5 week old colt lost mother
Not sure where to put this so I am just placing it. I need some help, I am a recreational horse person, I have everyday horses and love them pet all the time ride on occassion and love them dearly. A friend of mine Mare had a female foal that they have given to me she was born March 6, 2012 the mother is full quarter horse and the male is full paint horse. She is black and white but more black so I named her Pepper. Pretty very loving and sweet loves for me to stand and her put her head against my chest and me pet her just overall very mild mannered foal.. They also have 3 other grown horses that are in fenced in area with colt. They are very well fed and get hay daily and taken care of but no grass.
Yesterday April 16th 2012 mama horse died from collic (sp?) constipation in human words. Pepper is 5 weeks old now and without a mother with 3 grown horses that are jealous of her at times and will snip at her and run her some when people are around. You ride by the area in vehicle and she is out standing by one of the horses and see no signs of them being mean to her except what we see when we are there trying to play with her and they are cutting her off and snipping at her a bit. Pepper is eating everything grain, sweet feed, hay like horses eat.
Anyway all of that to ask these question.
1) If I move her away from the other horses to a pen here at my house with no other horses is she going to grieve because she has lost her mother and not around the horses she has been with since she was born?. Will she be ok where I can have anytime access to her? I want to get her close to me so I can spend quality time with her and not have to fight with any other horses to feed her or spend time with her is my reasons plus I have concerns about the bigger horses being mean to her because of actions I have seen while I am there.
2) i am having trouble now getting her to suck a bottle with milk replacement or drink from a pan or anything but I think that has more to do with having to deal with the older horses and her at the same time. Me telling NO to the older horses while trying to get her to eat not working to well... She is eating normal horse stuff but I want to make sure I am giving her the right food she needs. Is there anything I need to get to go in her food to help her? I hope if I can move her like I want that working with her she will at least start drinking milk replacement out of a pan/bowl.
Like i said, I am a recreational horse person not showing or anything just have her to enjoy and love on and as years go on I will ride her but nothing fancy just normal everyday riding. I just want to make sure I am taking care of her the best I can.
I don't want to grieve her if I move her to quickly but I also am afraid of the other horses hurting her where she is now. Any suggestions and advice will be greatly appreciated
You need to move her away from those horses. Without her mother, the foal has no protection from those other horses. They could hurt the foal or reject it from the herd. The foal will be okay without company if it has time to recover and grow. The optimal condition is to wait until she is a weanling and turn her out with other weanlings.
Orphan foals bring special problems. They learn "horse language" and manners from other horses. If she's kept separately without other horses around, she'll have the potential to have problems for the rest of her life in getting along with other horses and people.
If she were mine, I'd see if one of the other horses could be moved with her to my house -- and I'd pick one that wasn't mean to her. Or, if that didn't work out, I'd look for I'd find a nice motherly mare or grandfatherly gelding to keep with her. I think your idea of having her close to you is good; I just think it would be best if there was at least one other horse around, especially one with good manners and who could take the youngster under his/her 'wings' so to speak.
I'd pull her out and take her to the house. There you can feed her what she needs, socialize her, and either let her drink milk from a pan or feed her the Milk Replacer pellets with her feed. I use Replacer Pellets a lot at weaning time, they work great and they seem to like the taste. They also don't spoil like the liquid milk replacers do. When she's a weaner (for me that's about 6 months) I like to put them in with 1 auntie horse or a very gentle gelding and let them bond. Then after 3 weeks to a month of that, they can be back in the herd because Auntie or Unc will protect the foal. Right now, no one is claiming her.
I have heard about the replacer pellets and am going to get some of those tomorrow if at all possible. I live in a remote area but will be going to a bigger town to try to find them. If for some reason I can't find them is it ok to get the powdered replacer and just put the powder on the feed will that be the same thing?
I thought about that one of their horses with me but after watching the way they interacted with her today I don't think any of them would be good for her. They are all so jealous of anyone trying to play with little horse.
I have a 11 year gelding and a 5 year mare out at our land where our horses and cows are. We have discussed bringing the gelding in when Pepper gets a little older so she can get that protection you where talking about. I was just going to mention that as I got a little closer to time to do that. :)
After reading the replies so far we are going to bring our round pen to the house and set her up a little home so she has a shed to get in so I can feed her and get her socialized as was suggested. Thinking about fencing in the acre and half we have here and bring our other two horse in as she gets older so they can get used to each other under my watchful eye. :)
Thank you for the advice!
We have raised over 20 orphans. Some were a day old and others were 2 to 10 weeks old. If they are 5 or 6 weeks old, we put them on milk replacer in a bucket. We have always used Land O' Lakes calf Milk replacer that is 'all milk' and no Soy. It should be 'white' and not creme or yellow in color. We feed it 'cool' and feed one that age 3 times a day and late evening before I go to bed. We have used the milk pellets, but have had much better growth and condition when we used milk replacer. All of our orphans have grown as good as the other colts that had mothers. They were not pot bellied or ribby.
We handle them very little. We halter break them and leave them alone. The last thing we want is a colt that thinks they should identify with people. As soon as they hit 2 1/2 to 3 months, I take another colt of ours and wean it and put them in together. If I don't have another colt the same age, we go to the sale and buy a colt or a mare and colt. After a 2 week quarantine away from the orphan, we wean that colt and take the mare back to the sale and raise the two together.
I might mention one other thing. So many orphans get so pot bellied. They have to have a very healthy population of 'good' bacteria in their gut. They get it naturally from eating poop -- usually their mother's. So, when I have an orphan, I see that they get a fresh pile of juicy poop in their pen every day. I get it from a big, slick fat 'easy-keeping' gelding that I know has no parasites. This is natural and normal. It makes one have a better appetite, gets them eating solid food more quickly and keeps them from getting digestive problems.
Hope this helps.
Just wishing you the best of luck for your filly.
Please be mindful that you always remember that she will grow to be a big horse, and they are like sponges at this age - if you allow her to act like a big dog, she will grow up to be a huge dog, and thats when they start getting dangerous. Don't let her climb over you, bite you etc. Even if it's cute now, it is a very very bad habit to let a foal get into - you don't want 500+kg trying to climb over you when its 5 years old! Orphan foals seem to have the worst behavioural problems, the sooner you can get her out in a herd environment, the better.
Cherie, you have given some good advice, although I do not agree with going to the auction buying a mare and foal, weaning at 2-3 months and returning the mare to auction. I find this to be a little cruel.
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