View Full Version : Early Weaning

Kris (Guest)
21-04-03, 05:28 AM
I have a mare and foal and was thinking about weaning the foal at 4 months which would be the middle of Winter. I have had conflicting advice from Vets and Breeders and was wondering if anyone has any knowledge on this subject. The foal is extremely well and strong. The mother is also a Strong mare but it is her first foal.
Thanks in advance.

Jodie (Guest)
22-04-03, 01:18 AM
If the mare is doing well and holding her condition, then I would leave the foal on her. However, if you are in a drought situation it may be better to wean the foal and feed him seperately.
I have one mare whose foals I wean at 4 months she is inclined to put everything into her foal and not leave enough to get herself through winter. This is a pony mare who was always a VERY good doer throughout her riding career. If I don't wean early with this particular mare I get a very fat foal and a mare that needs an alarming amount of feed to maintain. She is the only one I do this with, all others so far have been fine to wean at around 6 months.
Basically, it depends on your mare and your situation.

Kat (Guest)
23-04-03, 06:34 AM
I have just weaned my 4 1/2 mth old foal as we are in drought conditions and mum was giving everything she had to baby. Baby was also an absolute ratbag and needed some handling as she was getting a bit nasty. If your mare is in good condition and not dropping off to much then leave baby on her. In an ideal world mine would have been on 6 - 7 mths but it wasn't to be this year.Good luck.

rwhm1@optusnet.com.au (Guest)
27-04-03, 11:27 AM
if the mare is not loosing condition leave the foal on her as i find the foals are a lot happier and the mare rejects them herself after a while when she thinks its time to leave home i have had many foals and usually by the time thay are six months the mare has had enough anyway.

Kris (Guest)
28-04-03, 08:25 AM
Thanks heaps for your advice. I'll see how the mare goes. The foal is extremely well and the Mare is getting Lighter even though I am pumping the feed into her at a rate of Knots. I'll play it by ear and decide at the 4 month mark.

20-05-03, 09:08 AM
Hi Kris - do you know about starting them on other foods well before weaning (creep feeding, I think people call it)? It helps ease the trauma if they already know and enjoy eating the stuff they can find in a bucket. Most foals will share their mum's meals so do it automatically - if you're feeding the mare something like Breeda, which is a feed for both mare and foal, then it is even easier as there is no need to move the baby from an adult feed to a baby one.

Big studs have creep feeding regimes to ensure foals are used to eating like 'big' horses well before weaning so they don't lose weight and halt their growth for a while - which would be especially problematic in mid-winter I would imagine.

Good luck!


need help
25-05-05, 04:42 PM
I have the opportunity to purchase a vey young Pinto weanling. Though for some reason, the seller wont divulge the whereabouts of what happened with the mother?? To me the baby looked fine. But problenm is, i believe was prob taken from mother or somethin of the likes, is 5mths now but when took, it wouldnt eat so they had to bottle feed by hand, three weeks after it is now eating hay, and a small amount of feed. ( couldnt see whatit was at the time)
Does weaning thisyung have adverse effects on Growth? Health? or psychological behaviour down the track. The baby didnt seem bothered to be toughed and was stables with a halter on.
any suggestions, i really wanted to buy the baby, for my children to grow up with and for myself to handle and break in, as it ages with us.
Any thoughts on the subject?
much appreciated in advance

26-05-05, 12:42 PM
I have 1 foal this year & she was born late jan, I plan to keep her on her mum until 6mths.
Mum is fat as a fool & in foal again...lol
I prefer to leave them on mum as long as possible as long as the mare is coping.. I find it much easier to wean..mum is sick of them & they are ready to get away & explore .
I offer a feed for foals from a few weeks old, I find they want to share off mum & see what she is eating... This mare is a guts & only shares when in a good mood so a small feed bin next to hers with the same feed (of course lots less!)And the foals have a munch .
This years foal has a fettish for hay & will eat more hay than mixed feed.
Foals are weaned as early as 3mths at some studs & they say the foals do fine ....
You just have to watch if you are feeding foals not to overload them in high protien feed.... OCD is a major worry with babies.

07-06-05, 06:56 AM
We weaned our pony foal at 4 months as he was long overdue to be gelded! (He aleady knew what life was about - Already trying to rape his mother and the other broodmare and very very naughty!) He was fine at 4 months, lost a little weight straight after weaning but is now as fat a foal as youve ever seen! He has also decided to quieten down and leads etc like he has been doing it for years!

08-06-05, 01:37 PM
My stallion was purchased and brought home at 9 and half weeks and has never looked back he is now a strapping almost 6 yr old with a daughter of almost 2 yrs of age.

The only thing to worry about is A is the foal eating with mum and B is it drinking water. And at that age they definately are. Other reasons to sometimes pull baby off early is due to mare temrament and condition. Foals as young as 2-3 months can survive very well.

best of luck

"Lessons learned in youth are as if carved in stone, while those learned at maturity fly like leaves in the wind."

09-06-05, 11:44 AM
Wean most of my warmbloods between 4 and 6 months now. The older mares, specially if they are in foal again, can't give the big foals all they need. All the foals are creep fed for since 2 months so are used to hard feed and water.

13-06-05, 04:40 PM
We wean our folas at 100 days as they are shown as weaners. Never had a problem. Means you can get much more handle on them and your mare will cope alot better with winter. we usually creep feed the foal and give a course of Ulcerguard as a preventative. Then make sure it gets the good feed and plenty of supplementation. I use Folactin red to make sure they are getting all that they need. with the best of care somethimes it is better for the foal and the mare to wean early especially if you say your mare is looking lighter already.

Good Luck

13-06-05, 04:46 PM
Next time (if there is a next time) you shoudl try gelding the colt while he is still on hid mum. that way they don't swell as much as they are constantly walking to keep up with mum. we geld ours when they are young and leave them with mum. Never had any problems with swelling that way.