I apologize if this has been discussed a lot, I tried to search the forum on it but kept getting broken links.
I had a mare sneak in twins on me. She foaled Tuesday morning and both foals are thriving so far, but mama did reject the smaller foal. We've been bottle feeding and followed the directions online to get an igloo rigged up that he could nurse off of. Success! "Hemmingway" took to it immediately and is nursing on a much more normal schedule then with timed feedings.
I'm just looking for some tips/suggestions/whatever from anyone who's used this method. I'm using foal-lac now, is there an equally good replacement that might be better suited to the igloo? Is it safe for the baby to chill it with ice packs to help it stay fresh? What's the easiest way to clean it and do I need to scrub it & all the plumbing out every time I refill?
I want to put my big baby-friendly gelding in with him to teach manners- how old should I let the baby get first, be safe? What is the best way to introduce them? Will the gelding figure out that foal milk from "Orange Mom" is tasty and steal it?
The twins are Bashkir Curlies and are named "Hemingway" and "Hawthorne". The orphan got "Hemmingway" because biographies report his namesake had a troubled relationship with his own mother!
it's not the edge of the earth, but you can see it from here
Oh my GOODNESS... precious boy!!
The Foal-Lac should keep about a day's worth fine, not even sure you need ice packs. Remember, room temp or warmer is how it is meant to be fed. It might take a couple of days to figure out exactly how much he's drinking so that he doesn't run out, but you're not throwing out that much. If you even change it 2x a day you should be fine.
Adults won't fuss with it.
Has gelding met him yet? If he's used to babies, a couple days is all baby needs, as long as he's getting around ok. The biggest thing I'd worry about is Hemmingway getting attached to his new friend and tiring himself out trying to follow...
Mine go back to group turnout any time after 3 days to 2 weeks, depending on the individual. I'd assume being the smaller twin he's probably a wee bit fragile... but if he can meet his new buddy through a gate or something? I'm sure he's aching for some equine company. I have pipe panels between stalls and paddocks... which is ideal for meetings... but you have to watch bebe legs. I block the bottom of them with either heavy tarp or wood for foals.
If gelding is really baby safe, you can let them meet in a safe, enclosed area, with the gelding on a lead, and some extra bodies to mush bebe around if needed... shouldn't take but a few minutes for them to figure each other out.
How might your gelding react if Baby tries to, um.....nurse?
Ha! In 2007 I put him out with the mares and foals and he was like the sandman of baby horses. I still tell the story of looking out the window to see one "nursing" and he had this look like "Well, you can try but I don't think that's gonna work..."
We lost the orphan in the wee hours of the morning last night. At 8pm check he was fine, at 11pm check he was down with a fever, no suckle reflex, slow capillary refill. The vet was there by 11:30pm but despite everything she tried he slipped away about an hour later. ;-( She said it was likely Clostridium Sordellii. I'm so bummed, I figured we were pretty much in the clear after he was up and "normal" and had tested with great IgG levels. Lesson learned.
Very sorry for you--we have twins right now, too, one is doing well and the other has had a rough road so far but has made it 10 days. He's been taken away from his mom & brother because he's just not strong enough to be in with them and it has really been an up and down struggle for the last 10 days.