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Has Anyone Else Heard of This?

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  • Has Anyone Else Heard of This?

    I heard about this recently and wanted to know if anyone had any more information about this.

    Apparently, in the racing business when they breed two valuable, successful horses, at the same time they will breed two "less valuable" horses. When the "valuable" foal is born, they have the less valuable mare nurse/raise the foal, and then kill the "lesser value" foals.

    Has anyone else heard of/ have any more info on this practice? Is it common?

  • #2
    Who told you that?

    Keeping a less valuable mare around costs as much as a good mare...

    There are nurse mare services in case of catastrophies...
    Originally posted by BigMama1
    Facts don't have versions. If they do, they are opinions
    GNU Terry Prachett


    • #3
      There are farms that keep mares lactating with foals so they can be surrogate mothers for recehorses - but I ws thinking they were for emergencies, like for orphan foals. Maybe there is a seamy side to the business, too.
      Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique


      • #4
        I think this sounds ridiculous. Perhaps there are one or two farms who engage in that type of practice, but there's no way this is an industry standard.


        • #5
          I think there are probably some very high valuable mares that they don't allow to serve as a nursing mother. Wasn't Toussaud one of them? Due to concerns about her health, they would give her foals to a nurse mare. But they just keep nurse mares lactating, the effort of getting them in foal and caring through a live birth just to kill the foal is a little ridiculous.

          Yep, found an article on Toussaud:



          • #6
            Correct me if I am wrong, but I do believe the mares in the surrogate nursing business are breeds that have a bit more milk than your average TB. Draft/draft crosses...
            Originally posted by BigMama1
            Facts don't have versions. If they do, they are opinions
            GNU Terry Prachett


            • #7
              Ummmm-no and no.
              you look vaguely familiar.

              "And somewhere -- wherever the racing gods live -- there was unabated laughter at this comeuppance. Karma's a Witch, babe, and so is the Triple Crown. "


              • #8
                Unfortunately if you google "nurse mares" you find a lot of rumor like the above.

                In any case, yes, there is such a thing as a nurse mare, who is bred so that when she is lactating she can nurse a foal for a TB mare who has to be shipped to be bred, or a foal who lost his mother, or a foal whose mother rejected it.

                There are orphan foals as a result. Some farms work with rescues to help care for and place them. Some farms raise the foals themselves. Like PMU farms, I think people who provide nurse mares make an effort to breed to better quality stallions than they used to, in order to increase the foals' marketability later (iirc some farms that utilize the mares will give the nurse mare farms breedings to their stallions, but I could be wrong).

                There's a lot of stuff on the internet about foals being clubbed to death for their skins, etc. After researching PMU when I bought my horse I'm inclined to believe that the stuff that sounds really out there and outrageous probably sounds that way for a reason.
                "smile a lot can let us ride happy,it is good thing"

                My CANTER blog.


                • #9
                  ^ this

                  I'm sure some is misinformation, and some is true.
                  ::Sometimes you have to burn a few bridges to keep the crazies from following you::


                  • #10
                    This definitely happens. They then use the undesireable babies' hides as hand bags, etc. Pintos and Appys are worth more. Really. Our barn (and the entire town) rescued about a dozen or more of these babies 5 years ago. They were 6 days old when they were loaded on a trailer to come to us half-way across the country. Check out Last Chance Corral in Ohio(http://www.lastchancecorral.org/) for more information.


                    • #11
                      I think this has been asked on COTH before but I will say I emailed a shoe manufacturer advertising "pony skin" as the material of the shoes. I was told "pony skin" is the industry term for cowhide with hair attached, not actual foal skin.

                      I also found this article on thehorse.com:


                      About someone who runs a nurse mare farm.

                      I just tend to get a little skeptical with some of the really hysterical or outrageous stuff I read online. Much of the worst stuff about PMU farms is still out there even though it is very outdated or an outright fabrication, but rescues in particular seem prone to posting the same information all over the place (even after you point them to verifiable updated information) - whether it helps bring in more donators or adopters, I don't know. I don't doubt that rescues are helping nurse mare farms place foals, and that there is a need, or that there are problems with the nurse mare industry itself, but there seems to be little information out there except for a writeup that seems to be copied verbatim across dozens of different rescue sites.
                      "smile a lot can let us ride happy,it is good thing"

                      My CANTER blog.