The Castle Rock MARE-TERNITY WARD

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  
Pages: [1] 2 3 4   Go Down

Author Topic: weaning???  (Read 1269 times)

Chanda

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1441
  • When life hands you scraps, make quilts.
weaning???
« on: October 11, 2016, 03:47:18 PM »

Not sure if this is the right category, but it's about weaning foals, so about foals growing up...

How do you decide when it's the right time to wean your foals? I'm not talking a date, per se, but what signs do they show you that they are ready to be separated. I typically wait til 5-6 months old, sometimes longer; both my foals are creeping up on 5 months, and need to start thinking about the logistics of weaning before winter really hits and it's harder to rearrange pens. They are currently eating feed with their dams, so I'm not sure how much either eats, but both dive into their dams' dish.
Logged
Chanda
HC Minis

Stallions: Little Kings Cat on Top, Paper Mache`
Mares: Misty, Tana, Showy, Bonny, Dolly and Baybe
Geldings: Dakota, Monte and Manny
Donkey: Tilly

Ryan

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1018
Re: weaning???
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2016, 06:41:43 PM »

With the biggies over the years , we always waited until 5-6 months, unless however weaning was necessary slightly earlier. This was usually because the mare was struggling to keep weight on and we were confident that the foal was ready.

This is a great topic Chanda as I believe people need to take into consideration some of the points you have made in the opening post.  Winter as we all know is that time of the year  where it can be a little harder to keep the weight on. For me , I have less paddocks to graze and limited grass and the wettest paddocks are out of use, so my minis spend winter in the same paddock.

Sometimes you will find that a mare and foal will wean each other, the foal will noticeably spend less time with their dam and when other horses/minis are around will develop a new "group of friends" and most of the time the foal doesnt even realize that their dam has been moved and the foal weaned.
Logged

Chanda

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1441
  • When life hands you scraps, make quilts.
Re: weaning???
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2016, 09:32:05 PM »

And, my other logistical problem, I have two foals, 1 colt and 1 filly; so they'll need to be separated before spring, just in case (we don't want an oops).   I pretty sure Spotty can go over with the geldings and I can set up panels for introductions, he's already met them through a fence when they were still grazing, but grazing ended when I went out of town for 5 days (too much trouble to ask Shayne to let them in and out of the drylot while he was working).
Bliss can go in with Dolly in the pen adjoining the mare pen; might not be ideal, but it wouldn't be the first time I've wintered a filly with her dam.
Logged
Chanda
HC Minis

Stallions: Little Kings Cat on Top, Paper Mache`
Mares: Misty, Tana, Showy, Bonny, Dolly and Baybe
Geldings: Dakota, Monte and Manny
Donkey: Tilly

dcwolcott

  • Diane Wolcott
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1963
  • Happy to see everyone!
    • Castle Rock Miniature Falabellas & American Miniatures
Re: weaning???
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2016, 02:57:23 PM »

I used to wean around 4 months, and since I always had a big crew to wean together, things went very easy.  But, heading to winter, I can see the need to wean soon.  I had two mares that used to wean their foals themselves, and always before my 4 month mark.  I was always surprised to go out to separate the foals, and find these two mares with no bags, and the foals totally weaned.  Used to be so surprising for me.

Keep us posted with what you decide.  They are such little beauties!
Logged
'Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.'

Chanda

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1441
  • When life hands you scraps, make quilts.
Re: weaning???
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2016, 03:42:27 PM »

Don't think Bliss is quite ready yet.  Brought Bonny in to the barn aisle to trim her hooves, left Bliss standing with her head in the hay feeder, as soon as she figured out mom was gone, she hollered and came running. And, was fidgety til I let her in the barn and put her in a stall at Bonny's head. 
Logged
Chanda
HC Minis

Stallions: Little Kings Cat on Top, Paper Mache`
Mares: Misty, Tana, Showy, Bonny, Dolly and Baybe
Geldings: Dakota, Monte and Manny
Donkey: Tilly

Holly

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1216
    • Siana Miniature Horses
Re: weaning???
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2016, 03:52:28 PM »

I like the 5 month mark to wean. Usually my foals are sold when that time comes so hasnt been a big issue here, but next years foals are going to be more difficult as I have late foals next year.
To me weaning is such a difficult time.
Logged
live barn cam :
http://holly.camstreams.com/
713 775 2285
Siana Miniature Horses
Sianaminiaturehorses.webs.com

Chanda

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1441
  • When life hands you scraps, make quilts.
Re: weaning???
« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2016, 04:00:23 PM »

I like the 5 month mark to wean. Usually my foals are sold when that time comes so hasnt been a big issue here, but next years foals are going to be more difficult as I have late foals next year.
To me weaning is such a difficult time.

I'm not very good as selling, so all of my foals have been weaned here. 
Single mini filly wintered with her dam, as everything was under tons of snow.  Three colts weaned in a pen adjacent to their dams.  And, now a filly and a colt to wean.  I know I'll get it figured out; like figuring out today that Bliss isn't quite ready to separate.  May have to separate Spotty, so Tana can gain some weight, she's not horribly thin and the addition of a ration balancer and some rice bran helped, but she is still thinner than I like.  [Working on the logistics of getting everyone a sand clear product; the mares are sharing with babies, so until they are separated for meals, trying the sand clear product wont' be feasible.   the others are all on day three of hteir 7 day protocol.]
Logged
Chanda
HC Minis

Stallions: Little Kings Cat on Top, Paper Mache`
Mares: Misty, Tana, Showy, Bonny, Dolly and Baybe
Geldings: Dakota, Monte and Manny
Donkey: Tilly

Holly

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1216
    • Siana Miniature Horses
Re: weaning???
« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2016, 06:55:21 PM »

I understand!
I use a ration balancer too. I use Nutrena Empower, what brand do you use? When my mares start to get down a bit from nursing I add a bit more balance and add in some Nutrena boost.
Logged
live barn cam :
http://holly.camstreams.com/
713 775 2285
Siana Miniature Horses
Sianaminiaturehorses.webs.com

Chanda

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1441
  • When life hands you scraps, make quilts.
Re: weaning???
« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2016, 08:59:49 PM »

I understand!
I use a ration balancer too. I use Nutrena Empower, what brand do you use? When my mares start to get down a bit from nursing I add a bit more balance and add in some Nutrena boost.

I like the Progressive Nutrition grass formula balancer since I feed mostly grass hay.  I was feeding it exclusively for several years, til it priced out of my budget at $35/bag a few years ago, and I was going through 3 per month with all the minis and 1 saddle horse on it.  I had to switch feeds, I found a 14% pellet that is a fed in small amounts and it works pretty good for maintenance and early pregnancy; but isn't quite enough for lactation.  Now that I only have the minis, I may go back to the ration balancer, but not sure I want to go for that $35/bag, especially since I still need to supplement our hay with a calorie source; but might continue to top dress for those that need the boost.
Logged
Chanda
HC Minis

Stallions: Little Kings Cat on Top, Paper Mache`
Mares: Misty, Tana, Showy, Bonny, Dolly and Baybe
Geldings: Dakota, Monte and Manny
Donkey: Tilly

paintponylvr

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 586
    • LP Painted Ponys
Re: weaning???
« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2016, 12:12:32 PM »

I pretty much agree with what everyone else has stated.

I've weaned as early as 2 months (special case - our filly was put with a 2 week old orphan horse filly - 2 miles down the road.  For whatever reason, we never considered taking the mare down there with her...don't think the owner/boarding barn wanted to care for the mare as well, but don't remember?) and this year, as late as 9 months. 

I've had mares wean their own foals (YES!), 1 mare that would not only nurse her current year foal but also several others of different ages (oldest one year was a 2 yr old! and they'd all previously been weaned and several had been off property and shown, LOL.) and others that weren't easy but weren't very difficult either.  This is the first year that I've noticed so many being able to reach thru a gate or even thru the cattle panel squares and the dams' will sidle up to the fence and let them nurse.  It's amazing!  I almost feel sorry for both Kechi and Jynx - as they won't be able to do that.  But feel it's better for Kechi right now - best group arrangement so that hopefully she doesn't get hurt again. IF Kechi goes back downhill, I may return Jynx to her or may put her with her part of the time, such as at night.

All 3 of our 2016 foals have now been separated from their dams (Jynx yesterday - the other 2, 2 weeks ago or 1 week before the storm hit).
Logged
Paula Hoffman
LP Painted Ponys
Cameron, NC

dcwolcott

  • Diane Wolcott
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1963
  • Happy to see everyone!
    • Castle Rock Miniature Falabellas & American Miniatures
Re: weaning???
« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2016, 05:28:30 PM »

I never had any problems weaning, but sometimes I think it's more stressful for "us" than them!  LOL
Logged
'Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.'

Rocklone

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 647
  • Rocklone Miniature Horses
    • Rocklone Miniature Horses
Re: weaning???
« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2016, 05:33:11 PM »

Meadow was ready the day she was born. Neither her or Charm care where the other is. I have brought in my gelding who is with them, and meadow follows him everywhere - Charm doesn't even look up from the grass to see if shes there. She lets her suckle still and they interact with grooming etc but i don't think either is dependant on the other. Charm gets a tiny bit stressed if shes the one in the stable and meadow is taken away, but then she did the same thing when meadow was not born so its just her own stable stress. I still don't want to wean until i feel its right. Charms dropping a little, and im feeding to counteract that, but Meadow is only 4 months so its not near time yet.
Logged


Marshall Jed
Lewingales Goldilocks
Glenhollow Thriller Seeker
Rocklone Banners Charming Meadow
Rocklone GB Louis Vuitton
Ravenwood Imperial Charm

Silver City Heritage Farm

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 296
  • Look out 2017, here we come!!
Re: weaning???
« Reply #12 on: October 30, 2016, 10:20:10 AM »

Hi Chanda. What did you decide to do on the weaning, or is it still a work in progress so to speak?  If you keep Bliss with her dam do you think she'll self wean over the winter or will it pull Bonny down too much? Sounds like Spotty will make a pretty easy transition into the gelding group though.
Logged
Silver City Heritage Farmstead

Specializing in Heritage poultry and vegetables. Miniature horses for the everyday family, until they're ready to move up to the rated shows and programs!

Chanda

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1441
  • When life hands you scraps, make quilts.
Re: weaning???
« Reply #13 on: October 30, 2016, 04:59:47 PM »

Hi Chanda. What did you decide to do on the weaning, or is it still a work in progress so to speak?  If you keep Bliss with her dam do you think she'll self wean over the winter or will it pull Bonny down too much? Sounds like Spotty will make a pretty easy transition into the gelding group though.

Working on it, now.  Trying to figure out the best choice for me and the horses; want them weaned, and easy on me. 
I'm going to try moving a few panels around, and see if it'll work if they are still in sight of each other, but can't nurse.  If it doesn't, I'll move the mares around to a pen we use for working cows, and leave the babies with the other mares.    Tana definitely needs time to gain some weight before winter really hits, Bonny gained some when I increased feed awhile ago.
Logged
Chanda
HC Minis

Stallions: Little Kings Cat on Top, Paper Mache`
Mares: Misty, Tana, Showy, Bonny, Dolly and Baybe
Geldings: Dakota, Monte and Manny
Donkey: Tilly

Chanda

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1441
  • When life hands you scraps, make quilts.
Re: weaning???
« Reply #14 on: October 30, 2016, 07:55:11 PM »

Well, perhaps night time isn't the best time to try, but the foals are separated; technically, the mares are separated from the foals and other mares, as I put up a mesh panels so the babies couldn't reach through the panels, and put up two other panels to block the alley, so while they can see each other, they shouldn't be able to reach through and try to nurse.   
I put out hay in the new paddock, the mares went right in and went to eating, the foals ran back and forth for 5 minutes and then joined the other mares around the hay feeder and went to eating.    Now, all I need to do is figure out how much feed to give each baby, they've just been sharing with their dams so far, so I really don't know just how much they've been getting.  [But, Spotty is taking enough away from Tana both by nursing and directly from the pan, that Tana is thinner than she's ever been, even when she nursed Monte, 4 years ago.]
Logged
Chanda
HC Minis

Stallions: Little Kings Cat on Top, Paper Mache`
Mares: Misty, Tana, Showy, Bonny, Dolly and Baybe
Geldings: Dakota, Monte and Manny
Donkey: Tilly
Pages: [1] 2 3 4   Go Up