This mare has been through a lot. Myself, I'd have taken the foal into the hospital with her, but what's done is done. Were they milking her off regularly in the hospital?? If not then her milk is drying up and you have to get it started again. Even if she will not let the foal nurse you have to get under there and milk her OUT, empty, every quarter to half hour, and keep doing it until the bag fills up properly. Believe it or not, what actually stimulates the mare to let the foal nurse has nothing to do with "Mother love" it is the full bag that does it. If you can get a full to bursting bag on her she is going to be much more amenable to letting baby clear it for her, then her instincts will kick back in. If you had just weaned this foal, at four months, you would be commending the mare for her sensible behaviour- he was taken away, she went through he// and her milk started going away- that's a pretty good description of weaning form a mare's point of view!! Put the foal in a pen in the corner of her stall so she does not forget who he is, be really understanding, but firm, about the nursing/milking- this is no time to be sorry for her- and get the bag up to speed ASAP. Good Luck!!
4 am update. still have to hold her to let him nurse but at least he's nursing.
we didnt take the faol to the hospital with her because the last foal we took died due to their neglect. After insisting they take the foal off shavings, they refused, they wouldnt let us stay to watch him because of insurance purposes. we were paying 100 dollars a day for a supposed "foal sitter" that come to find out didnt do any foal sitting at all. that faol was an orphan an fought hard for life and almost won had it not been for auburns neglect. he was one day from coming home when we got the call he was going down hill fast.......to make a long story short, the nepcropsy revealed he had eaten shaving cutting his esaphgus , filling the bag around his heart and his little lungs with blood. We had requested several times they bottle feed him and they told us they were just to busy and pan feeding was best...they werent to busy to watch the horse race the day I called instead of watch that foal like they were being paid to do. They would take a pie pan on milk and lay it ON TOP OF THE SHAVINGS. now common sense tells me if the baby spills it he will nibble around on the ground to find it. you do not feed your mini babies off of a shaving covered floor, we were treated as if we were stupid because we did not have a degree in equine medicine..and after all accourding to them a mini was just a horse, no different then a big horses!!! even after a court battle over this they still will not remove the shaving for us if we need to bring a foal, welll I could go on and on about this but I need to go to bed.
You poor thing- you really have been through it haven't you?? My heart goes out to you, especially since you are still at the mercy of these morons!! So- they definitely will not have been milking off the mare, so she is drying up!! Milk her off between nursings and give the milk to the foal in a bowl of a bottle- chances are he will take a bottle with his Mamas milk in it. You need to be quite aggressive about it and take whatever milk is left after nursing right out to the last drop- this is what a new foal would do and it stimulates the milk. If there is really none at all left (and I doubt it, I can always get some out ) then the foal is doing the job for you and that is great. In which case I would take the foal to nurse more often- again you are imitating the actions of a new foal, so you are telling the mares system it needs to create more milk. It is well worth the effort- I know how mentally and physically exhausted you are, believe me, but if you can stick with this for a couple of days I am pretty sure everything will fall into place. Good Luck, we are all rooting for you.
Just a thought, but what if the mare feels there is something wrong with her milk? I also agree about the drying up thought, but after something like "milk fever" are they sure everything is alright with the milk for the foal? Sometimes mares just know things we don't. Just a thought... sorry for everything that's happening...
I just went through something similar to what you are experiencing. Some of you may remeber I posted about a mare rejecting a freshly clipped foal a few weeks back.
Well she acted just as yours ears back mouth open and legs kicking.
I really thought she would harm the foal. To make a very long story short it came down to me having to be VERY firm with her and persistant. First step of getting the foal back with the mom we tied her head short and held her tail for the foal to nurse. If she would kick at the foal I would kick at her(nothing to hard just to tell her it's not exceptable) We left her in stall for 3-4 days and went on like this. I would harshly tell her no when I seen teeth and again kick back if she kicked. Within a few days I could just stand there and yell no loudly and she let the foal nurse.
Second fase I put her out in a round pen where she could not see other horses, just her and baby. Again I would go in every two hours to let baby nurse.He was about 30 days old at the time. I now only had to hold her halter and give a firm no when she'd try to kick.So improvement was well under way.
Third step we let her back with the broodmares on about day 7-8, thought it was a disaster but we went out and held her every couple hours and let him nurse. We always bring them in at night so that made it easier. She was stopping with the kicking by now and was I believe relearning she was supose to care for this baby.
Finanly about day 9 we seen her briefly allow the baby to nurse alone a couple times throughout the day. We still went in and held her just to be sure he was getting enough.
Within 2 weeks everything is back to normal
It was a lot of work and you really needed to use a firm hand on these mares to show you are the boss mare and they are to submit. I'm not saying this will work for all but it did for us and I couldn't be happier
There is nothing more stressful then having this happen so I know what your going through and wish you the best. If you want to PM me about anything I'd be happy to go in more detail. Joyce
Autumn is doing a little better at 10 this morning, I still have to hold her for the baby to nurse, but it does get her attention when i rasie my voice and tell her NO.
I tend to get pretty grumpy when i get really tired and and it really caught her attention when i yelled at her, I'm sure she was thinking "GEESH, dont get underware in a knot" as I have never raised my voice with her before. The baby nursed just a few minutes ago and her bag was full and tight and he emptied it. she will let him stay with her now just not right on her heels like most babies are. I have them out to pasture together and in a couple of hours i will hold her and let him nurse agian, 2 hours seems to work better for her since she is more willing to stand , because she has more milk. Gary called this morning and said he was going to call auburn and get her numbers so if she had a relasp he could treat her for me and I would not have to go back to auburn. he is also checking on a supplement for horses for this problem. Thank you all for your wonderful advice, i will keep you posted.
I'm a bit panicy at the moment, after tyring to get the baby to nurse a half hour ago he didnt seem interested. He would put his head under Autumn but would not take hold of the nipple, he is standing around like he is tired and would like to take a nap. i know he didnt get much rest last night and when I turn them out this morning after him nursing he was running and kicking and playing. Is it possible he might have a belly full and really does want to take a nap. I milked her out when I could not get him to latch on and feed him an ounce from a syringe, he ate it and I also gave him a drop or two of iron horse to give him a boost and stimulate his appetite. Is it possible he has caught up on what he considered to be his missed meals and really is just sleepy will be back out ther in a hour, should he be up and going and ready to eat or just up and going, He is laying down , just standing with his eyes closed.
Went out to hold autumn at 2:30 and baby latched on and ate for 2 or 3 miniutes, she is produceing lots of pretty white milk so i guess he is getting more then sems ina short time. Now he is just standing, twicthing his tail and yawning so i guess he really was sleepy.
You're doing a great job! It's so hard when you have to get up every few hours. I'll bet she'll come around though. Are you giving her any supplements? Maybe if you let her eat some grain while he's nursing(and only give her the goodies during nursing time) she would assoc nursing with the goodies. I had a friend with an orphan foal and that's how she got one of her other mares to allow the filly to nurse. Anyway, just a thought. Looks like she's already leaning towards accepting him again.