If you need colostrum, I have a supply of frozen that you can have. I am near Newmarket, Ontario.
I have had 2-3 foals nurse off one mare (actually, there were 6 foals, 3 mares and whoever lined up ate). It can be done fairly easily if the mare is good about it. I'm sorry my QH mare isn't ready; she milks like a Holstein cow and accepts anything.
She'll be fine April - might be an idea to take Nikita up on her suggestion if her mare foals in the next day or so, otherwise there are SO many successfully raised bucket babies - Ti Amo, RFF El Dorado, RFF's buckskin filly, etc
I too have raised an orphan foal. If you can get her nursing from another mare, do it. You can supplement both with a bucket (not bottle!) of milk replacer. The important thing is socialization. Orphans have trouble with boundaries, space, and interactions with humas and horses generally -- or at least they CAN.... You nip this in the bud by getting a surrogate "momma" in there to show her the ropes.
I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your mare, that is so heartbreaking. If Nikita's mare would accept both foals that would be great (although I think you would still have to supplement the milk)
in the meantime, yes, I have had to bottle raise a foal twice, and both were very successful.
There is a company in Cambridge on Savage Rd, off Franklin, that manufactures Foal Milk Replacer (as well as other milk replacers) . It is cheaper than foal lac and much more palatable - They sell it in bags for about $70 and a bag will last you about 5 days. I feed MUCH more frequently than the bag suggests, basically every time the foal stands up in the early days, and then every hour in the day time, and every two hours through the night. If you can get baby to drink from a bucket, that will be a lifesaver.. but you still have to do it very frequently because the milk spoils so quickly..
YOU CAN DO IT! Has the foals blood been checked? otherwise you may need plasma which you can pick up in Guelph.
If you don't have a nurse mare, you will need some benign companion. A female goat is ideal, often they will let the baby nurse, but they are company and won't hurt the baby. I have a pony mare you can borrow, she was Ti Amo's baby sitter.
here is my email address firstname.lastname@example.org
and my phone number 519 756 5803 - I am in Brantford, not that far away..
I will try to find the name and number of the milk replacer company.. in the meantime, your vet will have foal lac, and some of the feed stores will have a foal milk replacer (caution here, make sure it is foal milk replacer)..in a pinch you can use goat milk, - this is readily availble in grocery stores.
In trying to get the foal to nurse from a bottle, use a human baby bottle, and cut the nipple hole a bit larger, when the baby gets bigger, the baby bottle won't hold enough, we used a presidents choice plastic water bottle, the baby bottle nipple fit on top...
Even when the baby got to drink from a bucket, I still bottle fed him a few times a day early on, because (just my theory) I thought the sucking motion was good for him,and it was good for him to feel warmth and closeness....
don't play with him at all when he eats, just feed him, let him stand close to you.
and good luck
I am more than willing to help, so call me..
We did it! World\'s first buckskin & white TB born!
I just found a TB mare that has just lost her foal and sent the info to April and Tasha.
Having never been involved in something like this before, what is the protocol for introducing a foal to a new mare to avoid having the new mare hurt the foal? Do they all, in time, accept them totally if the proper steps are followed? Or - do some NEVER accept a foal if it isnt their own?
What steps do you follow to try and ensure the best and most successful pairings?
Or - if you have a lot of value in the foal, is it worth the possible risk and do you simply let it buddy up with a goat or a pony and bucket feed it so it doesnt get hurt?
Im sure that we would all appreciate hearing from those that have gone through this in the past.
I'm so very sorry to hear of your loss, with the birth of a new little one there is pain and sometimes the pain is so great as with the loss of the dam. My wishes are that this little one will do well and be very special to you and her dam will live on in her (I think it was a filly) Be thankful that you didn't loose the foal also and I hope and jingle that you will have an easy time getting the foal accepted by another mare. Keep on, keeping on!!!
"There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man." Sir Winston Churchill (1874 - 1965)
From GWRanch: <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Getting a nurse mare to accept your little stranger as her own offspring sometimes takes a little work. A mare with a full udder often will welcome a hungry foal more readily, and many breeders find it helps to make the foal smell a little more like her, by rubbing his coat with the mare's sweat, milk, or even manure. Alternatively, you can short-circuit the olfactory response on a temporary basis by rubbing a mentholated ointment, such as Vick's Vaporub, in the mare's nostrils and on the foal's head and perianal areas.
Still, you might find that you have to restrain the mare at first until the foal has nursed long enough for her to become familiar with him (usually within 24 hours). Tie the mare in her stall, offer her hay or grain to distract her, and consider placing a bar or pole along her side, at about flank height, from the front to the back of the stall, to prevent her from kicking the foal or her handlers. Some farms even create stocks with solid wooden barriers and a hole cut to allow the foal to nurse, but such steps aren't often necessary. She might initially squeal and threaten to kick or bite the orphaned arrival, but a healthy, hungry foal will not be easily discouraged, and once he manages to latch on, most mares will relax. (Resist the temptation to tranquilize the mare, however. The drug can be passed in the milk and accidentally sedate the foal, reducing his efforts to nurse.)
Observe the nurse mare and her new charge closely for a few days. Once acceptance has occurred, you gradually can remove the restraints on the mare and let them proceed as Nature intended
From The Invaluable Nurse Mare<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Washingtonâ€™s Nurse Mare Network
We are fortunate to have a nurse mare network in place in Washington.
It all basically began in 1976 when Claudia Canouseâ€™s mare Fighting Heroine died. Her Philately filly was grafted on Mary Lou Griffinâ€™s paint mare. Soon afterwards Rick and Debbie Pabst bought a couple of mares to use specifically as nurse mares. Later the Washington Thoroughbred Farm Managers Association (WTFMA) implemented an official nurse mare program.
While any breed or crossbreed of mare can be used, both Debbie Pabst and Julie McMurry have had the most success using Appaloosa mares, who are generally laid back and have strong maternal instincts. Pabst strongly prefers mares of â€œlightâ€ horse breeding rather than draft or draft-crosses as she feels they give too much milk. Occasionally breeders will be blessed by having a â€œno graft mareâ€ available. These gem mares will gladly be a surrogate mom to most any foal and are the matrons you see nonchalantly nursing two or three foals out in a field. Pabst has found that â€œhow a mare behaves towards humans is not necessarily a determining factor to how good a nurse mare she will be.â€
Recently foaled mares are the most maternal and provide the best opportunity for grafting a young foal. Pabst has had the most success with foals under a month old. One valuable foal grafting tool is a nurse mare gate. This smooth and secure gate (which can be made of wire mesh or wood which has been layered with padding) features a large nursing hole for the foal to reach the mareâ€™s udder while standing safely on the other side of the gate as the two are introduced. (See June 1981 Washington Horse.)
For more information on Washingtonâ€™s nurse mare network, or if you have a foal in need or mare available, contact either Debbie Pabst (Blue Ribbon Farm, Buckley) at (253) 862-9076 or Nina Hagen (El Dorado Farms, Enumclaw) at (360) 825-7526.
Hagen also maintains the regionâ€™s colostrum â€œbank," which stores and provides this valuable resource for a minimal fee. She currently has about 50 bags in storage for the upcoming breeding season.
Local nurse mare legends
Appaloosa matrons YJâ€™s Anni Eagle and Sweet Sheik are two of our regionâ€™s more famous nurse mares.
The Pabstsâ€™ now retired Anni was honored with a WTFMA lifetime achievement award in early 2000 for having raised 20 Thoroughbred foals in addition to her own 17 babies and the occasional warmblood or paint. Among her surrogate foals was the future stakes-placed filly Farewell Tour. The Pabsts currently have four nurse mares, and that doesnâ€™t include pinch hitter Orphan Kist. The $631,997 multiple Thoroughbred stakes winner unfortunately lost two of her own foals in recent years, but her strong maternal instincts helped her raise the foals of two other mares.
Sweet Sheik, a.k.a. Dixie, was bred and is owned by Julie and Packy McMurry. Dixie is a second generation nurse mare, as her dam Sweetheart, who created her own nurse mare dynasty, was originally purchased by the McMurrys in the 1970s and raised many an orphan foal. In fact, up to three at a time. Woodstead Farm has one of Sweetheartâ€™s daughters, Sunday Sweetheart (by Sunday Guest), as their home nurse mare and Gunshy Manor owns one of her babysitting granddaughters.
In 1984 Sweetheart was one of three test mares bred to Chic Dancer, a stakes-winning Thoroughbred son of Dancing Champ who the McMurrys had raced and had high hopes for at stud. The stallion unfortunately succumbed to racing injuries soon afterwards. The Chic Dancerâ€”Sweetheart filly became known as Dixie and she started life as a show horse for former WTBA staffer Merry Farrington, but later found her true calling as a nurse mare back at the McMurrysâ€™ Enumclaw farm. The breeding policy for nurse mares at Royal Match is to breed the mare to whichever stallion is open at the time. Dixie has had foals by teaser Smokin Tobin, by Majesterian, Country Light, Game Plan and Son of Briartic.
In 1999, Dixie foaled a handsome colt by Son of Briartic that was born with two serious hernias. The first attempt to fix them failed and Dr. John Procter was later called in. He successfully redid the surgery and saved the coltâ€™s life. That chestnut gelding, now named Hes Spotless, has now won three Appaloosa stakes in California, the grade one California Appaloosa Vallejo Futurity at Solano, grade two Classic Futurity at Los Alamitos and, most recently, the grade one Star of Stars Futurity at the same southern California track on December 8. He is the leading money earning juvenile Appy racehorse in North America for 2001.
Julie strongly recommends the use of Appaloosas as nurse mares. First because of their strong maternal instincts and calming effect on the more highly strung horses, but also the added opportunity for their babies to be registered, even without spots. If they happen to be sired by an Appaloosa or another â€œrace breed,â€ they are eligible to compete at the racetrack.
Friendship is Love without his wings
"If you would have only one day to live, you should spend at least half of it in the saddle."
Ontario <Living life for the journey not the destination>
Thanks everyone. It has been a long night and the filly is doing well. We got Foal-Lac from the vet right after we left his farm with the foal and came home and with-in 10 minutes we had her drinking from a bottle. We sat by the foal monitor all night and every time she got up we went out with the milk and she came trotting over to the door nickering for us and the food. She had several bottles and is doing great.
We are very leary about send her to any other mare as she is all we have left of our mare and we could not handle losing her too. I would not sleep at night knowing that she may get kicked or the foster mom may decide that she has had enough of our precious little filly. So we are going to keep her here with us where we can see her on the monitor any time of day.
We did have a mare lose a foal in November who is stalled beside the filly and is just dying to have her. She screams when ever the filly goes to the far side of the stall and licks her when ever she is close enough. So I think we are going to give the foal a good day to get bottle fed and use to the fact that she is not getting food from a mare then let the two of them be with each other. After all the mare lost a foal and the foal lost a dam so they are close to perfect for each other. And since I know this mare very well I would be comfortable (well mostly comfortable as I will still be nervous) letting the two of them be together. And I can watch them on the monitor.
We will keep you updated... We are praying for the next 12 hours to as good as the last few hours.
Thanks again to everyone and to Spot for the phone call... guess there is not much else I can say... But Thanks...
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