Hi, I havent been on here since my mare foaled in may of last year, but need some advice.. I weaned and gelded my foal colt Tucker in Oct of 2007..he was 6 months old..I am keeping him forever and his mom, so have had a really hard time keeping them seperated, (i do not have stalls, only pature) At the end of Dec,2 months later, she seemed to be all dried up, so I let them back together again, I would see him nurse occasionaly, but She never bagged back up,or seemed to have any milk.. so I thought it was just for comfort.. then after a week her milk was back..I immediatley seperated them, (even though they really want to be together!)..Its been 6 weeks since I seperated them again and she still has milk...Now Im wondering why did I wean him..I nursed my son till he was two, and he stopped when he was ready..why do wean these babys? Im a first time owner, to a baby,..(horse) and my life would be so much easier and they would be so much happier if they could be together..she has penty of weight on her...why cant she just wean him?I just did what everyone said, and didnt think to ask then..but now I wonder..If I let them back together, and he bagged her up again..would it be so terrible...will they wean them selves? Is there a reason why everyone weans their babies, if they are not in a hurry to ride the mare or sell the baby?I no in the wild they wean one when they have another, I have no intention of having more...what do you all say?
Your mare will probably never wean him on her own. They will wean their foals when they have another and some mares will wean them on their own, but it sounds like your mare has a strong "Mommy" drive. It would seem that his "udder" dependence on her could cause problems in the future when you are ready to break him or send him to the trainers or take him on a trail ride. There is no physical reason for him to need to nurse at this point. Can you run a hotwire to split your pasture? That way they can be side by side, but he won't be able to nurse. Maybe you could get him a buddy to teach him some herd lessons. Mom isn't doing him any good. She's is probably permissive with him and the longer that goes on, the more difficult he may be to work with. Rescue or borrow an older gelding or donkey maybe?
I'm not an expert, but we foal out 6 to 9 foals a year and also keep ours in a pasture situation. Most of the foals wean and then can be turned back in with their dams after a couple of months and Mom won't let them nurse so its all good. We do have four seperate pastures which makes it a bit easier. The pregnant mares and our older gelding are wonderful for teaching the little stinkers some life lessons!
I agree with Colleen, mom probably won't wean him. I knew of a mare that had a 2yr old that still nursed off her and just like Colleen said if you wanted to work with the youngster he was a handful. You know how some horses can be herd bound? If he's not weaned it will be like that times 10.
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