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View Poll Results: What is the best method of weaning a foal?

Voters
50. You may not vote on this poll
  • Abruptly; keep them as far away from each other as possible

    20 40.00%
  • Gradual; separate them but keep them in adjoining stalls, paddocks, etc.

    30 60.00%
Results 1 to 16 of 16
  1. #1
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    Dec. 7, 2006
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    Default Best way to wean a foal?

    I'm interested to hear what you feel is the best way to wean a foal (in the above poll)....and some of your personal experiences for the good or bad. Helpful hints, etc.?



  2. #2
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    Jul. 5, 2002
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    I always wean by leaving the foals where they are and putting the moms across the fence in the next paddock. This is with good fencing and electric to back it up. Weaning that way has always been easy, with the foals calling a little here and there, mamas hanging on the fenceline for the first day or so and then everyone adjusting and moving away gradually.



  3. #3
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    Mar. 11, 1999
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    Default

    My way is the same as HAF, only there is a driveway between the paddocks. The foal(s) and nanny mare, who has been in with the mom and baby for awhile, are left together and mom is taken to live with the mares. There is usually very minimal fuss doing it this way.
    Mystic Owl Sporthorses
    www.mysticowlsporthorses.com



  4. #4
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    Dec. 1, 2007
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    Gettysburg, PA
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    Default

    The first time we tried abrupt separation as we had little choice as the farm was still under construction and it was horrible on both mare and foal even though they went in a pair. Last year we put them in adjoining fields and things went much better and this is our plan for this year.
    Epona Farm
    Irish Draughts and Irish Sport horses

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  5. #5
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    Jun. 4, 2002
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    Default

    I voted gradual but once I put them in separate paddocks or fields, they do not go back together again. Some people will separate them for short periods and put them together again but I have not had that work as well as just taking them apart abruptly but where they can still see each other and not panic.



  6. #6
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    Mar. 17, 2006
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    Sunbury, NC
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    Default

    Ditton exactly what Home Again said. Usually pretty non-traumatic. I say do unto others, how would you feel if ripped away from your parent suddenly and forever?
    Signature Sporthorses
    www.signaturesporthorses.com



  7. #7
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    Jan. 14, 2003
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    Rawley Springs, Virginia
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    Default

    I usually end up feeding them separately and leading in and out separately but when weaning time comes--the mares leave. The foal stays in his familiar surroundings and mom leaves. I have seen mares that just fret and fret if they can't get to their foals--even if they seemed ready to wean. Never reallly had a foal worry too much after the first day and as long as they were with buddies not a problem. I voted abruptly but actually I do a lot of activities that do separate them for short periods of time.
    Chris
    Ladybug Hill--Hunters and Ponies
    WWSD? (what would Suerte do?)



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun. 1, 2005
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    Floral City , Fl.
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    Default

    I do it all at once. The mare is removed from the pasture. The other mares and foals are all together. So, the foal who has not got his mom is still in with his friends. No stress. The mom says "Thank YOU, Thank YOU," and off she goes. If she really tries, she can hear a bit of yelling. Usually, on our farm, the foal is still in with his friends, so he joins up. Maybe at some time he looks for his mom, but then the other foals go to him and he moves off with them. A bit of "crying" goes on for a few cries, but mostly it is all over by the evening. All come and eat out of their buckets like nothing happened.
    The mare usually goes off with the other brood mares. The only time they "look" for their foal is when their bag gets big. We feed them almost no grain for a few days. I have never in 23 years had one fuss more than until the next day (and i mean the mare who's bag is full).

    Its really hard for me to imagine all the trauma you have weaning. It"s just is so simple if they are ready and you are all organized. But I do wean according to the signs. Maybe thats the simple way to do it.
    Sandy
    www.sugarbrook.com
    hunter/jumper ponies



  9. #9
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    Jun. 1, 2005
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    Default

    Oh, Signature, on our farm its not abruptly and forever. You are way too dramatic. My mares and foals join up again within 8 or 10 months and never miss a beat. I am sure other will say the same thing.
    Sandy
    www.sugarbrook.com
    hunter/jumper ponies



  10. #10
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    Mar. 10, 2004
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    IA
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    Default

    I voted abruptly and so far so good. We also use the signs and wean babies together so it's much less traumatic and they have their buddies. Stick foals in the stall(s), remove mares and kick them back out to pasture. The foals usually don't mind much and there are a handful of mares that will stay up at the fence before venturing back out to graze for maybe a day or two, calling very little, and off they go. The seasoned mares seem to handle that a lot better than the maidens or less seasoned mares do, but they all get used to it.

    I wean off-farm since I don't have a barn w/ stalls to put them. Some mares go w/ their foals off-farm, but if they load okay, mom's can stay behind. I have one mare that will strut her stuff along the fenceline for about an hour or so and call a little bit, then she's fine. And she does that if she goes along or stays behind.

    My friend's had an unfortunate incident many years ago that occured at weaning time and before we made sure they had a buddy to be weaned w/. Colt was weaned late morning and put in what had been a nice/safe stall for weaning and given plenty of hay to satisfy him. He hollered some and mom stayed near the fenceline a bit then went out to pasture to join the rest of the herd. He was the only foal to wean. Come chore time, mid to late afternoon, the colt had jumped/climbed out of the stall and was standing in the alley of the pole barn w/ a front leg dangling. There was no way the leg could have been salvaged, as it was right above his knee joint, and still used for riding so my friend went to get his gun, put him down and buried him. Was a darn fine colt, too. It was heartbreaking. After that we started using the buddy system and my friend immediately redid the whole stall to make the gate solid and then redid the other stall gate to make the spaces small enough that a foot couldn't get through and still circulate well. He was going to make damn sure that that wasn't going to happen again and so far it's working well.
    A Merrick N Dream Farm
    Proud Member of "Someone Special to me serves in the Military" Clique



  11. #11
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    Jul. 5, 2002
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Daydream Believer View Post
    I voted gradual but once I put them in separate paddocks or fields, they do not go back together again. Some people will separate them for short periods and put them together again but I have not had that work as well as just taking them apart abruptly but where they can still see each other and not panic.
    Once mine are separated by a fenceline, they do not go back together, so really "gradual" is not a good description. Though we separate them abruptly, the mares and foals do stay within sight of each other after weaning for a week or so. That method has worked beautifully for me for years.



  12. #12
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    Same as Home Again, again... What I meant too is we abruptly separate them across a fenceline, so I guess in a way it's gradual. I was thinking abrupt as in, put the mare on a trailer and take her far away. That is the situation I was talking about being almost mean to tell you the truth... that used to be just what you did it seems like, but now we find it's much easier on everyone to just use the fenceline as the bad guy.
    Signature Sporthorses
    www.signaturesporthorses.com



  13. #13
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    I've had aged broodies the past few years, and I find I start "day weaning" by separating foal and Mum in the stall around 4-5 mos for 4-8 hrs depending... Gives Mum a chance to eat on her own...

    So then it's just not a big deal to start putting them out seperately.

    I have family groups, which makes it SO much easier. By 6 mos the foals are usually just as happy to be with siblings, father or Aunties as they are with Mum. The stallion LOFFS bebes and is great to wean them to.
    InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Bits are like cats, what's one more? (Petstorejunkie)



  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Home Again Farm View Post
    Once mine are separated by a fenceline, they do not go back together, so really "gradual" is not a good description. Though we separate them abruptly, the mares and foals do stay within sight of each other after weaning for a week or so. That method has worked beautifully for me for years.
    I do it exactly the same as you. They can see their momma's but there is no panic. Some tantrums yes, but panic no. I also wait until they are older and more independent which helps also. My client last year was skeptical...she had always used the abrupt method and just removed the mares from the farm. She said she had lots of panic and some injuries. She was surprised at what a non event it was to just put them in paddocks separated by an aisle where they could see but not touch. In a few days they hardly cared about each other.



  15. #15
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    We have never weaned before but we were planning to put the divider back in the foaling stall when we got close (grills between the stalls) and start separating them at night first and then by a fenceline after a few days...think that will work??

    I am also planning on introducing my gelding to mom and foal about a month before I plan to wean as the gelding will be the colts new turnout buddy...

    sound like a plan??
    PROUD MEMBER OF THE \"OMGiH I LOFF MY MARE\" CLIQUE



  16. #16
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    I have been raising foals for about 20 years. But I do not breed in volumes. Unfortunately, it seems I only have 1 foal per year, for various reasons. So my "herd" consists of horses of may ages, none the same. I use the "uncle" method. I take the quietest gelding that is not currently being ridden or shown and put him next to Mom and foal. Then after a week or so, I put them together for a few days, then I put Mom on the other side of the fence. Then after a week or so, Mom goes with the herd. I NEVER put the foal back with the mom until the foal is a yearling. But during the year, I put the foal out with various parts of the heard then by the time spring rolls around the next year, everyone can go together. (Except of course, whoever happens to be pregnant) I have never "knock on wood" had a problem. My foals are also inspected every Sept so I do not take the dam from the foal until after that. Hopefully for the first time I have 2 mares in foal for next summer. I am looking forward to being able to have 2 babies to play together but I am sure at the time of weaning they will be with "uncle-whomever" as their guardian and not left alone to get into trouble.



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