How long does it take a mare to "dry up"
Chilly and Wrecker have been separated for about 4 weeks now. They can still see each other, but I have my pastures sectioned off to there they can only look, not touch.
Wrecker is with Uncle Jasper and Uncle Nut who take very good care of her. Chilly and Rumor are together. Chilly went through a spell where her udder was hard, (within a few days of not nursing) but never got very swollen. It is now considerably smaller, and soft to touch, but she still produces milk. When i squeeze, it comes out. I only do that every few days to see if she still produces.
I thought she would be "back to normal" now and id be able to put all my horses back together again. But I'm concerned that Chilly is start to produce massive amounts of milk again, and get her full udder back.
I have a feeling its because they can still see/smell one another, but, short of sending Chilly away for a month or two to my trainers for boarding, this is the best I can do now.
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I am not a breeder but I will share my experience with my one mare and foal.
I separated them where they could see and not touch and waited and waited and waited.....the mare never really looked dried up. Her udder got less hard, but she still had these huge, full teets. For some reason I thought they would get all flabby and they never did.
Finally I put them back together (it's been 3 years now so I don't remember how long I kept them apart) and she would no longer let him nurse (would try to kick him actually), so I kept them together after that.
So the "baby" is now a 3 year old, never nurses, but momma still has enlarged, full looking teets and will occasionally secrete a little drop of milk on the ends of her teets from time to time. I'm sure if I milked her I would still get milk. My mare has been a career broodmare before I got her though, so I guess that's just what her body has become accustomed to. Her teets are definitely enlarged from all the foals she's had.
I guess what I'm trying to say is, I kept waiting for her to "dry up" and it never really happened. I would think if you mare hasn't had very many foals she would actually dry up, but if she has had a bunch of foals she may always have a milk bar. :lol:
I think my mare is the exception to the rule though. I have never seen a mare with a droopy udder like hers. She has had 10 foals that I am aware of. :shock: (She has a new career as a trail horse now and really enjoys it).
LoL. My mare will still let Wrecker nurse. I think for life. HaHa. I'm hoping Wrecker will "forget" after being with the boys.
Chilly was a maiden. So i expected her udder to go away (from what ive seen on other mares) But i know a friend's mare that hasnt had a foal for over a year, and Chilly's udder is identical.
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You might see if your vet can give you a shot, Prolactin?, to dry her up.
This thread is old, but I just found it! I know what you mean, CLA! Josie had a year off before getting bred this spring and she never dried up fully either. At any given time, I can get a little milk out in a stream, so idk what is up, other than I doubt she'll ever dry up fully, lol. Only time will tell! Will you be breeding Chilly again in a few years?
Mine have always dried up fairly quickly. They do have saggy teats after the fact and a touch more fullness than when they were maiden but this year the mare we have that lost her baby is still bagged up a full three months later. Makes me wonder if her last year's foal (18 months that was weaned 8 months ago) that was put back in with them or the other mares baby is sneaking extras.
You know, I didn't plan on breeding Chilly again. But...I'm in Nursing school right now. (JUST STARTED! YAY!) And Rumor is the next mare I'll be breeding, But...I have considered breeding Chilly again in a few years. She's 12 right now though... :-| So age is a factor.
I'm considering putting them all back together and getting the Prolactin shot from my vet. Even if Wrecker starts nursing again, it'll dry Chilly up and Wrecker will be deterred.
This is a little old, but thought I'd update in case others wonder the same thing and stumble across this thread. I decided to try putting everyone together. Chillys bag appeared smalled (1/4 of foaling size) and was still getting white milk from her. Well, the first thing Wrecker did was go to Chilly, get an attitude with momma and suckle. Ugh! So after 10 Minutes of chasing to seperate them again I gave up Trying to keep them all together.
A week goes by with them still seperated, and upon my inspection of Chilly, her milk is no longer white. Its yellow-clear, and watery substance, not real sticky. So cool! I wait another few days, and today after Nuts chiropractor appointment, iI let them all out together again today. Wrecker goes to Chilly again, but Chilly won't let her nurse. She either walks away, or squeals and gets an attitude. Yay!
12 hours later, Chilly still won't let her nurse. Wrecker is no longer trying (that I see) and Chilly bag has not increased in size, nor can I get anything out of it, clear or white. :-) and her udders are smaller. They are more like dried prunes now. LoL. Still larger then a maiden (always will be) but doesn't have the bulkiness lactating mares have.
I think she's done! And......MY HORSES ARE FINALLY TOGETHER AGAIN!!!!
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LOL! I've found it's a whole lot easier if you can send one of them (I prefer mom) on a sleep over for a few weeks!
For those still having an issue with milk drying up.. powdered Nettle helps with the process.
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