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Putting weaned foals together with broodmares...

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JMS Miniatures

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Do you put in weanlings with broodmares with unweaned foals together? I will be getting a unweaned filly thats probably just weaned a little over a week soon, and I really don't have anyone to put her with except with the other unweaned foals. I'm afraid she will get so lonley. However since she would be weaned for a short time could she possibly try to nurse from another mare if they let her?
 

Farmhand

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We just put two colts we are weaning with a Mare and baby. They are doing fine together. She is starting to let the baby play with the weanling a little.





 
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rabbitsfizz

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Recipe for disaster- don't do it!! My weaned foals go out with the unweaned and their Mamas and I take away a mare every so often- that's how I wean my foals. They are on 7 acres and everyone knows everyone else and the foals all club together and play and drive the mares mad. If a foal approaches a mare to nurse the mare KNOWS the foal, she knows the smell and she is closely related to the foals Mama so she just says "shove off" if it were a strange foal the other foals would not play with it, the mares would drive it away- a week is not long enough for it to be weaned and moved IME and IMO anyway- of course that does depend on the foal and how it has been weaned, but I have two foals that have been weaned over the last month and are now completely off Mama- they have been separate for three days and there is NO way I would let them go in four days time, so , the short answer is don't do it, the foal is going to need specialist feeding anyway and the mares will hurt it. Do you have a foal near to weaning?? You could bring Mama and baby up into the next stall and then put the two babies in together and wean that way- then they would make friends and everything would be fine.
 

Little Wee Horse Farm

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We had two weanlings who were off their moms about a month. Then weaned another the other day. Put them all together. Then have a mare who just foaled the next day. When the new baby was 2 days old, we let them all together in an area about 100x100. Everyone did fine.

The weaners were curious as to the mare. When they approached, she fake-kicked and moved her babe away. That was it for altercations. They've all been together since. The weaners learned right off "Hey, this ain't my mom!!" They got the message. They stay in their own group, but I think the presence of a mature mare (even a new mom) comforts them somewhat.

But, it depends on the temperment of the mares involved. I'd say, the possibility of a mare accepting someone else's foal is very remote. That's why someone who has lost a mare at foaling is VERY lucky to find a nurse mare for the surviving foal.

As for putting the new one with other weanlings, I don't see a problem. Yeah, there would be the standard carrying on, but they're all babies & their bark is way worse than their bite.

Since the new one is such a recent weanling, I'd at first feed them together, but separate feeders, to make sure the new baby has the idea of what's to be eaten. Once he/she starts eating in earnest, I'd feed them all separately to make sure everyone gets what they should be getting.

Anyway, this is JMHO.
 
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GREENWOODMINIS

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We just had the same situation of getting a weanling filly and, trying to fit her in here.

This is what we did and it worked GREAT.


We stalled her next to a mare and her baby so, they could become friends over the wall first.
for safety.

Then we turned her out right next to the mare bands field. The other babies and mares were very interested in her so, they all hung out at the fence line with her.

We did this for a good two weeks for safety.


Then, I turned her out with her with just the mare and baby she was stalled next too...it went GREAT. Then, I gradually added mares and babies...and, now they all do GREAT...and, its funny because she is so not at the bottom of the pecking order...she blended in wonderfully. Not one mare was aggressive with her...infact by the time she went in with the herd...they were grooming her like an old friend!

I would just go slowly, and keep a close eye on the situation...but, it can be done safely for sure.

Our mare band goes out in the morning after breakfast and, comes in at dinner...so, no feeding issues either.

Good luck,

Lis
 

Barbie

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I only have Dawn to wean and have not done it yet due to her health issues. However, Kristy at Paradise Ranch has probably a total of 12 babies. She has all moms and babies running together and when ready to wean a baby she takes the mom away (usually does 2 at a time). The babies are used to running with the moms and babies so don't stress very much.

Barbie
 

JMS Miniatures

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I defintelly plan to at first put her in a pen where she can see everyone at first. I defintelly don't want her sucking again. I don't want her to have to go thru weaning again especially since I have one of the mommas going to Nationals and that one will take any baby. She will get the same food as the others unless she needs more so thats why I was kind of hoping to put her together and for her to have some friends. The closest one that I have is going to wean in October!

I guess I will see how they react to the newcomer across the fence. Thanks for the suggestions!
 

sfmini

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I would do what Lisa suggested, it does depend on the personalities of your group. I would be careful about feeding them in a herd as the babies are sometimes slow eaters, and might not get all the food they need and you can get into huge trouble with hyperlipemia, or ulcers from stress.
 

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