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Wean, wait and move or move and thereby wean?

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  • Wean, wait and move or move and thereby wean?

    So, my mare (who is in foal) is boarded at a barn where her current foal will remain. She is ultimately going to come to the barn where my gelding is. She's never been there and never met the mare she will board with. She currently has a foal by her side. The foal's owner wants to wean around August 1. She and the other broodmares with babies are all turned out together in a huge pasture.

    What would be best for her? Option one, wean and let her stay with her friends for a bit and then bring her to her new home. Option two, bring her to her new home, which would also accomplish the weaning? I can see pros and cons to each. I can also see her flipping out on the trailer in the later situation (when she realizes no foal). It seems a bit sneaky...

    I'm thinking it would be best to wean, let her hang out with her other, familiar friends, and then bring her over. If that is your thought as well, then how long should she stay with her buddies?

    I want to minimize stress even if it co$ts me more.
    DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/

  • #2
    I've done it both ways. Mostly I do long-term weaning, starting with a couple hours in a stall next to Mum, then out with Mum day/separate at night, etc. But I *have* done the "see ya" method too... and both work.

    I think the moving-the-mare-thereby-weaning works best only if the mare is SICK of the kid. Twice I have had mares just heave a huge sigh of relief when they were loaded sans leach... Ages haven't been as important as 'high maintenence.' Both of those were colts, both times mare didn't so much as call...

    You know your mare though. If you think she's going to stress over the separation--do it BEFORE trailering. Trailers are just accidents waiting to happen on a good NORMAL day... Even SAFE trailers manage to find ways to let horses injure themselves... so if you have the slightest inkling that mare is going to panic... wean first.

    The redeeming feature of taking them totally away, is they settle MUCH faster as soon as the sound of the other's voice is out of reach. I think it's sad that we have to do it sometimes... but they stay far more worked up if they can hear each other and not see.
    InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by TrotTrotPumpkin
      Option two, bring her to her new home, which would also accomplish the weaning?

      By far the simplest. She will be so enamored by the new place and new animals, she'll VERY quickly forget the foal.

      When was the foal born?


      Edited to add:

      Here are the best days to wean in August:


      August:

      8th & 9th
      Randee Beckman ~Otteridge Farm, LLC (http://on.fb.me/1iJEqvR)~ Marketing Manager - The Clothes Horse & Jennifer Oliver Equine Insurance Specialist

      Comment


      • #4
        And to add to Randee's reply, it would really be good if you moved her when she was in heat. I find my mares are much more preoccupied with their physical condition then where their foal is. Just my experience. Also, yes, do what Randee said on the time to wean. I never have problems, and I do it all at once.
        Sandy
        www.sugarbrook.com
        hunter/jumper ponies

        Comment


        • #5
          I vote to move and wean at the same time. It is so much easier for them when they are out of earshot. I have done this on the foal end, and the foals are always so much more settled with the mare out of the picture. The mares have always been happy to go. The mare will have lots to occupy her mind at the new place. if she seems upset, give her a little cocktail for the trailer ride.

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            Ok, to answer some of the questions:

            I don't know the mare that well, actually. I've only been around her about 5 times! I saw her, found out her breeding, threw her into the arena to see her move and bought her, I moved barns, visited the day after her foal was born and have seen her at the clinic the three times she was there to be bred this summer. She didn't seem to care when the farrier put the baby into a stall so he could do her feet (even though she was in a new place). He couldn't believe she was a maiden, but she is a very attentive mom in general.

            Baby was born shorty before Easter. I have no control over the timing of the weaning--it was up to the gal I bought her from who has custody of the mare and the foal she keeps. She said August 1 is when she is going to wean (then I take over all cost/care/boarding if she remains at that property). Term of the sale. I'm not sure mare will be sick of her son at that point...

            Will she come into heat if she is in foal--I was thinking not??

            Dare I give a coctail to a mare who is in her first two months of pregnancy?

            Logistically loading her on the trailer she will have already realized she's going alone. The mare and baby pasture is past the riding mare's pasture (you have to go through it--means moving horses around). I can see loading being interesting...but I'm going to borrow a stock trailer just to make it easier.
            DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/

            Comment


            • #7
              Oh, gosh, I did not read properly. I did not realize she is in foal. Of course she won't be in heat. DUH>>>>>> I should read more carefully.

              But it seems the foal will be four months. Thats ok if you need to wean on Aug 1. The foal will be fine. Sometimes I think I worry more than the moms or the babies do!!
              Sandy
              www.sugarbrook.com
              hunter/jumper ponies

              Comment


              • #8
                While I respect Sandy tremendously, four months is too young to wean unless completely necessary. If there is any way to wait a month or two more, I would. Just check the thread at the top of this forum for the best days to wean.
                Randee Beckman ~Otteridge Farm, LLC (http://on.fb.me/1iJEqvR)~ Marketing Manager - The Clothes Horse & Jennifer Oliver Equine Insurance Specialist

                Comment


                • #9
                  VB: From the original post I assumed that Aug 1 was the date it HAD to be done.
                  Mine are weaned at 5 or 6 months unless there is something going on with the mare and we have to wean earlier.
                  Sandy
                  www.sugarbrook.com
                  hunter/jumper ponies

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I have weaned at 4 months, with no problem. Very much depends on the foal, and I am always influenced by availability of weaning companions. Last year I weaned 3 -- ages 4+ to 5 1/2 months - together,-- the togetherness helps. This year I'll be weaning 2 together at 4 1/2 and 6 1/2 months; and the last one 2 months later, alone sadly, at 5 months or so.
                    Unfortunately the "ideal time" is not always coincidental for mare / foal / owner - so just do your best.
                    Wish you much happiness with your mare! (Is she the one on Wine rations?)
                    Sunny Days Hanoverians
                    http://www.sunnydayshanoverians.com

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Sugarbrook
                      VB: From the original post I assumed that Aug 1 was the date it HAD to be done.
                      Mine are weaned at 5 or 6 months unless there is something going on with the mare and we have to wean earlier.

                      That's what I had remembered you did!
                      Randee Beckman ~Otteridge Farm, LLC (http://on.fb.me/1iJEqvR)~ Marketing Manager - The Clothes Horse & Jennifer Oliver Equine Insurance Specialist

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Originally posted by Sunnydays View Post
                        I have weaned at 4 months, with no problem. Very much depends on the foal, and I am always influenced by availability of weaning companions. Last year I weaned 3 -- ages 4+ to 5 1/2 months - together,-- the togetherness helps. This year I'll be weaning 2 together at 4 1/2 and 6 1/2 months; and the last one 2 months later, alone sadly, at 5 months or so.
                        Unfortunately the "ideal time" is not always coincidental for mare / foal / owner - so just do your best.
                        Wish you much happiness with your mare! (Is she the one on Wine rations?)
                        She is! She started out a white wine drinker, but has really been moving into reds lately with the occasional champagne. It's fun watching her develop her palate (what if someone thought I was serious?).

                        The weaning time is up to the foal owner. That was the deal. I really have no control over it. She's been breeding for decades, so I'm not going to tell her what to do (I just wanted to buy the mare from her and was happy to follow her rules).
                        DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          My colt was weaned at 4 months and I took the colt to another place to be turned out with other mares.

                          My mare was very attached to the foal and would freak if she couldn't see him. When he left she really didn't have too many problems. When he was in ear shot she whinnied and then she calmed right down and didn't have an issue.

                          As soon as the colt was with other mares, he totally forgot about mom!

                          When they reunited 3 months later at the inspections, the mother didn't even look twice at him.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Do you have the chance between now and then to go see the mare, pull her out (or ask to have her pulled out) of the pasture and out of view of the pasture, etc. Maybe even loaded in a trailer, though if she is not technically yours yet, that might not be feasible. Is she?

                            I ask because it SOOOO depends on the mare. My friend's mare worked herself into a dither yesterday when her colt was being worked with DIRECTLY OUTSIDE the paddock she was in. This colt is 3 months old. My own mare could be taken away from her filly much earlier (for short periods of course) without batting an eyelash. Both are maidens.

                            I would in general say that complete separation out of hearing and sight range is the way to go, but I'm a bit worried about the trailering. A mare goofing it up in a safe pasture or stall is a bit different from one who is losing it while on the road.
                            Shall I tell you what I find beautiful about you? You are at your very best when things are worst.
                            Starman

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Originally posted by JoZ View Post
                              Do you have the chance between now and then to go see the mare, pull her out (or ask to have her pulled out) of the pasture and out of view of the pasture, etc. Maybe even loaded in a trailer, though if she is not technically yours yet, that might not be feasible. Is she?

                              I ask because it SOOOO depends on the mare. My friend's mare worked herself into a dither yesterday when her colt was being worked with DIRECTLY OUTSIDE the paddock she was in. This colt is 3 months old. My own mare could be taken away from her filly much earlier (for short periods of course) without batting an eyelash. Both are maidens.

                              I would in general say that complete separation out of hearing and sight range is the way to go, but I'm a bit worried about the trailering. A mare goofing it up in a safe pasture or stall is a bit different from one who is losing it while on the road.
                              That's a really good idea. Or it could be plan B (discussed before hand) if she does have a meltdown when I go to move her. I half think if she gets a little grain as a reward for getting on the trailer and if there is hay in front of her she might be just fine (she REALLY likes her food). Luckily it is not a huge ride, about 25 minutes.

                              Her ground manners need a bit of work (she's pushy) so that's one of the things I'm really looking forward to--actually having a chance to handle her regularly.

                              My next concern will be introducing her to her new pasture mate.
                              DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I would suggest some tranquilizer and then in the trailer. Foal too. But definitely go by the signs and not the 1st of August. Wait until the 8th.
                                Randee Beckman ~Otteridge Farm, LLC (http://on.fb.me/1iJEqvR)~ Marketing Manager - The Clothes Horse & Jennifer Oliver Equine Insurance Specialist

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