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Weaning failure?

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  • Weaning failure?

    Since I have a small farm, I took my mare to a nearby boarding stable in order to wean her 5 month filly (this is her first foal). The filly stayed at home and the weaning was uneventful. I brought the mare home last night and turned them all out together this morning....and the filly immediately started nursing! The mare's bag had dried up (or so I thought) but the nipples are still prominent. So do you think that this was just a happy reunion or will the mare continue to let her nurse and start producing milk again?

    I really don't want to take the mare back to the boarding stable....it was expensive but more importantly, she was really stressed while there.

    Any suggestions??

  • #2
    She will most likely continue to nurse. You really should wait at least three months before putting them back out in the field together in my experience.
    McDowell Racing Stables

    Home Away From Home


    • #3
      I agree, that is not a long enough separation. Three months would be my minimum, but I've seen mares and foals that needed a 6 month separation.
      Already excited about our 2016 foals! Expecting babies by Indoctro, Diamant de Semilly, Zirocco Blue and Calido!


      • Original Poster

        Thanks everyone. I guess I was a little too optimistic in my time allowance. I had used the one month boarding separation successfully in the past with another mare but it was not her first foal.


        • #5
          Is there anyway you can run a temporary electric fence between your paddock? We wean ours this way and (knock on wood) it has worked out well. You can get one set up for a couple hundred bucks. Just a thought. Mare will be happier and it will be less expensive then sending her back. Good luck. We will start weaning our boy on Oct 2
          Worth A Shot Farm
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          • #6
            For $300 you can get a really nice Horseguard setup for a temp cross fence. It's 640' total of the tape, so you can get 2 strands up across 320' (more realistically a bit less than that, 315'). It includes the tape, the fiberglass posts (really easy to pound in with a hand-held post pounder, unless you have lots of rocks), handles for the gate, all the connectors, absolutely everything except the source of electricity
            http://www.horseguardfence.com/newprod/kits.php (scroll down to Temporary Fence Kit)
            The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


            • Original Poster

              Great ideas - thanks! I have board cross fencing now but adding electric fencing to it may keep them from nursing through the fence.


              • #8
                3 months minimum in my experience.

                When we weened Dandy we bought his half brother as a companion for him (and bc my brothers wanted matching horses, and they were a perfect match.. so are my brothers actually). The mare went to the SO's house, and the 2 weanlings were at our home. This was in August.. both colts were gelded and in late November, she came home. After a few weeks, she started looking kinda thin.. so i start increasing her feed, etc. Then one morning i caught them.
                Not only was her son (Dandy) nursing, so was Deets. Poor girl.. no wonder she was losing weight lol.
                "Sadly, some people's greatest skill, is being an idiot". (facebook profile pic I saw).


                • #9
                  3 months?

                  The most I did was 6 weeks and it was fine... Guess I was lucky!
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