Mares kicking their foals in head and killing them? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 11-05-2011, 02:12 PM Thread Starter
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Mares kicking their foals in head and killing them?

My schoolmate's father has about 20 horses - for meat. I don't know in what conditions they live. I just saw he wrote on facebook that mare kicked her foal in head and crashed his skull. And that it is 4th foal this year that has been killed this way. I am wondering why is this happening...
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post #2 of 11 Old 11-05-2011, 03:23 PM
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Could be an accident. I took a kick from a horse because I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. The horse that kicked me was aiming for the horse I was standing next to and I accidently moved into the path of kick (I didn't know it was coming). And a foal's head is roughly the height of a kick, so it could very well be an accident.

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post #3 of 11 Old 11-05-2011, 03:44 PM Thread Starter
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But 4 in one year? Accident happens once, not 4 times in one stable at one owner...

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post #4 of 11 Old 11-05-2011, 04:05 PM
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It's possible. You can't know for sure. When you have a large number of horses, many of them with foals, you can't predict what is always going to occur. And maybe next year, there won't be any foal deaths, you don't know. And no, accidents don't just happen once. They can happen many times in the same place.
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post #5 of 11 Old 11-05-2011, 08:29 PM
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The horses could be very stressed due to their living conditions.....how are they kept?
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post #6 of 11 Old 11-05-2011, 09:44 PM
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Weird things can happen with animals. I can't speak from experience for larger herd horse breeding operations, but I know that beef cattle farmers typically expect an average 10% loss of calves per year, for one reason or another. Ten calvings in a year, expect to lose at least one. 100 calvings? Expect to lose at least 10. I'm not a horse breeder, although now I wonder if there isn't a similar "rule" for foals? Sometimes it's because the cow kicks/steps on/lies down on the calf. We had a cow lay down on top of her newborn calf one year and crush it, and they were in a 20+ acre pasture with plenty of room to maneuver.

Your friend's string of losses could well be bad luck, bad aim, bad timing, and accidents. The best of us have those kind of problems from time to time in a variety of contexts. Could it be something else? Possibly. It's hard to say, and harder to judge.

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post #7 of 11 Old 11-06-2011, 01:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Scoutrider View Post
Weird things can happen with animals. I can't speak from experience for larger herd horse breeding operations, but I know that beef cattle farmers typically expect an average 10% loss of calves per year, for one reason or another..

The places I have worked would have made me roll up my bedroll if I had a death loss of 10%. About 3% is all most ranchers can tolerate but maybe cattle farmers are different.

To the OP: I think this is a good indication that everything you read on facebook isn't to be believed. I'd say it's pretty unlikely that an owner would lose 4 foals in the exact same way, particularly one like getting kicked in the head.

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post #8 of 11 Old 11-06-2011, 02:49 AM
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Quote:
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The horses could be very stressed due to their living conditions.....how are they kept?


Exactly. Might well not be, BUT I bet it was due to something along these lines. Possibly kept in stables too much and then you have an extremely frustrated mare, not enough room for movement etc. Stupid conditions that ignorant humans create. Accidents happen but you can also try and prevent them happening with a good set-up. Alas, we don't know this guy and situation so can't pass alot of judgement.
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post #9 of 11 Old 11-22-2011, 06:33 AM
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Since they are being used for meat, they are most likely being contained as to not build up as much muscle as a normal horse may have. When allowed to get some exercise, then the kicking up may be more then the average mare and foal may go through.

No idea if any of that is the case but since they are being raised for a much different purpose then we would raise a horse, things are different.

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post #10 of 11 Old 11-22-2011, 07:43 PM
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Been wrong place at the very wrong time.



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