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Foal behavior question(?chewing in the air?)

Equine-Reproduction.com Bulletin Board » Pregnant Mare and the Newborn Foal - Volume 1 » Foal behavior question(?chewing in the air?) « Previous Next »


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Kristin
Posted From: 68.81.164.242
Posted on Thursday, July 08, 2004 - 02:14 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

My two month old Haflinger colt has just recently started meeting my other horses(through fence, through windows, and finally in pasture).
Anyway, when he sees on of the horses that isn't his mom he seems to 'greet' them by putting his head up and chewing on the air, like he was chewing bubble gum in the back of his mouth.
Is the common/normal behavior? Does it mean anything? He isn't reaching to bite them when he does this, he just bites the air.
Any insight would be appreciated because I'm clueless on this one.
 

jmbavis
Posted From: 209.180.49.25
Posted on Thursday, July 08, 2004 - 03:13 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yes this is very normal. It is a chomping behavior that says "please don't hurt me - I am a baby"
 

Sandy
Posted From: 4.227.133.188
Posted on Thursday, July 08, 2004 - 06:55 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Kristin,
This is known as "clacking" and foals, even older horses will do this when they meet new horses as a sign of submission and to let them know that they are not a threat and as jmbavis said, it is their way of saying "I'm a baby, so don't hurt me." It is very normal behavior.
 

Anonymous
 
Posted From: 69.171.101.122
Posted on Thursday, September 08, 2005 - 06:26 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

When do foals begin to really suffer from separation anxiety and when is it time to start to correct rembunciuos behaviour because of it?
We have an orphaned 2 month old QH/Arab baby that got very worked up today when taken into the pasture with her human and away from the other horses in the barn.
 

Rooty (Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted From: 69.196.103.102
Posted on Friday, September 09, 2005 - 11:29 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

If it is the first time away from other horses I don't really correct the behavior unless it is really getting out of hand. I have found (now I know this is an orphan - but separation is separation) that at weaning time when they get their own stall that the first few days they drag me around the aisle and don't particularly want to go in the stall because they're alone in there. Usually the behavior improves daily and once they get used to the idea of being alone they are much easier to handle. I'm not saying not to correct the behavior at all, but I don't really make a big deal of it unless it carries on for weeks. They need to get a chance to adjust to the idea of not having another horse sharing space with them. Once they realize they haven't died they settle down.
 

Lisa Weir
Weanling
Username: Pals_pal

Post Number: 34
Registered: 08-2005
Posted on Saturday, September 10, 2005 - 06:07 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I wouldn't worry unless she is getting aggressive toward you in the process. If she's just fidgeting and calling out, etc, but still respectful of your space, then it's something she will get over in time, I think. But if she's rearing up, striking or barging into you, correct her. That may be manageable at a young age, but she must learn it's not acceptable for any reason, before getting big enough to hurt you.
Sometimes giving them something to keep the focus on you is enough to ease the anxiety. Like asking them nicely to back up and come foward a few times, or stop start etc.



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