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Stallion suckling from mare?

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Kaitlyn Smoot

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Today, I watched our mini stallion suckling from the more timid mare. She allowed it and it continued for some time. Is this normal? I tried googling, but didn’t find anything useful/actually related. He definitely wasn’t just sniffing, you could hear the sucking sounds. Any possible reasons this could be happening? Any chance it may indicate she’s pregnant if she producing milk? She’s big in general width wise since we got her, so I can’t begin to guess whether she’s just a fat mini or potentially pregnant. She’s moody all of the time anyway, so not necessarily any change in her behavior. He’s far from a baby and I’ve never seen this happen with any of our other horses so am quite confused!

Backstory: We recently rescued three minis (one stallion, two mares) who had little to no human interaction prior to coming to us. We were just able to put leads on them and have come farther with one mare than the other two. The vet came out several times to check them out and to schedule castration on the stallion, but they were too wild to be able to do anything (according to her). The farrier was not a hit either. We were not given a history as to the relationship of the three (family, mother, etc) and to our knowledge we can’t be certain if she’s been pregnant on the past. There was some speculation that the mare in question may have been the mother to the other mare, but who knows. We have NEVER seen the stallion make any moves on the girls, so wasn’t overly worried about it as we were trying to bond in these early stages. I did think I saw the stallion getting a little frisky with the other mare (younger one), but nothing too egregious.
 

chandab

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What are the best guess, if you don't know actual, ages for each of them?
How long have you had them?
 

Kaitlyn Smoot

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What are the best guess, if you don't know actual, ages for each of them?
How long have you had them?
The vet estimated 5-6 and 3-4 on the two mares and 2-3 on the stallion when we first got them. The stallion, Max, had almost no length to his front teeth when we got him, so it seems that he must have lost those shortly before, making the age range from the vet seem reasonable. The mare (Jude) he was “drinking” from does have lower tests than any other female I’ve had/seen who hasn’t had a baby/isn’t pregnant. The two of them are more closely bonded than the third, though they get along well with her (buttercup). They came to us early fall.
 

Kaitlyn Smoot

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Is it the older mare the one the stallion is trying to nurse on? If so, perhaps she's his mom.
It is the older mare he did it too. This is the first time we’ve seen it happening. Would a 3 year old still be doing so? Would the mare still be producing milk just from having him in the field with her? She definitely has milk coming out as I checked after seeing it.
 

plaid mare

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If the mare isn't being bothered by the behavior I wouldn't think it a problem. It might be a comfort behavior, because they are rescues. If she were ready to foal it could be an issue, because of the colostrum.I agree, she could be mom.
 

chandab

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The act of nursing can bring milk in.
If he was never weaned, yes he could still be nursing, at least occasionally for comfort.
The stress of moving could bring it on as a means of comfort.
Separate and start the warning process, and get him gelded or you'll have foals on the way, if you don't already.
 

Gayla

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I've seen a 5 yr old who was never weaned, still nursing when 5 yrs old. I'd say that's his mom and probably sister. He needs gelded asap
 

Pitter Patter

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I am just learning about minis, but I think they are mother and son. If they are rescues and wild, they may have had a rough go of it and it's a comfort behavior and/or they are insecure about food. Poor things. i would guess that she will produce milk as long as he nurses. Some humans do even. I had trouble keeping my 3 year old out of my shirt for the longest time! As much as it is a comfort for him, it may also be for her. I'm glad they have you!
 
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