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ORPHAN FOALS: Information sought.

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  • ORPHAN FOALS: Information sought.


    UPDATE: Have been told that 18 of these foals were bought by someone in CA and hauled back there. Does anyone know of anyone selling off several foals or having some come in? Not sure which load they came from, time frame for the 4 loads is from middle of May to middle of July for the Jamesport foals.

    Let me start this with what these foals are not so we don't get drug into discussion on those topics.

    They are not BLM foals.
    These are not foals from the buy back program on the reservation that was held August 3 and 4th of this year.
    They are not PMU foals nor are they 'nursemare foals' both of which are moneymaking scams.
    I am not looking for homes for them, I am looking for information on any of the foals from these 4 loads. These 320 foals are all sold, or dead.
    It is believed they are foals off of the Navajo reservations in NM, and are feral horses, rather than Mustangs.
    I am looking for anyone with information on foals sold in Jamesport, MO between the middle of May and the middle of July 2018. I want to find out where they ended up, and what the person who bought one or several was told, and if they had any survive.
    There were 4 semi trailer loads brought there to Jamesport Harness Supplies and Carriages, which is Amish business and there were 80 foals on each trailer, for a total of 320 foals. They were being sold for 150 dollars each for first 3 loads. The 4th load they wanted 175-200 each. At a minimum, this netted 30K for these foals as some died after being paid for.
    These foals in some cases were 24-48 hours old, with umbilical cords still attached. They ranged up to about 4 months old, if that. Their dams went to slaughter. The foals were trucked into MO, which is a 16 hour trip they made from NM. They were not given milk replacer, nor any vet care and the mortality rate runs at 50% or higher for them, based on the ones we know about.
    The foals were sold and hauled to MD, SC, and many other places. They had strangles, pneumonia, rhodococcous and there was possibility of Valley Fever. Their paperwork was either non-existent or didn't match. They were given only grain and alfalfa...which for a day old foal, does no good, as they do not have teeth. Some were down in the trailer when they arrived, some died at the Amish farm, others died in transit to new homes, others died when they arrived.
    These photos are some of the ones I took July 17th, 2018 at the Amish farm, there were 50 left on the lot at that point. We were told there were another 400 coming in, but they have not been heard of since this load. There were numbers on many of the foals, including other loads, that were either grease markers or actual paint, which we believe was a tracking system of who brought in the foal and dam, so they could get paid. You can see that on the palomino foal in first photo.
    We are aware that there are other foals also being done this way across the US, any information about those would also be appreciated.
    You can see the numbers/letters on the palomino. 50 foals and 2 dinner plate sized piles of grain in the dirt.  Many of these foals cannot eat the grain or the hay due to age.
    Last edited by Belle Beach; Sep. 4, 2018, 09:26 AM.

  • #2
    Omg this is horrendous
    "The best of any breed is the thoroughbred horse..." - GHM


    • #3
      Babies? Seriously? Babies? WTF
      I want to vomit.
      "Cats aren't clean; they're covered with cat spit."
      - John S Nichols (1745-1846,writer/printer)

      Don't come for me - I didn't send for you.


      • #4
        For once my google-fu is failing me. Hopefully you get some answers.

        ETA - do you know if this is something that has happened for multiple years? Like they send a group from that source annually?\

        EDIT2 - do you have more/bigger photos? There's a rescue on FB called "eleventh hour foal haven" that has a few that look similar .... wait, never mind, the foals in your photos are from July, theirs are dated May.
        "smile a lot can let us ride happy,it is good thing"

        My CANTER blog.


        • #5
          Back up a sec. Where did these foals actually come from? I know OP stated a Navajo rez, but....why? What is the purpose of pulling days-old foals (en mass) from their dams and shipping them off for cheap/quick sale? Is my naive and sheltered mind missing something here?


          • #6
            Originally posted by talkofthetown View Post
            Back up a sec. Where did these foals actually come from? I know OP stated a Navajo rez, but....why? What is the purpose of pulling days-old foals (en mass) from their dams and shipping them off for cheap/quick sale? Is my naive and sheltered mind missing something here?
            FWIW I've seen several reports of horses coming off reservations in large groups to be sold at kill auctions. Feral horses/mustangs on those lands are outside the jurisdiction of BLM and considered tribal property, so tribes may gather and sell them however they see fit, to either cull population/manage the land or bring in some quick funds. I have seen reports that includes mares with foals, and the foals aren't sellable to kill buyers so sold seperately with little care. I do NOT know how to verify those reports and view them with a little skepticism just because I'm not sure how good the sources are. I'll try to dig some up.

   (of particular note, #2)

   (this article does not mention slaughter or kill sales, from some other sources that I'm not sure are accurate, it seems some groups within the Navajo nation are fine with that option, and others are not. Either way this details the extent of the population issue and why large groups might be headed to such auctions without much thought or care)
            "smile a lot can let us ride happy,it is good thing"

            My CANTER blog.


            • #7
              OP stated that the dams were shipped to slaughter. My guess is that the foals are not worth much at slaughter and so the sellers count on bleeding hearts to "save" them. More profit this way.

              I've heard that some of the reservations have an overwhelming number of feral horses and dogs. Apparently no effort is made to control reproduction rates. In fact, a few years ago, an Oregon tribe was building a horse slaughterhouse on their reservation in order to circumvent the US laws and regs regarding horse slaughter.


              • #8
                caffeinated thanks for the info, I've apparently missed this entirely in my news circles.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by talkofthetown View Post
                  caffeinated thanks for the info, I've apparently missed this entirely in my news circles.
                  IN searching FB, I found references to "Navajo orphan" foals going back at least to 2013.

                  And one video of a group at action from this year, in Kansas.
                  "smile a lot can let us ride happy,it is good thing"

                  My CANTER blog.


                  • #10
                    I believe both Yakima (WA) and Warm Springs (OR) reservations also round up foals (and horses of other age) from their feral herds to try and control the population. There are several groups trying to advocate and help place these, Yakima Orphan Foal Network and Friends of Warm Springs and Yakima Orphan Foals are two of the FB groups I personally know of. The horses are not "mustangs", they are feral, grade herds with a mix of primarily domestic breed influences.

                    However, they are at the mercy of the capturers as to which ones are made available to the public - some, like the "kill pen" horses, are given a deadline and if they aren't sold by then they are shipped. I'm sure many are straight shipped, but the org's I mentioned might have more solid info on the details.


                    • #11
                      How incredibly sad and heart breaking.


                      • Original Poster

                        Originally posted by caffeinated View Post

                        IN searching FB, I found references to "Navajo orphan" foals going back at least to 2013.

                        And one video of a group at action from this year, in Kansas.
                        If that was in Peabody KS at the underground barn at the kill buyers lot, those were 18 foals that didn't make the trip with the "Jamesport Foals" as we call them? Saje Bayes was taking the video if it is the same one you are talking about, and she talks about them having strangles, being sick and being 2 weeks to 2 months old.

                        If that is the same video? 4 of those went to rescue in OK, 1 died there. 3 went to IA, one died there. And believe 2 died at Amy's, she is Saje's mother. That accounts for 9, not sure about the other 9.

                        I have been in contact with various state vets, who were appalled to learn foals with known strangles were being trailered through their states, or brought into and off loaded in their states. I have talked to various rescues that confirmed this goes on with the reservations, as some do view the horses as something to be saved...others look at them as a walking ATM. And this is going on pretty much anywhere there are feral horses on reservations it seems. Varies of course, depending on the population of the feral horses and how many are into doing this.

                        There have been foals born on slaughter bound trailers, foals left to starve and die, foals shot, foals given away, foals all of this, the ones shot at the intersection of the X...had the best end.

                        The misery and hopelessness of these foals as I stood among them that day, was palpable. People that had gotten some from the 3rd load, said that some foals did not seem to know what water was...just rested their lips on the surface, others stood with their heads in a corner and if moved out of corner? Went right back and stuck head in the corner again. When you see any animal do that, they are dying. And they did.

                        Please share this, and keep ears and eyes open. There were 400 more foals of these ages and circumstances said to have been coming to MO. They haven't shown up nor have the 100 yearlings were told about.

                        I do believe that this has been going on a long, long time, and has been kept under the radar so public outcry would not be raised. Now it has come to light, there are people who do know it happens, and they are trying to save foals as they can, but there are many more that are just being shipped like this.


                        • Original Poster

                          This is one of the foals trailered east....posted with permission from the owner of died. The second foal in the backseat of pickup is lucky, as the woman who has it went first thing the next morning and got nanny goat, and that saved her.


                          • #14
                            Wouldn't be surprised to find that the missing foals were dumped somewhere off the beaten path from point A to point B. And maybe just dumped in the middle of nowhere and left to die.

                            Some people are so awful Nothing surprises me anymore.
                            "Cats aren't clean; they're covered with cat spit."
                            - John S Nichols (1745-1846,writer/printer)

                            Don't come for me - I didn't send for you.


                            • #15
                              This hurts my heart. What can we do on our end? Try to contact reservation and offer alternatives? Educate them on gelding and hormones to keep mares from reproducing. I don’t have the means to care for foals, but would be happy to contribute a dribble or get involved.
                              "Anyone who tries to make brownies without butter should be arrested." Ina Garten


                              • #16
                                I saw the ad for them one facebook when they were on the way. I know a couple people posted that they had taken a couple foals each.

                                The whole thing was awful, but the ad was very honest- it said they were sick, starving orphans who may be contagious and may die.
                                ~Former Pet Store Manager (10yrs)
                                ~Vintage Toy Dealer (
                                ~Vet Tech Student
                                Mom to : 2 Horses,3 Dogs, 1 Cat


                                • #17
                                  This is disgusting and heartbreaking.
                                  "Random capitAlization really Makes my day." -- AndNirina


                                  • #18
                                    The cruelty in this world is never ending. Very heartbreaking.


                                    • #19
                                      OP do you know if there were 12-18mon olds? How long has this been going on for? I bought 2 yearlings in 2009 from a meat packing place here (Ontario) and was told they came from MO. There were 100s of them. My farm managed to save 13.

                                      Bit Chair:


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Belle Beach View Post

                                        If that was in Peabody KS at the underground barn at the kill buyers lot, those were 18 foals that didn't make the trip with the "Jamesport Foals" as we call them? Saje Bayes was taking the video if it is the same one you are talking about, and she talks about them having strangles, being sick and being 2 weeks to 2 months old.
                                        Yep, that's the video.

                                        "smile a lot can let us ride happy,it is good thing"

                                        My CANTER blog.