Weaning

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Dee

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When do you usually start to wean your foals?

Our filly just turned 4 months old. Her mom is doing just fine and her filly is not bring her down what so ever (momma is a full figured girl)
.

With her last foal we waited until 5 months to wean him.

Why do some people do 4 months when others do 5 if both foal and mare are doing fine?

Dee
 

rabbitsfizz

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Dee, you will get so many answers your head will spin!!!
There is no hard and fast rule to this, none whatsoever- you go with what makes you happy. I start weaning at two weeks old- the foals come off for five minutes at that time and are just on the other side of a gate. This progresses until they are off for four or five hours by the time they are four months and then one day when the sun is shining and they are happy and I am happy and their Mamas are happy I do not put them back!! This year I did all eight withing two weeks and the youngest was only 3 1/2 months but they were all eating well and I tend to wean late foals earlier- nothing in the grass= nothing in the milk, so I took a chance and took them away. They are both fine. I left the Mamas on the other side of the hurdle, where they always stand, milked off a bit the next day, and the day after that, then just every three days. After five days I put the Mamas next the stallion to see if they were going to return, and Yes, they did cry a little, but the foals never even answered. This way works for me, I hate taking them away " cold turkey" but, as I said, it is whatever works for you.
 

ChrystalPaths

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Once a foal reaches 4 mos I watch very closely. Is she eating her feed well? Maybe it's time she had her "meal" am & pm in her own space to be sure she gets what she needs? How is mama with the nursing? Is she still that Madonna like patient soul or is she getting impatient to be free of this appendage? All these thing tell me alot.

My Missy is Miss Independent. All yes answers to these questions. I only have the one here to wean so I will do it very slowly. My colt on the other hand left for Va with his mom. His mom had already begun nipping him and moving away. She was done in her mind so Ginny weaned him, found him an incredible home and he was done at 4 mos, quick. I let the foal and mom tell me. JMHO
 
K

kaykay

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this is another area rabbit and i dont agree on LOL. nursing is much more then a nutritional thing. Its not just about the milk! its about a mare teaching her foal to behave like a horse. If you wean too early they dont learn all these important things. I have also found in my own experience (and there are many articles written on it) that horses weaned before 4 months have a much higher incidence of ulcers. I am never in a hurry to wean and i go by each indivual mare and foal. Our first one i never really weaned. I just let her dam do it. Her dam wasnt bred back and i wasnt selling her so whats the big deal?? I got teased about it for sure but she came out of her first winter looking like this with no sweating, conditioning etc. This was her very first show as a yearling

 

Miniv

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Dimimore said:
Once a foal reaches 4 mos I watch very closely.  Is she eating her feed well?  Maybe it's time she had her "meal" am & pm in her own space to be sure she gets what she needs?  How is mama with the nursing?  Is she still that Madonna like patient soul or is she getting impatient to be free of this appendage?  All these thing tell me alot. 
  I let the foal and mom tell me.  JMHO

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I agree...... People tend to use 4 months as a gauge. Sometimes, though, the mom and foal need extra time and 5 months, occasionally even 6 months is better. By then, it really isn't a nutritional thing but an emotional one for them.

MA
 

Dee

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Thanks guys for your help.

Our mare has not started nipping at our filly yet, but she doesn't always stand for her anymore.

I know that with her 2003 colt at about 5 months she started to really nip at him and really wouldn't let him nurse anymore. That is when we would put him in a pen next to her with a babysitter for a little while everyday until we got to one whole day and then they would spend night together. Eventually until they were always apart. They spend the whole winter in pens next to each other.

It worked out very good. There was no stress and only the odd calling for mommy from our colt.

I am hoping that it will go tha well this time around. This filly is much more independent from her mom then her brother was.

Dee
 

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