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baby won't nurse, HELP

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  • baby won't nurse, HELP

    Ok., my baby is two hours old. He got right up and has a great sucking reflex, but hasn't nursed yet. He is so tall, he has to reach down and turn his head.
    Any help please.
    Should I try a bottle?

  • #2

    I've had big colts that took quite a while to find the teats and nurse. They just couldn't figure out how to bend down and turn their head to the side, then go up to it...you can try to encourage him to find it by putting some milk on your fingers and guiding him to it, or as long as he's strong, and not weak and cold, give him a bit more time. have you given him an enema to make sure he passed all of his meconium? I find they usually do fine once all of that is out of them. If he hasn't nursed in say 4 hours, then you can milk the mom and try to feed him from a bottle. i've just found some of these big colts a little slow on the uptake at first. good luck!


    • Original Poster

      thanks. I gave him some with the bottle and he finally figured it out. Vet is coming to check.


      • #4
        We usually milk the mare into a 60cc syringe and give that tall foal a good taste and incentive to find the teat. Also be sure to get lots of colostrum into the foal before he is six hours old. It sounds like you have a good start. Congratulations!
        "Where knowledge ends violence begins." B. Ljundquist


        • #5
          One of my colts took almost 4 hours to nurse last year and had me quite worried! I guess some of them just need more time! Was the birth normal? I had missed mine by minutes and wondered if he maybe was stuck in the birthcanal for a bit and therefore making him weaker! All's well that ends well though! Good luck with your foal!
          Hoppe, Hoppe, Reiter...
          Wenn er faellt dann schreit er...

          Originally posted by mbm
          forward is like love - you can never have enough


          • #6
            I always milk some out of the mare and feed by bottle. That gets those important antibodies on board before the foal sucks on walls, buckets, mom's legs, etc. It also really helps give them the energy to find their way to the udder. Sometimes after an hour or so, they become depleted of their energy reserves, and will not be able to nurse without a boost.

            Keep a 20 oz soda bottle with lambs nipple (enlarge the splits in the opening a bit), or a "squeezable" baby bottle with nipple (also with the hole enlarged) for that first drink in your foaling kit.


            • Original Poster

              Thanks guys. I was worried that if I gave him a bottle it would confuse him. He did great, but I don't think I will be doing this again! How do you breeders stand it!??
              He is super cute.


              • #8
                Just wait. He gets cuter... and bigger. Then after awhile you'll start missing the 'little' cute guy. And in another year you'll be staring at the photos (take LOTS of them) and then you'll be looking at pretty daddy pictures again!

                first puddle pics are always cute! http://s272.photobucket.com/albums/j...Babephotos.jpg

                and baby's got an itch to scratch - 1 day old and she knew what to do about it.

                So we HAD to give them a bath, the mare was all dried sweat.
                Don't let anyone tell you that your ideas or dreams are foolish. There is a millionaire walking around who invented the pool noodle.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by not again View Post
                  We usually milk the mare into a 60cc syringe and give that tall foal a good taste and incentive to find the teat. Also be sure to get lots of colostrum into the foal before he is six hours old. It sounds like you have a good start. Congratulations!

                  this is normally what I do, milk the mare, using a large syringe that has been pulled open, had the needle end cut off and then reversed back together. ( I hope this makes sense).
                  This 'sucks' the milk out in an easy to do way. Then I put a few syringes of the milk into a clean container, and use a smaller syringe full of milk, to a) get colostrum into the baby
                  b) encourage him c) get him at least close to the udder.
                  I stand on the far side of the mare and reach under with the syringe, so that the foal does not associate me with milk, but rather the mare.

                  Glad to hear your baby is nursing! good luck!
                  A Fine Romance. April 1991 - June 2016. Loved forever.


                  • #10
                    No advice, sounds like you've got it handled...just wanted to say congratulations on a healthy baby.


                    • #11
                      Thanks for the extra detail Fred. If the foal is long legged and has to twist its neck to learn to nuzzle the bag and get milk flowing, we do just what you said. One person pushes the foal up to the stifle area. and the other person gets milk on the outside of the udder and on foal's upper lip until the sucking lips land on the bullseye.Any stimulus to the nose area seems to get the little one going once he or she has a taste of colostrum. A bit of milking the mare also gets the milk to let down a little easier for the foal.
                      "Where knowledge ends violence begins." B. Ljundquist


                      • Original Poster

                        So, where were you guys at 2:30 in the morning?
                        I will remember this info for future reference, when someone asks me about their newborn, because I will not have any more!
                        I did already think of another match for my pony though......


                        • #13
                          Never fear--our turn is coming. The first mare is HUGE and due April 4. Congratulations on your new arrival. And pony babies sound really tempting!
                          "Where knowledge ends violence begins." B. Ljundquist


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by pony grandma View Post
                            Just wait. He gets cuter... and bigger. Then after awhile you'll start missing the 'little' cute guy. And in another year you'll be staring at the photos (take LOTS of them) and then you'll be looking at pretty daddy pictures again!

                            It is soooo true. Sooo many breeder swear they are quitting EVERY year!
                            Oldenburg foals and young prospects
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