior, but not nearly as bad or as lenghty if you just rip them apart.
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post #3 of 7 Old 06-28-2011, 09:56 AM
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Was this foals dam on a regular vaccination program? Especially at 5,7 and 9 months into her gestation/pregnancy she should have had Rhino- pneumonia boosters. If so then the foal would receive antibobies by route of it's dams colostrum or first milk. If the mare was/is not upto date on Tetanus Toxoid vaccination the foal needs a Tetanus Antitoxin vaccination.

Did you treat the umbilical cord stump with Iodine as soon as it broke in a natures fashion? If not then the foal could be susceptible to what is called 'Navel Ill or Joint Ill".

When I had foals to wean I did it at about 5 mos of age with each of the 3 I did have. There are 2 different ways of weaning foals one is to take the dam/Mom out of sight and sound of her baby, this is my preferred method. The other method is to let nature do it, but it is far more stressful and takes longer than to get them out of sight and sound of one another.
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post #4 of 7 Old 06-28-2011, 10:28 AM
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I second the vaccine advice. I also wean at 5 months. I prefer the method posted by candandy as well. During weaning we have our foaling stalls set up with the walls rubber matted and up part of the panels (where they can see out) get covered to keep legs from getting in it (probably not an issue with a mini lol) and a turnout off that stall where they can't see the herd & mama. We give the foal a "buddy", in that past that has been goats, other foals being weaned, etc.

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post #5 of 7 Old 06-28-2011, 10:33 AM
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A little off topic, but you may want to consider taking advantage of mom's behavior. I would introduce your foal to the hose and to a trailer. Foals that are exposed to that sort of stuff when they are young learn that it isn't a big deal from watching mom.
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post #6 of 7 Old 06-28-2011, 10:34 AM
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Yes, it would help in selling your foal.
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post #7 of 7 Old 06-28-2011, 11:17 PM Thread Starter
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I live in Indiana, if that helps.

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