What is the earliest that you have weaned a foal? I usually wean at 4 months, but have a couple mares that loose a ton of weight no matter how much they are fed and both are re-bred. I don't want them to absorb because the mares get down in weight. Both foals are eating/drinking water on their own, one is very independant and hardly stays with mom anyway.
I would not wean any earlier than 4 months and that is a bit young as well. 6 months is good. You have a obligation to the foals that are here now, they require moms attention.
I guess if you knew that this is a problem for your mares you should have taken this into consideration before breeding while still nursing. I would not want my mares to absorb either but I would not want the current foal at her side to be pushed aside because I choose to rebred at that stage. So If this was my circumstance then you choose to rebred when done with this years current foal.
Breeding back was the mare owners decision, not mine. I would have waited a year, but he wanted her back in foal on foal heat, I rebred and she is. I leased the mare, I get this baby and he gets a free rebreed for lease payment. Owner just decided to use it now on her. I agree, I have never weaned earlier than 4 months, and am just looking for some thoughts. This mare is being fed 6 pounds of 14% 2X daily, pasture, all access to hay, beet pulp, flax seed and mare plus. Owner says she looks great, but she is a bit thinner than I like. Just brain picking here.
maybe for future use decide how a mare will be covered in a contract for a rebreeding issues when you lease a mare. Food for thought. Stipulate in writing, especially when you know how a particular lactating mare looses weight/cons to rebreding her while she is still lactating.
On another note, if you do this now, then maybe do not do it full time. Maybe only allow the foals to nurse at the am and seperate in the pm. this will slow milk production and limit what the foals are getting if you must do it now.
Not knowing your feed exactly-never used it before(we mix our own)... there is a product that is good for lactating animals. Calf mana is a excellent product to use- make sure that you have all the vitiams and minerals that you need for a lact/stressed horse/and keep her worm free.
Just some more ideas if this is a must. I just get really angry when folks wean too early and then have the mare rebred. You worry about the baby for 11.5 months and then go and rebred knowing that the mare may have trouble . So now you have double the worry that you have infliced upon yourself. ?? When the best situation would have been to wait.
Caution: I would be very careful about feeding the Calf Mana, I had a mare founder while feeding it several years ago..and I have never used it since. My vet said it wasn't desinged for horses, even tho some people use it and don't have problems. Just be careful, talk to your vet first before adding it. When my mare foundered, with a foal at side, we had to take her off all the high protein feed, and giving her only a little of the 10% feed, vitamins, and lots and lots of oil. She really lost weight, couldn't keep it on, so we had to wean that filly at three months. We didn't want to but had to but... per the vet. I currently have a mare that is really hard to keep wight on, as she gives it all to her foals. Do you give vegtable oil? Or Soy Bean oil? She gets 2 cups, one in the morning and one in the night along with everything else. She is bred back, 30 day cycle, and her foal will be weaned at 4 to 4 1/2 months....depending on the foal. This one is pretty independant now so I'll probably shoot for 4 months. Good luck, Ivy
Be careful with soybean supplements as they pose a fertility problem.
I believe that horse rations are included on the bag of directions. But you must be careful with the other ingredents in your. You must balance all your feed with the correct amount of fiber/energy and you must get the energy from correct sources of if. Some sorces are a cheaper source but cause more problems vs a better source of it.
Horses can founder from many reasons. A mare that has just delivered can founder/shipping/stress of any kind/medication/lack of correct balance in the feed/(I had one that had a allergic reaction to penicillian--now i don't use it unles its a must-I will wait it out before i use penicillian based medicine)
We have had great success using Calf mana as a top dress-in the past. With the correct rations of it and the correct mixture of other feed it can be very successful. I don't currenlty use it as our feed is mixed up from our own receipe and includes things that are covered in the calf mana.
If you are not knowledgable in the feed area, then don't mess with it, make sure you talk with someone in the feed industry that can help you come up with a good receipe. There are horror stories for every situiation. You have to find what works for you. Good luck Brandie. I hope that your foal does ok. Kim
Kim, The Calf Mana caused the founder, she foundered in her last month of pregnancy so it wasn't foal founder...my vet looked at everything we were feeding. I am glad you responded about balancing the feeds...that is very important..and every horse is different. -Ivy
Thanks for all of the replies. Thank god this mare is by no means poor, I am just trying to keep her from getting that way. I don't experiment with my horses feed, EVER. I worked for 2 years at our local feed store and am also very well aware of the dangers of cattle feed on horses and nutritional imbalance by mixing your own feeds. Thank goodness I still have friends that run the main feed dept. for this VERY large company, I can always call and pick brains. I have decided to go ahead and wean this filly at 90 days and send mama home. This filly is special to me and is bred out of this world also. She is by my Easy Jet son, out of a Hesa Gay Dreamer daughter. Hubby and I split up recently, this will also lighten the feed bill a little bit. Thanks again and I will let you all know how things turn out.
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