I'm curious as to what long term issues are caused by abrupt weaning. I did a little researching and all I could find was this:
"Foals are often taken to strange surroundings, dewormed, vaccinated, castrated, halter broken and may be offered feed for the first time. In response, foals frantically neigh, fret, run, get hot, donít eat (or overeat), etc. The most common physiological response to stress is an increase in cortisol (an adrenal gland steroid) circulating in the blood. Several studies suggest that high levels of cortisol may suppress the normal function of the immune system and impair disease resistance in foals. Therefore, anything that minimizes weaning stress should also aid foals in resisting infection or disease. These stress responses are often accompanied by losses in weight, injuries, lowered resistance to diseases, etc. Foals weaned in an abrupt manner often take 3-4 weeks to recover from the weaning process."
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