How to get newborn colt to duck their head to nurse?

Miniature Horse Talk Forums

Help Support Miniature Horse Talk Forums:

backwoodsnanny

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 17, 2003
Messages
2,372
Reaction score
0
Mom is willing even though shes a maiden, baby has good suck reflex but just doesnt get it and it frustrates mama to no end. We tried to milk some milk off the mom but only got a bit enough to put milk on her bag he is all over the bag but wont latch, what now. We are coming up on 3 hours. I called vet new flunky on and regular vet wont be there until 8. This vet said well you have up to 12 hours so call at 8.I get the feeling he just didnt want to come out. He wont have a job long I dont think. This is our first maiden and we have now left them alone for the moment to try to figure this out but I am nervous as so far hes very stong but I know he needs the collostrum. Any ideas? Hes not a dummy hes only looking under mom for the milk bar and he was on his feet in 10 minutes. He isnt cold at least hes not shivering but mom doesnt want his blanket on was pulling him around by it. Any suggestions welcomed. Oh and its a colt. Pictures will follow when Im sure hes going to be OK.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Irish Hills Farm

Irish Hills Farm
Joined
Dec 1, 2002
Messages
4,937
Reaction score
0
Location
Baxter, TN
Just an idea.......

Have someone go out there with you and lift the mares leg up as comfortably as you can for her. Guide the little on to the bar and let him get a good drink. When he is done, put moms leg down. When he is ready again lift up her leg again and this time as he is drinking, slowly lower her leg. He'll have to realize that if he wants to stay at the bar, he'll have to lower/turn his head as mom's leg is being lowered.

Make sense?
 
Last edited by a moderator:

backwoodsnanny

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 17, 2003
Messages
2,372
Reaction score
0
Yes that does make sense but I will have to get others out there to help as now new mom is becoming protective of him.
 

RobinRTrueJoy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 30, 2002
Messages
2,441
Reaction score
1
One time I was able to get the foal to standwith his side pressed to mare's side, head of course facing the milk bar. He had an easier time tuckinmghis head under the side of her belly rather than going staright in. Has he had an small enema yet? If he is cleaned out, he may get hungrier and try a bit harder to nurse.

Good luck and congratulations,

Robin
 

Suzie

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 3, 2005
Messages
930
Reaction score
9
Location
NC
I have watched moms teach foals to nurse for a while now. I note they push the foal in the right direction and then nip at the back legs to get the foal to tuck under. We have spent a ton of time pushing/pulling trying to get the foal to do what mom gets accomplished in 2 minutes.

Maybe it will help you to put him in position and then pinch at his back legs to encourage him to bend down. Good luck...this can be so frustrating!!!
 

kaykay

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2008
Messages
4,390
Reaction score
4
Location
ohio
These dang colts!! There is nothing more frustrating then trying to help a foal nurse. I find also the longer legged ones seem to have more trouble. Im glad though he has a good sucking reflex as mine didnt for those first hours. Did you try giving him an enema? Sometimes that helps clear them out so they concentrate on nursing. I would syringe some colostrum into him if hes still not getting it. Sending good thoughts! Having just gone thru this I know how you feel!
 

Becky

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 30, 2002
Messages
5,652
Reaction score
31
Location
Oklahoma City, OK
I find colts are usually slower than fillies to find the milk bar and the taller ones have the most difficulty figuring out that they have to duck their head to nurse. I just went through this a week ago myself. Did you try to milk the mare with an inverted, cut off syringe? That works so well in most cases. Get some colostrum in him to give him the energy and desire to keep looking.

I usually just back off if everybody is getting frustrated. I go back in the house and watch from in there on cam. I figure I've got at least 8 hours for that foal to find the faucets and here at least, with a strong foal with a good suck reflex, they always have. Good luck!
 

Charlotte

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 30, 2002
Messages
3,224
Reaction score
28
Location
Oklahoma City, OK
Just one more suggestion to add to others.........You say he's sucking on the bag? this is when it takes 2 people....one to steady the foal if he needs it and one on the other side to push the nipple into his mouth from the side opposite where baby is. If this is done a few times they usully get the idea and get stronger and are pretty soon on their own.

And I'd tie the mare if she's moving around too much.

Good luck with this boy! I bet he's on soon!

Charlotte
 

wildoak

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 30, 2002
Messages
4,563
Reaction score
23
Location
Texas
Most frustrating thing in the world I think. All suggestions above are good - sometimes the harder you try the more aggravated they get. I usually take the inverted syringe, pull some colostrum from the mare if possible and feed baby, give enema and back off a bit. At least you have sustained his energy that way to keep trying. If they don't get something in their tummies they seem to wear out pretty quickly and quit trying so hard after awhile. If you can't express anything and he begins to wear down, you can give him a little Karo for an energy boost, or one of the foal booster products. Good luck.

Jan
 

backwoodsnanny

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 17, 2003
Messages
2,372
Reaction score
0
First of all thank you all for the suggestions. We were approaching the 4 hour mark when Jodi decided to call our vet at home on the off chance she could catch him BEFORE he went to work. He was out doing his own chores when she called. He decided he would come here on his way to work and tube the little guy to be sure there was enough collostrum so he did and yes though the meconium passed I will be doing an enema but want to give him a break for right now. Vet thinks given time where he is so close that he will figure it out but we will watch from afar for a bit hopefully he will figure it out. It is cold here only in the 30's so he is well blanketed and has a light in one corner for warmth but he isnt shivering so vet said one blanket is enough and he really thinks this will all work out it will just take time. He will check in with us again this afternoon and we will go from there. Thanks again. Jodi did a great job getting him here he was VERY tight with his head tipped up so would have ripped the little mare without Jodi's help she did great particularly since she has had this mare since she was weaned. She was afraid at first that his head was back as he presented with just the two feet but instead it was tipped up and way behind the feet. Once head made it through the rest followed with no problem. He has a somewhat overshot jaw at the moment but vet thinks it will clear up as he thinks it was the pressure from being in such an awkward position. Thanks for the help. I will post pics when I am sure hes going to nurse on his own and make it.

Nita
 

Becky

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 30, 2002
Messages
5,652
Reaction score
31
Location
Oklahoma City, OK
Good! Glad the vet came and tubed him. That will help a lot! One more thing, if she hasn't had it, give the mare some Banamine. It will help relieve her pain and help her to let down her milk. Good luck with the little guy!
 

backwoodsnanny

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 17, 2003
Messages
2,372
Reaction score
0
Mare had bannamine after she passed the placenta one question though How long before she can have another dose? I didnt think to ask the vet when he was here.
 

HGFarm

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2003
Messages
8,248
Reaction score
203
Location
AZ
I have never known a mare to need another dose of banamine after foaling. Hope your little guy has figured out where the faucet is now?? Sometimes it takes a while. I do not interfere unless it is getting to be an obvious problem and too much time is going by. They figure it out..... It's frustrating for you, but they will get it and it is not unusual that some just take longer than others to get there..... LOL
 

backwoodsnanny

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 17, 2003
Messages
2,372
Reaction score
0
He still has not figured it out. Vet is coming back this afternoon to tube him yet again if he hasnt nursed on hiis own by 12 hours. He has a somewhat overshot top jaw does anyone think this might be why he isnt latching? The only foal we have ever had that had this trouble was a dwarf and this guy isnt a dwarf. The thing that is so frustrating is that he doesnt suck the wall or whatever he is within a 1/2 inch of the nipple but just will not latch on. He laps the milk off her bag as she squirts him.
 

wildoak

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 30, 2002
Messages
4,563
Reaction score
23
Location
Texas
Glad he has the vets attention and is doing well in spite of everything.
Hate to say, the only one we had a problem with I ended up expressing the mare (who milked like a Jersey cow) and bottle or syringe feeding the colt for almost a week. He finally, and thankfully, just took hold one day and nursed like it was going out of style. But up to then it was a major struggle with him, and a long sleepless week.

Jan
 

Becky

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 30, 2002
Messages
5,652
Reaction score
31
Location
Oklahoma City, OK
I have never known a mare to need another dose of banamine after foaling.
Here it's been case by case. Usually they don't; sometimes they do. I had a mare foal last week who continued to have 'issues' after foaling. She had Banamine for 4 days. I normally only give it once a day, but you might ask your vet if you can give it more often if conditions warrant.
 

WLS

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 5, 2008
Messages
166
Reaction score
0
Location
Southern Ontario, CANADA
[

I usually just back off if everybody is getting frustrated. I go back in the house and watch from in there on cam. I figure I've got at least 8 hours for that foal to find the faucets and here at least, with a strong foal with a good suck reflex, they always have. Good luck!

I remember years ago we had a really stupid black colt with long legs who refused to put his head down. After messing with him, I got so frustrated, I just went to the house, and when I came back, he had figured it out!!. I know it is hard to do.......but sometimes I wonder if we humans are as frustrating to them, as they are to us.

Good Luck and careful not to hurt YOUR back. Wendy
 

yankee_minis

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 10, 2004
Messages
1,536
Reaction score
13
Location
Maine
I know you guys are doing everything you can. You let them alone and you help them... I think you're doing it just right.

Was it Jeff who came out? He's GREAT! Good for Jodi to call him at home!

What *&%$(# loser vet told you that you had 12 hours? I want a name so I can be forewarned!!!
 

backwoodsnanny

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 17, 2003
Messages
2,372
Reaction score
0
Yes it was Jeff and I agree as you know.He is great and very straight shooter.He thinks that this guy may have been oxygen deprived since placenta came right after baby and his problems latching on are related to that as well as some other small signs he sees . Please say prayers for this little guy. he has some obstacles to overcome in the next few hours. Thank you.
 

Scoopiedoo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 18, 2003
Messages
1,242
Reaction score
0
Hey Everyone.

First I'd like to thank you ALL for responding in our hour of need. This has been a very difficult, emotionally draining day. As Mum said, I've had this girl since she was a weaner, and she is trying SO HARD to be a great Momma. Thank you for thinking of us, and if you have an extra prayer, and you could send one up for my baby boy, I would be ever grateful.

Jodi
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Latest posts

Top