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Old 08-18-2009, 05:33 AM  
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Weaning your mini's?

How do you guys go about weaning your babies? Age isn't a factor, I'm old school and like to go 5/6 months but I'm wondering about:

How much distance do you put between Momma and baby?
How long before they can be turned out together again?
What supplements are necessary?
And any other helpful info!

Thanks
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Old 08-18-2009, 08:06 PM  
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You know I have done it all. sold the babies and heard mom scream for 3 days,
put babies in another fenced in area or pen than had to listen to everyone crying for days,
or leaving the baby with mom until mom decides she has had enough,.
But4-5 months is the best time. and if you start to separate them more and more every day you will not have the constant crying.
By the time the foal is 5 months old it should have it's own desire to be away from mom and is eating everything and playing with the other babies .
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Old 08-19-2009, 09:47 AM  
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Thanks Horselady! My filly will be 5 months old the end of this month, you are right, she is eating and drinking on her own and does love to run and play with the others until Mom really gets after her. I have been allowing her out a little at a time without Mom so I'll take your advice and just make it longer each time. Thanks!
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Old 08-19-2009, 06:57 PM  
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We have not had a mini foal yet (trying!) but we have weaned about 20 full size horses. Since I can't stand the screaming and pacing we did this and there was never a noise from either mom or baby. When time to wean came we placed mom and baby in small runs next to each other. We had chain link fencing so that there would be no nursing on the side. After about 2 weeks we moved then one pen further apart- a distance of about 24 feet. After the next two weeks it was all over! Worked great and I didn't get grey hair.
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Old 08-20-2009, 07:51 AM  
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Sneezy I like that idea too! I have almost the same set up allready at my place. I have two stalls beside each other that are seperated by a chain link fence and a small corral about 30 ft. away! How perfect is that!
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Old 08-29-2009, 10:31 PM  
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Ok a question from a newbie. Why do you have to seperate them? If my Bunny has a baby I would like to keep them together. I would want to keep the baby. Can that be done?
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Old 09-21-2009, 02:52 PM  
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weaning

I'd try a mix of what Sneezy said with a method a few breeders use.. If you have a few foals, seperate them off from mommy and put them in a pasture together. 5 months they will be happy and independent but still have companionship of their peers Then slowly spread out the distance between them.
I dont think I'd put the babies back in with mommies until they have been seperated for a quite a while? A few months maybe? I plan on keeping them seperate somewhat indefinately so my yearlings can get the special diets for their growing bodies and the broodmares can continue grazing.
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Old 09-21-2009, 10:32 PM  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by My Little Bunny View Post
Ok a question from a newbie. Why do you have to seperate them? If my Bunny has a baby I would like to keep them together. I would want to keep the baby. Can that be done?


I sure wish someone would answer this question of mine! In the wild the foal stays with the mom. Why can't that be done if we want to?
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Old 09-21-2009, 11:00 PM  
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You CAN leave your foals with their mom, if you choose to. Yes in the wild that is how it is done. In the wild the mare usually gets pregnant again, and eventually she will get tired of the growing baby trying to nurse and she will let him know by kicking or biting him or chasing him off. Eventually he will give up, although if a mom is willing to let him nurse some stubborn foals will keep trying for a loooooong time!

Most people who breed horses, want to wean them so that they can start working with the mare again, such as riding or showing and when they are weaned, this is easier, because they won't usually miss each other when they are separated. Or maybe the owner wants to start working more one on one with the foal, without mom around. Also some mares, when nursing have a hard time maintaining their weight or the owner may not want the mare to get too out of shape etc. Lots of reasons. When my mare foaled, I just gradually started separating them from each other for longer and longer times, they could see each other and visit with each other thru the fence or in stalls right next to each other, and then the mare's milk can dry up and I could start working with them individually. They never screamed or carried on at all, since they could see each other and visit. Then after several weeks when the milk was dried up I put them back together. It's good for the baby to be able to leave mom to be worked with and trained.
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Old 09-22-2009, 05:10 AM  
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Years ago I had a late foal so did not wean her and wanted to see if the mare would. Well the mare never did. The filly was still nursing at 16 months. I only tried it because the mare wasnt bred back

Most mares are bred back and a older foal will pull their weight down. Also its much easier to train a foal once they are weaned.

Its usually about 6 months before they can be back together again. I do have one mare that I can wean her foals and put them back in about 4 weeks and she will not let them nurse but most mares let them nurse again

We feed foals seperate from their dams starting at about 3 months. By the time we wean its not quite as traumatic but they still cry

I hate weaning
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Old 09-22-2009, 11:15 AM  
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Thanks guys. If my Bunny does have a foal I may want to keep the foal and really don't have a place to keep them seperated. I will cross that bridge if it happens I guess but I can leave them together for 6 months at least?
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