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sandra dittus

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I am weaning 2 babies togather both are 41/2 months old. I have always done it gradually, by separating them during the day and putting togather at night for 3 to 4 days, then separate completely with 5 min feeding morning and evening 3 to 4 days, finely 5 min. once a day for 2 to 3 days. This time I I skipped the first step and it is working O.K. for the colt but the filly has just nibbled at her feed for the last 2 days, the first day was fine but now she is on strike. Her weight is great right now but I know how fast they can go down. I hate to put them back togather and start over, does anyone have any suggestions???

I feed Purina Jr. They have their first shots and were wormed.
 

disneyhorse

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I am weaning 2 babies togather both are 41/2 months old. I have always done it gradually, by separating them during the day and putting togather at night for 3 to 4 days, then separate completely with 5 min feeding morning and evening 3 to 4 days, finely 5 min. once a day for 2 to 3 days. This time I I skipped the first step and it is working O.K. for the colt but the filly has just nibbled at her feed for the last 2 days, the first day was fine but now she is on strike. Her weight is great right now but I know how fast they can go down. I hate to put them back togather and start over, does anyone have any suggestions???
I feed Purina Jr. They have their first shots and were wormed.
Hmmmm sounds like you have a little diva on your hands
I have had a couple horses that go on eating strikes if there is something they are unhappy about (one refused to eat Purina Strategy, they only wanted Triple Crown... the other refused to eat a smaller sized hay pellet?)

I would give her a little more time, perhaps give them some hay free choice they can pick at. Eventually she will eat when she's hungry enough! If you give in you will only reinforce the behavior.

I have a 3 1/2 month old filly that I have weaned for a week now and she is refusing to eat regular hay. She will eat the hay pellets, but geez. These little guys are brats


Andrea
 

Anne ABC

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Sandra, I am just a mean ol' Mama.

When we pull our foals they never go back to Mama and they do great. We have found the slow wean, for us, is really more stressful on our babies it just makes them not eat to hold out to get back to the mare.

Our babies are accustom to feed because they start eating with their Mom's when they are 2 to 10 days old (some get the idea quicker than others). So when we pull them, I am sure they miss the Mother, but when they get hungery they go to the feed and eat.

I really think yours will, he is just holding out for the milk bar.
 

Reignmaker Miniatures

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I agree with Anne ABC, your baby will start to eat and do so more quickly if it can't access mom for even a short feed. Just leave her a selection of food and plenty of clean water (I'm assuming that at 4.5months they are both eating and drinking well while with their dams) and don't allow them nursing time at all. I always wean mine completely but I do just seperate them by a fence (they can not reach thro to nurse) and I find that at first they hang out with each other at the fence but soon boredom and hunger lead them to wander away. Ina short time they are over the worst of it.
 

stormy

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One thing to consider is the possibility of ulcers making your baby not want to eat grain. I think most people don't realize ulcers can form very quickly when an animal is stressed or the diet changed. An anti acid, plain yogurt or probiotics may help your babies stomach settle and get her interested in food again.
 

Candice

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Weaning is very stressfull all the way around and I think each foal needs to be evaluated as an individual. Maybe she isn't ready yet. I pulled one too soon this year. He was fine. Two weeks into weaning, I brought him out of his stall for turnout and literally overnight he looked like death warmed over. He was dull, his coat was dull, his belly was bloated and he was just "wrong". He was with a buddy so I seperated them at feeding time and still no change. He was just picking at his feed. My next thought was parasites though I worm the foals every 30 days and it had only been two weeks. I went ahead and wormed him again. That night he was even more bloated and mildly colicky.

I called the vet and later that week he came out and agreed he was about as poor as poor could be. He evaluated what I was feeding and how much and told me the diet is excellent but to add some red cell and see if he turned around. He thought he looked a little anemic. The next week I took his stool to our local vet and had them run it and it came back clean. They didn't even find any sand. I called Doc back and he came out and ran bloodwork which came back showing a very healthy horse on paper other than being mildly anemic. The only change I made in his diet was I switched him from T&A to straight alfalfa. He is now back to 100%. He looks awesome now. He came back as quickly as he went poor. It was really something to see. He really gave me a scare though and the only thing we can conclude is that I pulled him too soon. He needed more time with Mom. I learned a lot from this and will not make that mistake again.

Good luck with your little girl and I hope she starts eating better soon.
 

ThreeCFarm

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Some take to weaning better than others, but I would highly suggest you try some ulcer meds. If your baby starts eating, you know that is what the problem is.
 

Windhaven

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I hope your foal starts eating. I also agree with some post above. When I wean, that is it. They never go back in with the mare and it seems to be less stressful.

Now before I wean I make sure each foal is eating the same amount of feed that they will get when weaned. My babies are started with their own bucket of feed at about two months of age. I tie the mare up during feeding (grain only) and hang a bucket separate for the foal. I slowly up the amount until they are eating what they need to at weaning time. They are all started with what my mares get to. Oats, beet pulp, alfalfa pellets and vitamins. When they are weaned I do add a 14% feed to their mix also. I also watch to make sure they drink a lot of water before weaning.

Also some ulcer med could help in case she does have an ulcer do to the stress.

Good luck.
 

Bess Kelly

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Ever notice that 95% of the time the colts are far more independent that the fillies, who tend to hang by mom? Yeah, sometimes they just "miss their mom!" I agree with a little ulcer med, in case. And, alfalfa has been shown in tests to help reduct stomach acides, helping with prevention or existing ulcer situations. Plus, alfalfa tastes soooo good to them, might entice her to eat.
 

bingo

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Frankly I do not think it is a matter of her throwing a tantrum or trying to get what she wants.

Simply put she just might not be ready to be weaned yet. At 4 1/2 months old she is a bay many large horse people do not wean until 6 -7 months. They get more then just the nutrition from mom.

Here as a standard I do not even think about weaning until the foal is 5 or 6 months old unless there is an issue with the dam I would not even consider it.

Just like human babies not every baby is ready for solid food at the same time, nor walks or potty trains at the same time. Everyone horse and human alike has different emotional needs and there is no one time table that is standard.

I think you did the right thing by putting her back on mom and just wait a couple weeks or more and try the process again. Weaning slowly is just as acceptable as cold turkey and both are successful methods again al ot depends on the indvidual baby and mom.
 
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sandra dittus

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Thanks to all for the input. Oreo is eating better tonight. My scientific method was to feed her with the colt side by side, also laced their feed with a vanilla wafer. I will check with my Vet about ulcer prevenatives.

Sandy
 

Stephanie

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It's true every horse is different. I have a filly I'm just waiting for her to 3 months to wean her. Her dam chases her at feeding time so I end up tying up the mare until the filly can finish her feed. They even have separate feeders. The mare doesn't let her nurse very often either. I have another filly that is 3.5 mo old and I'll wean the two fillies together. I would have weaned the other filly early too because she is really pulling her mother down, but I figured it would be best if she had a buddy to be with.

I've never had a problem with the babies not eating if they've had a separate feeder when in with their dam.
 

barnbum

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Frankly I do not think it is a matter of her throwing a tantrum or trying to get what she wants.
I agree.

I've never had a problem with the babies not eating if they've had a separate feeder when in with their dam.
I've only weaned four fillies so far, but it's worked very well to start feeding the foals separately from dams from about 3-4 weeks. It's a part of their routine: when they all get breakfast and come in for dinner, the foals stay right outside the stalls while the mares are in. The foals are offered Strategy until their dams are finished eating--then they go back together. The time out starts at 3 min and gradually increases to an hour until weaning time. It's still a gradual process all the way around--and results in very little stress.

I started this because one mare is so mean about her filly eating her feed. Since they don't get much-Gro N Win--and because I don't want the foals eating that anyway until they are 6 months--it works great. It sure gets the foals eating too.
 

Cathy_H

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I'm weaning one right now. She doesn't eat that much during the day but I leave grain in her feeder at night & all or most of it is gone by morning. Put her weaning buddy in a stall or somewhere next to her where she can be comforted but he can't eat her grain. If you are adding additives such as probios, Equi Tum etc, you will need to syringe these as now is not the time to introduce strange tastes in their feed. I cut off the end of a syringe & mix any additives with molasses.
 

lilnickers

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Good to hear Oreo is coming around for you. Yes, all foals are different. I only have a few babies a year, and I wean them at 5-6 months. Only one did I wean at 4 months, beacause it was late in the Fall and she had a long trip to her new home. She had a little harder time than the others adjusting. Two weeks prior to the permanent separation, I separate mare and foal at night, turn out together during the day. From a young age the foal eats his grain outside the stall, so mom can't steal it! I put hay in 2 mangers , so the baby gets used to both feeders. (My foaling stalls are actually 2 stalls opened up into one. The last 2 weeks I close the divder and they still are next to one anotherand still in familiar surroundings.) There seems to be little or no stress to mom or baby. It has worked for me
 

Michelle@wescofarms

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I've never had a foal refuse food, but they always are in a buddy system and are good eaters prior to weaning. I'm also a cold turkey weaner, but do not beginning weaning until our youngest foal is well past 4 months - so we can have foals six-seven months old being weaned at the same time. I find the stress is there regardless, but lets not prolong it. It also takes longer to dry up a mare if she keeps producing milk.

Some of the babies/mares are determined though - had one mare standing with a leg hiked up in the air so her foal could nurse though the fence! I have one mare this year I know is going to be a headache - she lost her first foal and this one she wants in eye sight at all times!

This year we have the older retired mares in with the foals/babies. They get to be the babysitter, lesson-givers when we wean next month.
 

wildoak

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I'd strongly agree with the possibility of ulcers - babies are so prone to them. Also, just fyi....the latest thing I've read on weaning now says that studies are proving that cold turkey weaning is more stressful on the foals. I generally do the gradual thing - separate 1/2 days for a couple of days, then one last drink before moms go back out to pasture, but it just worked out this year for several reasons that we ended up doing cold turkey on the 3 we have weaned so far. I have one filly who is fine (nothing ever bothers her anyway), one colt who is still mopey and a filly just weaned whose mom is still hollering. I will ease the other 3 babies into it when their time comes.

Jan
 

sandra dittus

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Oreo is just fine today, running and playing with her two friends. I have been weaning this way for the last 5 years and found it easier than doing it abruptly, this is the first time that one went off feed. Oreo has been eating feed since she was 6 weeks so it wasn't a sudden change, she is a little chunk so I don't think a 1 1/2 days hurt her. We also have them in a nice pasture. They are in with my "Boss Mare" and her baby so they are not too lonely, April looks after them all. I guess when you think you got it all figured out they throw you a curve kinda lik the human kids.

Sandy
 

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