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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr. 23, 2013
    Posts
    1

    Default 5 week old foal just lost mother.! Questions.

    My 5 week old filly just lost mother 5 days ago. The first day and a half she did ok., would drink milk replacer, but she is eating grain with milk pellets and good hay. The next thing you know she slowed down on eating and stood in corner of stall and would not move unless we made her. We decided to purchase a 3 week old colt to give her company. At first, she got better, eating again and moving. Now she has really slowed down on eating and she definately has sad eyes. I have been syringing milk and pedialyte down her, just for hydration. Vet checked a day and a half ago, he says temp good and lungs good. He says they are fragile and you never know. WHAT SHOULD I DO, keep forcing liquids down here. I see her every once in a while take a drink of water out of bucket, but is that enough. Is she depressed, what are the signs of depressing! Any help would greatly ease my consistent worry and sleepless nights. I cant lose her, Her mother was the best. Thank you.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr. 14, 2001
    Location
    Fort Collins, CO
    Posts
    16,180

    Default

    Wrong forum--this is for technical help with the forum software itself. You'll want to mods to move your thread to sport horse breeding.

    Good luck with your babies!



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec. 12, 2007
    Posts
    4,006

    Default

    Bumping for the original poster after moving the thread here to Sport Horse Breeding.

    Thanks ~
    Mod 1



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul. 14, 2004
    Location
    Virginia. We Do Ponies!
    Posts
    11,804

    Default

    SO sorry for your loss. This is the place for great advice for your situation. Prayers.
    Randee Beckman ~Otteridge Farm, LLC (http://on.fb.me/1iJEqvR)~ Marketing Manager - The Clothes Horse



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar. 8, 2004
    Location
    Baltimore, MD
    Posts
    19,592

    Default

    I would treat for ulcers with gastrogard and ulcergard immediately. Look into free feeding with an igloo cooler. Jingles!


    1 members found this post helpful.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan. 2, 2006
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    2,189

    Default

    Yes she's depressed. And to be honest, there is nothing you can do apart from what you are doing. Treat for ulcers and supplement with foal probiotics. provide good quality hay. But you can't force her to eat. It took two weeks before mine started to eat adequately and months before she ate "properly". Ultimately it was up to her to decide if she wanted to survive or not. The key is, I think, finding an adult that will be her nanny. A young colt doesn't know the rules either so he might just frighten and bewilder her. She needs....... guarding, mothering


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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar. 4, 2004
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    3,963

    Default

    I assume the three week old came with his mother? Will she let your filly nurse as well? Or if not nurse, at least mother her and let the filly try to bond?
    Caitlin
    *OMGiH I Loff my Mare* and *My Saddlebred Can Do Anything Your Horse Can Do*
    http://community.webshots.com/user/redmare01


    1 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul. 27, 2011
    Posts
    629

    Default

    I lost my favorite mare when her last foal was only 7 weeks old. At the time, no one else had a nurse mare available, but since he had already started eating solid food anyway, putting him on the milk replacer pellets was no big deal at all. For company, I borrowed a friend's mini gelding, which worked out great. I think I was just really lucky that the colt was already extremely independant from his mother and trusted me explicitly. (and still does!) I second what Laurierace said about treating for ulcers. Going off feed and being withdrawn are classic symptoms. Your filly losing her mom would certainly be a trigger for her developing them, even if she has company. Good luck, and I'm sorry for your loss.
    "...That's the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within not for want of a teller, but for want of an understanding ear." --Stephen King



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan. 13, 2003
    Posts
    6,815

    Default

    Ditto on using the Igloo cooler with a nipple on it for the foal. The cooler keeps the milk replacer at the right temperature and the foal can learn to nurse off the nipple when it's hungry.
    Summit Sporthorses Ltd. Inc.
    "Breeding Competition Partners & Lifelong Friends"



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun. 10, 2005
    Location
    Maryland somewhere near Camp David!
    Posts
    2,229

    Default igloo cooler

    go to this page: http://www.fairviewhorsecenter.com/breeding.html

    down at the bottom is the info on the igloo cooler. This works so well!

    Good Luck
    http://www.herselffarm.com
    Proud of my Hunter Breeding Princesses
    "Grief is the price we all pay for love," Gretchen Jackson (1/29/07) In Memory of Barbaro


    1 members found this post helpful.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov. 29, 2002
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    620

    Default

    Early on I had a foal that lost her dam at 4 weeks. We didn't have a nurse mare available, but did have a mare with a foal at side. She was willing to let baby #2 nurse if we haltered her and held her (while feeding her grain). It was rather time intensive, but seemed to give the orphan enough of what she needed so she didn't get depressed.
    co-author of
    Duel for the Crown: Affirmed, Alydar, and Racing's Greatest Rivalry
    www.duelforthecrown.com



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov. 19, 2005
    Posts
    1,906

    Default

    Ditto ulcer guard....You should clarify whether the 3 week old is with mother or not. The orphan we had did better with an adult figure to at least touch noses with and as an agreeable adult horse, hang over a partition to talk to and have some physical contact with. You figure babies are use to bumping up against mom etc and ours seemed to do less well when it did not have physical stimulation-so we also took to grooming etc. We were lucky as she ended up with several mommy figures (including a 17 hand gelding who would groom her over the stall partition from which we had removed top grill divider.)



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct. 13, 2002
    Location
    Idaho USA
    Posts
    1,876

    Default

    We lost a mare when her filly was 8 weeks. We have a Connemara pony gelding who is 26 years old. He is the perfect mix of crabby and nurturing. She got her scratches and her rear end nipped at all the appropriate times. They lived together until about a month ago, but have side by side pens now.

    Baby has no orphan problems and knows the rules of the road for being a horse.

    I think an older pony or small horse might be a better choice for a companion for your foal.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep. 30, 2001
    Location
    Down the road from HITS-Ocala
    Posts
    3,272

    Default

    I am very sorry you lost your mare.

    Yes, on the ulcer meds ASAP. Ulcers cause depression (sad eyes, not wanting to move etc...). Be careful syringing her with liquid due to the risk of aspiration pneumonia. I am overly cautious with babies and would pull blood to make sure nothing is brewing. If she hasn't had much to drink ask your vet about running fluids.

    Foals are fragile, the key is catching and treating problems early.
    As is our confidence, so is our capacity. ~W. Hazlitt

    Visit our website: Gift Hill Farm and on Facebook


    1 members found this post helpful.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct. 14, 2010
    Location
    Horse Heaven
    Posts
    1,840

    Default

    So sorry for your loss and the filly's sorrow. Any chance you can get an older horse involved? Plus lots of gentle grooming and physical contact is often helpful. Soft sound stimulation is also helpful - some like singing and cooing. Physical touch and interaction with horses/humans will help her overcome her deep blues. Best wishes.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct. 26, 2007
    Location
    San Jose, Ca
    Posts
    4,917

    Default

    I another one assuming that the 3 week old came with a mare that is nursing. What is the interaction between the orphan and the nursing mother like?



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jun. 16, 2006
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    128

    Default

    We were in this same situation with an 8 week old colt. We had a friend that had an elderly gelding so we borrowed him for a bit.
    The old guy could teach the colt manners...lay back an ear...threaten to kick, but wasnt able to completly trash the little guy.
    I love the saying "perfect mix of crabby and nurturing"



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug. 25, 2000
    Posts
    308

    Default

    Not sure where the OP is, but if you're near to Cochranville, PA. Justaplain farm has nursemares and raises bucket babies and has oodles of experience with orphans. So sorry for your loss and hope your wee one feels better.



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Nov. 6, 2009
    Posts
    2,047

    Default

    At five weeks, I'd say you need an old pony for a companion in addition to the other foal. For feeding you could train the foal to drink milk out of a bucket and also try to feed milk replacer pellets. I've never bottle/nipple fed an orphan foal for very long at all, it's so much easier and more convenient to teach them to drink from a bucket. Treating for ulcers is a good idea. Might want to use some probiotics, too, in case she's thinking about breaking out with some diarrhea with her diet change. But, I wouldn't worry too much just yet, at five weeks you are so much better off than if this had happened at birth. You are on the right track with getting another companion for her and keeping a close eye on her. For keeping her hydrated, I've had very good luck with a product called enterolyte.

    I'm so sorry for your loss!



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Sep. 15, 2002
    Posts
    994

    Default

    We hand raised an orphaned filly from 18 days old. Bucket fed with Grober's foal replacement milk supplement. Nice and yummy lukewarm milk....that filly just drank that up like crazy. Fairly easy to get them used to it. But the first month or so of 4 hour round the clock feedings sure took its toll....on the humans not her At 3 months we borrowed a small pony to keep her company and at 4 1/2 months she was essentially weaned and eating regular foal food. Worked for us just fine. One of the best show horses we have ever bred!

    Good luck. And these foals are SOOOOO worth it!



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