Here's a question for all you breeders....
What do you do with your new foal and its dam the day and week after its born? When is an appropriate time to turn them out...If the weather cooperates of (course.)
Also, when do you introduce them to your other horses? At 1 month? 2 months? 6 months?
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The first time Takala was turned out she was ten days old. By then Tenakee, her dam, still watched over her closely and would fret when Tenakee was out of sight. Now that Takala is a month old, I can keep Tenakee in her stall and let Takala out in the indoor arena to burn off some energy and Tenakee could care less. The outdoor arena where I let Takala out doesn't have electricity running to the fence and Takala has figured out she can get out of the fence, so no more play time out there. Tenakee does not like the other horses around Takala, and with everything considered I would not let them out in the herd for a while now. (Our fence is crap, pasture is muck, and we don't nearly have enough acreage fenced off to put Takala and Tenakee out with the herd. Come spring the weather will be more forgiving, and we are adding new fence.) It all depends on the situation you have. Some mares are different, and if you have a big pasture where mother and foal can get away from everyone, then I don't see much of a problem. Plus if you have a herd that consists of less dominant horses, or ones that are not instigators it may not be as big of a deal.
I certainly am not a breeder, as Takala is my first foal, but that's just my two cents about it.
We have 4 pasture quadrants, so no problem with keeping everyone separated. We created an alleyway so i can run horses here or there as needed without anyone ever touching. Rumor has been with a foal before (last year a filly was born in the same pasture and she was with her for 4 months) and shes also low on the pecking order here. So when baby is 2 weeks-1 month old, i can have "the girls" together.
The "boys" could pose a problem. So i want to make sure baby is strong enough to run away if need be. But, my 4 horses are together all the time (except right now, one is at a trainer, Chilly is isolated now...) so id like to keep them together and have everyone get along like they have been.
I dont want Chilly cooped up in a stall for very long. I think the first 2 days when she has him/her, ill have her inside. Then ill be letting her into her own area during the day, brought in at night.
We had 1 foal born here years and years ago. Back in 2004. And i honestly dont remember what we did. I believe we kept them separated for 2 weeks, then let them out. We had 8 horses at this time and Chilly and the dam of this foal protected baby, everyone else minded their own business. Everyone got along well.
Im just a little nervous is all. But i like to have a plan.
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Our mares are out 24x7 anyway, but we keep the dam and foal separated from the other mares (by a fence) for about 3 weeks to let everything settle down.
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All depends on weather conditions but usually they are turned out in paddock for first time at a day old:D My other horses can come up to visit,but mom's usually keeps baby away. If weather is good,baby is eating well & follows mom good then I have let them out to herd situation in a week or 2.:D
5 of my 8 babies were born outdoors or in a clean stall with the indoor/outdoor option. Weather pending they were left to their indoor/outdoor option and the three stall born babies were turned out with-in a day or two of being born weather pending.
I have always kept mommas & their foals separate until things settle down with the other horses, usually 10-14 days then a let them join a friend, other mares or the herd depending on my living situation and horse arrangement at the time. Your mare, foal and your herd will dictate how long you wait and when you feel that it is safe.
Our little orphan Hijinx was born outside, when his dam passed away I tried to keep him separate with just the goats and one buddy but no one was having any of it. At just five days old he was in our herd of 14 horses with no momma, but the four that kind of took him under their wing helped him out and everyone seemed to watch out for him and keep him safe.
[QUOTE=ButtInTheDirt;1931500] The outdoor arena where I let Takala out doesn't have electricity running to the fence and Takala has figured out she can get out of the fence, so no more play time out there. [TQUOTE]
At what age would you start to introduce the foal to electric fencing?
My foal was born out...practically in the doorway of a lovely, clean and bedded 16x16 stall!
The foal loves the stall and goes in to get out of the wind and weather, but the mare isn't too keen on it. She'll go in when she can't coax him out.
I plan to introduce the foal to my gelding when he's a least a month old. I want him to be quick and sizeable when it happens.
Zephyr was born and bred outside. I understand that it is much better for the development of their hooves for them to get outside onto firm ground asap.
Merlot and Zephyr were in a paddock next door to 'Uncle Persil' - a 24yr old gelding. Merlot let me know when she was OK about Persil joining them - aprox 2 months old but she would not let Persil play with 'her boy' until she was getting truly sick of him - a couple of weeks later.
Obviously the ideal is to have a paddock full of mares and foals around the same age.
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