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1 month old newly orphaned can't get to take milk replacer. HELP!

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  • 1 month old newly orphaned can't get to take milk replacer. HELP!

    HELP! I have a one month old foal who's mother had to be euthanized last night due to a twisted colon. The fillly refuses to take milk replacer. I have succeeded in getting her to drink one quart of the milk replacer about 12 hours ago which was about 12 hours after her mother passed but she will no longer touch it. She is eating hay. I do have her in with another mare but the mare will not let her nurse and probably doesn't really have much for milk anymore anyway (we tried everything on that front as well.) I tried to take the new mare away to try giving her grain with milk replacer sprinkled on it but the filly panics if I take the new mare away and the mare is very piggy about grain.

    Does anyone have any suggestions about what to do? This foal needs to eat and I am beginning to panic! I do not think I can afford a nurse mare.

    Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    I have heard that goat's milk works. Is there a goat person nearby. Also get on the phone and call vets this morning there might be a reverse situation where you can get a mare. One quart sounds like a lot of sonething new in one meal? If you need to buy time, and peace of mind get the vet to feed it with a stomach tube.

    Comment


    • #3
      dkapper@prognutrition.com Contact Don Kapper at Progressive Nutrition he mght be able to help. They have an orphan foal pellet that might be an option here......good luck!!!!

      Comment


      • #4
        Check your PMs.
        As is our confidence, so is our capacity. ~W. Hazlitt

        Gift Hill Farm

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        • #5
          Progressive nutrition has a milk based pellet. I've had a foal of mine on it since she was a few weeks old because I have been worried that her dam may not make it until she is weaned. She loves it! I've tried getting my other foals to eat it to and they won't. So it might still be hard to get your foal to eat the pellets, but worth getting some to offer to her. Also, ask around about a nursemare. Someone may have just lost a foal and be willing to let you use the mare for free or for a small fee rather than calling a service. So sorry to hear about your mare.

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          • #6
            We had the same difficulty with our orphan a few years ago. Once they have had a taste of Mommy milk they dont really want to drink anything else. We used Grobers Foal Milk Replacer however and that was the trick.

            You mix it fresh every time with warm (not hot water) swish it around with a hand beater until you get bubbles on top and then serve. Dont worry...it will not be long until they see you coming with the bucket and come running for their nice warm drink

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            • #7
              Make sure at first that the replacer is 99 degrees. They are used to WARM milk. Try different niipples. A goats nipple on a small plastic 20 oz soda bottle works well to start as you can squeeze a bit into their mouth. Then set up the igloo so the foal can self feed. http://members.aol.com/fairviewhorsectr/igloo.html

              They also at first like to be "under" something, so drape one arm across their withers while you feed them.

              Sorry about your mare.

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              • #8
                When you get a Nursemare from a Nursemare service, you get a Nursemare. If you want to spend all your time getting the foal to nurse or getting the mare to except the foal, wait for someones mare to be available. Could be the foal won't need a nursemare by then.

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                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Thank you everyone

                  Thank you for all of the advice and suggestions. I had her tubed this AM because I have to be gone for several hours today. I am going to try your suggestions. I will check back in this evening and let you all know if anything works!

                  Wish me luck! Thank you again.

                  -Carolyn

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Oh gosh, so sorry.

                    I had an orphan foal at 5 wks a few years ago. We were able to find a goat, and the filly ended up learning to drink from a bucket. She had no interest in any kind of nipple, I was using a large syringe up until she figured out the bucket. Good luck to you.
                    We're spending our money on horses and bourbon. The rest we're just wasting.
                    www.dleestudio.com

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                    • #11
                      Is she drinking water? If she is filling up on water & hay, she may be stopping herself from wanting the milk. With a month old foal, you do have time, and may need to make her hungry before she will accept the replacer. Also, water it down a bit more than the directions say.

                      Offer it to her, and then go away and leave her with nothing for 2 hours, then offer again, repeat.

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                      • #12
                        As Fairview said, the good news is she is a month... she's gotten lots and lots of good stuff from Mum before you lost her.

                        It took my 5 week old about two days to figure out the bucket & milk replacer thing. I also offered her a bit of very well soaked-in-replacer Sunshine pellets, in a pan. Can you put a fence panel or some sort of a divider in a big stall so she can see/touch the other mare but still get her own food? A pony sized feed bag?

                        It did take a bit for mine to 'get it.' Eventually she was adopted by my other mare with foal at side, then both girls needed milk replacer because neither were getting optimum. I used Progressive's foal products for both (the vits/mins) so I knew both were getting set amounts of that, and played with milk recipes and replacers until I found one they liked. BOTH eventually were fine with the milk-soaked-mash in low feed pans.

                        Good luck, and (((hugs))) it was a devastating time for me as mare lost was my first foal of my own. I still miss her. Sometimes the filly really frustrated me, because I still needed to deal with her and my grief.
                        InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs
                        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                        Bits are like cats, what's one more? (Petstorejunkie)

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                        • #13
                          Our colt last year was the same way as your filly. He was also a month old when his mom died. He refused the milk replacer completely--wouldn't eat from a bottle or a bucket. We put him on Foal Starter milk pellets from Buckeye. We also used a 60cc oral syringe and gently squirted milk replacer(Mares Match) into his mouth. Over time, he became more and more willing to take it, but he still never drank it in the quantities they are supposed too. Once he was on the milk pellets, he mostly got his nourishment from them. We did the syringing of the milk replacer mostly because it was summer and we were afraid he wasn't drinking enough water to keep from being dehydrated. At a month old, if your foal is drinking water well and willing to free choice eat milk pellets, she might be all right without the replacer. The syringe method isn't for everyone because you have to be really careful not to give too much or too fast and choke them. I had done this method with orphan foals at the TB farm where I used to work on several occasions, so I was comfortable doing it. There, we had an old mare that was too old to breed but was a wonderful mother. Whenever we had an orphan, we brought her into milk and she would adopt the foal, but in the meantime, while we getting her to produce milk, we would syringe milk into foals that refused both a bottle or a bucket of milk replacer.

                          FWIW--we had nothing but problems when we used goat's milk at the TB farm. It seemed to really upset their stomachs. I know some people use it without problems...it just wasn't my experience.

                          Oh, and if your nanny won't let your filly eat pellets, it's going to be a lot harder because you will need to hold a bucket of pellets for the filly while the mare is eating her meals to keep her from eating the milk pellets. It will be harder to get enough milk pellets into the foal that way though. We had our orphan in a stall by himself, but he got turned out with another mare and foal so he had equine company and we would just bring him in periodically to let him eat. The other mare didn't nurse him(he actually never even tried), but she did look after him.
                          www.heartofgoldfarm.com

                          RIP "Rio" (BW-Clarion) 2000-2009. Bright Spirit, Brave Heart, Loving Soul. I'll love and miss you forever.

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Wow!

                            Wow is all I can say about how kind and wonderful you have all been. It is so wonderful to be able to post a question or concern and have people offer sincere sympathy and useful advice and experience. Thank you all.

                            Of course when it rains it pours - and it was an incredibly busy day so I did not get back to the computer as soon as I would have liked and I need to get straight back to chores as soon as I am done with this message.

                            I wanted to tell you all that she is taking in some milk replacer now. I think the temperature was the biggest problem. I think I had it too warm. I also need to find a better companion for her because her mare buddy is not going to let her eat enough. I will separate them tomorrow. I think I may try to put her back out with her pasture mates (three other pairs of mares & foals) for a little while at least and see how it goes - unless someone strongly recommends NOT doing this.

                            I still have more suggestions to try but at least she is drinking some. It may not be as much as she should be but it is a start! I will write back in the morning with more updates.

                            Thank you all again for your unbelievable support during a difficult time.

                            Sincerely,
                            Carolyn

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Carolyn View Post
                              I also need to find a better companion for her because her mare buddy is not going to let her eat enough. I will separate them tomorrow. I think I may try to put her back out with her pasture mates (three other pairs of mares & foals) for a little while at least and see how it goes - unless someone strongly recommends NOT doing this.
                              Fairview is the one with a lot of experience on this but I am fairly certain she was highly successful raising an orphan by turning him out with the other foals and mares as companions; her orphan had his igloo "mama" attached to the fence.

                              Also, regarding the mare, is she actually protesting the idea of nursing the foal, or is she simply not producing enough milk? If the latter, isn't there a drug that makes them lactate?
                              Roseknoll Sporthorses
                              www.roseknoll.net

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Carolyn...where are you at? I have some of Progressive's Foals First pellets I can let you have. I'm in SE Virginia.

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  I think she's got it!

                                  Good Morning All...

                                  Well she is drinking the Milk Replacer consistently now. I am feeding her every two hours with a four hour gap at night. I think I am going to try to turn her out with her pasture mates from before and use the igloo method with the Buckeye replacer. Of course I have her trained to a bucket and a different replacer so getting her to use a nipple and a new Milk Replacer may be a challenge now but we will give it a go anyhow. I think I was in panic mode and just didn't have the patience I needed to let the foal adapt to such a huge change in her life. (Plus I think I was mixing the water too hot).

                                  The companion mare the foal is with right now is one of those mares that produces milk even when she doesn't have a foal. She has milk now but not a lot. She will not let the foal nurse. We tried hay bales & tranquilizers & hobbles. She is warming up to the foal a little more but I don't think it will be a match made in heaven. I do have a mare with a four month old foal I could wean but I would rather not if I don't have to go that route. Hopefully the Igloo will work out well for us!

                                  I will also get the foal on the Progressive feed. They have excellent products. Thank you Daydream Believer for you offer of feed. I am probably pretty far away from you. I am located in North Central by Commonwealth Park south of Culpeper. We have a Progressive Dealer about 45 minutes from here in Marshall I think. I will try there first.

                                  Thank you so much for the help and support.

                                  Best wishes,
                                  Carolyn

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    To get the foal back using the nipple, you will have to again, make her hungry, and not offer her anything else, again. They lose their suck reflex pretty fast, so you need to get it done within a few days. The igloo is so worth the getting them to use a nipple again. It will also keep the foal nursing in case another mare will accept it in a week, month, etc. I don't think you can train to the igloo until they accept a nipple on a bottle.

                                    Huge advantage to the igloo is they have their own supply of food, and can be out with their friends, just like a normal foal. No middle of the night feedings, and you can know the foal is the one that got the milk, because no one else knows how to use it.

                                    If the baby was out with the others, I would get it out with them for at least an hour a day ASAP. I just stayed in the field while the baby was turned out.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Fairview Horse Center View Post


                                      If the baby was out with the others, I would get it out with them for at least an hour a day ASAP. I just stayed in the field while the baby was turned out.
                                      I agree. I was TJ's "pasture mom" for a couple of weeks until Ellie "adopted" him and let him hang out with her and her colt. You do want them to become integrated back into the herd asap. Until TJ was accepted by the others, he would run back to me when he was picked on. I would sit out in the field in a canvas chair. When TJ wanted to nap, he would run back and lay down at my feet. It was really cute, but I was relieved and grateful when he became attached to Ellie and Adam. At first, I would sneak out in the pasture at night to be sure he was all right, and I would find him and Adam sleeping side by side, sometimes laying against each other, out in the field with Ellie grazing nearby. TJ got to grow up like any other foal except that he had is own stall. I think that was great for him.
                                      www.heartofgoldfarm.com

                                      RIP "Rio" (BW-Clarion) 2000-2009. Bright Spirit, Brave Heart, Loving Soul. I'll love and miss you forever.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Buckeye makes a foal pellet as well if thats easier for you to get.



                                        Karen

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