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Orphan at 3 months:(

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  • #21
    You should never give a colt Ace. It is known that it can damage the mechanism that allows a colt / stallion to drop and retract his penis. I have heard many cases of penis amputations due to the administering of Ace.


    • #22
      DO NOT GIVE ACE TO THIS COLT!! It can cause him to drop his penis and not be able to retract it. I'm surprised your Veterinarian didn't warn about this. Consider Quiessence or quietex .

      Also regarding the feed. Foals don't develop the proper enzymes in the system to process regular feed. As others have recommended there are pellet out there for younger foals and foals the age of your colt. The issue is they cannot process the other feeds. Make sure he has hay, turn out on grass and water.

      The reason most of us who have been breeding for a long time wean later is that the longer a foal is on the mare the lower the incidence of ulcers and other issues.

      Your situation is a tragedy but please stop giving that colt Ace and regardless of the 10% protein in your feed - pick up some feed that is specifically for foals his age.
      Summit Sporthorses Ltd. Inc.
      "Breeding Competition Partners & Lifelong Friends"


      • Original Poster

        Thanks guys for the great advice. I'm moving him tomorrow to be with the pony broodie to see if it will work. I am in the process of finding more appropriate feed but my local stores are limited. He is no longer on ace, although it was a small dose, I have confidence in my vet 's RX that it was appropriate for the situation and the short duration. He has been very good the last 3 days so I'm encouraged that he will be fine after all this trama. Thank you all for the advice and support. I will update his progress with his new mama.


        • #24
          Originally posted by kiwifruit View Post
          Thanks guys for the great advice. I'm moving him tomorrow to be with the pony broodie to see if it will work. I am in the process of finding more appropriate feed but my local stores are limited. He is no longer on ace, although it was a small dose, I have confidence in my vet 's RX that it was appropriate for the situation and the short duration. He has been very good the last 3 days so I'm encouraged that he will be fine after all this trama. Thank you all for the advice and support. I will update his progress with his new mama.
          Regarding the Ace -- it is true that in general it is not recommended for colt/stallions (not sure about geldings, but since they have a penis, probably so...), however these cases ARE rare and I know a number of vets who will take the chance on occasion....I know because I've questioned them on it.

          But for the future...if your vet recommends it again, tell him what you know and question him. He's a vet, not a god.

          As for feed, any rural area has some sort of foal feed. Maybe not milk pellets but something that is designed for his age. Feeding him grown up food he cannot digest is not doing him any favors.

          I may be wrong on this, but I'm thinking even milk pellets for calves would be better at this point (as a short term fill-in) than "grown up horse food". But maybe others can tell more.

          This stuff won't kill him but if you are seriously concerned about his nutrition, then you should find a better replacement sooner rather than later...

          Again, I know you are probably still reeling over it all...BTW, where are you located? COTH is a BIG place and maybe someone is close to you who has been through it all and can help.

          COTHers can be a very helpful and kind group when you get them at the right time...


          • #25
            I missed the part about the ace. I'll agree with those who say not to give ace to a colt. If you are near Philly, milk based foal pellets should be pretty readily available. Best brands are Progressive or Buckeye. Other brands - Land O lakes, Foal Lac, etc.
            Mary Lou


            Member OMGiH I loff my mares clique


            • Original Poster

              Ok I don't think the pony mare is going to work. She backed up to him twice and tried to kick him. I do have an offer from a friend to keep her same age weaning at my place or she also has an old draft cross that's been a babysitter to foals in the past. I like pairing up the two babies together but not sure if he will develop socially. Thoughts?


              • #27
                Two babies will be perfect. When he is a yearling you can put him out with the big guys.
                Mary Lou


                Member OMGiH I loff my mares clique


                • #28
                  So sorry to hear about the loss of your mare, it's always tough. I have dealt with many orphans different ages. I personally have never grouped an older orphan with other foals but my repro vet had a client who instead of nurse mares would contact the farms and ask to buy their foals and group the orphan with two or three other foals for socialization and bucket feed them and they always were great on the social skills. The herd dynamic seems to really be affective with them. I think both options are good but having a younger more active foal will help and the older draft babysitter is a great teacher. I would even consider both if that was an option, or like I mentioned contacting a nurse mare place I worked in the Hanover PA area we had a mare who came from a farm in MD and they kept the foals or sold them to farms like I mentioned before.


                  • Original Poster

                    Yeah I'm leaning towards the baby. How hard can it be to raise two foals please humor me and say "easy peasy". I'm just afraid he is being too dependent on me. Although it is cute, your stories are keeping me from hugging him like a big dog every time I go to see him. Thanks for your support! You guys are awesome!


                    • #30
                      "Easy peasy", there someone said it. ;-) Seriously though, don't over think it, they will be fine and it's so much fun watching the babies play! When he's older there will be plenty of time for him to go out with other horses who will teach him the social skills. Personally, I *like* for the weanlings to be out together. Too much risk with an older horse unless you have the perfect one. You must post some pix of the dynamic duo when have a chance.


                      • #31
                        Very good advice from Dune.
                        Mary Lou


                        Member OMGiH I loff my mares clique


                        • #32
                          Why can't you get the other foal and the gelding and let him nanny them both? Either way, you are going to have to "wean" him from his companion at some point but it won't be nearly as bad if there are three of them. With my colts who were raised together until they went to get broke it was a lot worse than weaning from their dams.
                          McDowell Racing Stables

                          Home Away From Home


                          • #33
                            Originally posted by kiwifruit View Post
                            Ok I don't think the pony mare is going to work. She backed up to him twice and tried to kick him. I do have an offer from a friend to keep her same age weaning at my place or she also has an old draft cross that's been a babysitter to foals in the past. I like pairing up the two babies together but not sure if he will develop socially. Thoughts?
                            She could just be getting the rules clear...this is horse dynamics.

                            But I would be more worried about the pony eating the foal's food than anything else...not sure how you would prevent that...

                            I agree...another foal would be perfect, although I think the foal's themselves feel better with a grown-up around. I think the "natural" herd set-up is for an older horse to show the babies what is truly alarming and what is not.

                            But I know in KY and such it is most common for large groups of weanlings/yearlings to hang together.

                            The only thing NOT 'easy-peasy' with raising 2 weanlings, is that you have to work with both...is your friend going to help you with her's? You know...halter break, teach to lead, lift up feet, etc.

                            As for "trauma" -- I'm betting the foal is probably pretty much over it. Humans are the ones who mull over "tragedy" -- we chew on it, gnash our teeth and just won't let it go.

                            Animals tend to move on much better...especially young animals. Don't make the mistake of transferring YOUR sense of loss to him.

                            He will be fine if you give him a horse buddy and raise him right. Your's is the loss that might take more time...

                            Good luck!


                            • #34
                              I also lost a mare to colic with a 3-month old filly at her side. Just heartbreaking, so first and foremost sorry for your loss

                              On a positive note, that filly turned 3yo this year and is AWESOME. Perfectly healthy (knock on wood), going great under saddle, and an absolute dream of a personality. While I would certainly not recommend weaning that early given a chance, in retrospect I think all the additional handling and interaction she got as a result of being orphaned has contributed to how people-friendly and easy she is now as a young horse. Again, not something I'd do by choice but just trying to find a silver lining for the future.

                              My filly took to the milk replacer pellets ok but not great. If I recall, she preferred the Foal-Lac brand over others. By 3 months old she was already starting to nibble on mom's grain before she was orphaned, so I did have to start her on adult feed mixed with the milk pellets pretty early on in order to get her to eat the milk pellets. I think I had her on probios powder (which is cheap) and Gastroguard (which is not cheap!) for at least a month or so.

                              From a turnout perspective, I was lucky that I had another mare with a foal about the same age, as well as my old retired mare who "babysits" all the foals when they're weaned. So I turned the filly out with the babysitter for a week or so to figure out that she couldn't nurse from her (the mare's a saint and won't hurt them even when they completely annoy her). Then once she got over trying to nurse, the two of them went out with the other mare and foal so she had a companion to play with. If you have another weanling you can turn out with I think that would be great, and if the pony (or the draft cross) might be better with both of them rather than just one on one, you might try turning out all three together if you have the space. I always like having a sane, sensible older horse with the babies/weanlings if I can.

                              Good luck - he'll be just fine!
                              Friday's Child Farm


                              • #35
                                So sorry for the loss of your mare.

                                My horse lost her dam to colic at 3 weeks of age. She was bottle fed, had a mini donk for a companion.

                                She's 12 years old now, and my very well adjusted field hunter. Nice mare. Don't worry, your little man should be ok.

                                (((hugs))) to both of you.


                                • #36
                                  Twenty plus years ago I had inherited an orphan foal. The farm was a rental to we had limited options on rearranging turn-out. We were able to turn her out with the rest of the herd but we took out lower rails into the back "paddock" and into a couple of spots on the grass riding ring. She could duck under and be safe but the horses couldn't get under the top rail.

                                  The paddock was actually a 34 x 20 macadam area that was off the back of the barn. It was a great wash area but not suitable for turn-out.
                                  Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)


                                  • #37
                                    Sorry to hear it, I went through this same situation 4 years ago. People here suggested Foal-Aide, which you might want to consider.

                                    My foal hated the foal pellets and milk replacer, and definitely was NOT going to drink milk from a bottle or spout. I ground up the foal pellets in a coffee grinder and mixed them with wet alfalfa cubes and (can't remember what else the vet/nutritionist recommended). She would eat that. I started with feeding her every couple of hours and then gradually reduced it to 4-5 feeds starting early morning and ending late at night (giving me a decent sleep). Also you have to watch that the feed doesn't go rancid or full of flies, so small amounts worked better anyway.

                                    I phoned an equine nutritionist (maybe the company that manufactures the milk replacer?) and found her to be quite helpful with my feed dilemma.

                                    We went through 2 potential nannies that didn't work out, before we found an ex-broodie who was very helpful in being a companion while also teaching the foal manners.

                                    Best of luck to you and sorry about the loss of your mare.

                                    You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng


                                    • Original Poster

                                      Ok. Another question. My friends foal is a month older than mine and not weaned. She wants to bring both mare and foal to the farm, slowly introduce my foal to mare and foal, then take mom away after a few days of all 3 being together. I'm a bit nervous, of course, of someone getting hurt. Would this be a good option? At my farm I have about 5 acres divideded into two pastures. The barn is a shed row with an overhang which sits in one of the pastures with an attached paddock that is connected to one stall of barn. Best way to introduce them and then wean new baby? Ugghhh. This is getting complicated!


                                      • #39
                                        I would wean first. I actually weaned took the dam out of the foaling stall and stuck the other foal in her place. They consoled each other.
                                        McDowell Racing Stables

                                        Home Away From Home


                                        • #40
                                          You don't have to worry about the two foals hurting each other, so I would just wait till the other foal is weaned and bring it over then. OR bring over the mom/babe duo and keep them separate from your baby till weaning time.

                                          I'd be worried about mom hurting your baby, since baby is liable to try to nurse or something. Can your friend give you more info on the mare? If she has been w/other mare/foal combos and what she is like w/other foals?

                                          If the mare is older, w/loads of experience and has run in a group w/other mare/foal combos without issue, (even better if she is one of those mares who is at the very bottom of the herd hierarchy ) and a SUPER kind, mellow, uber-maternal type of gal then it would be ok to allow them to run together after a suitable period of introduction across the fence-line (like 2-3 weeks).

                                          You could even bring both foals in for "meals" at the same time, leaving mom outside (for step by step suggestions on this, PM me -- because believe me, the Devil IS in the details) for the duration. This will give babies time to get to know one another and make weaning easier when the time comes.

                                          But if Mom is not like this, IMHO it would be better to just wait till Baby #2 is weaned and then bring him over.

                                          Meanwhile, just keep your baby & the pony in pens where baby doesn't feel alone, but is still safe from the wrath of a crabby old pony "beeatch"...

                                          Another month or two of this isn't going to scar him for Life, I assure you...