weaning cowgirl magazine

Over the next few months, many breeders will begin the weaning process for their April and May foals. During this time, the mares and foals are separated either abruptly or gradually. Many farms have had success doing it one way or the other.

Weaning Foals

Most foals are weaned between the ages of 4 and 7 months, though some stay with their dam longer. Each foal should be healthy and independently eating grain and forage. Additionally, they should be vaccinated and on a good parasite control program.

Gradual Weaning:

The mare and foal will be moved to a smaller paddock for a few days. Next, the mare will be moved to a bordering paddock. She can see her foal, but the foal is unable to nurse. A buddy may be placed in the paddocks with the mare and foal to ease stress.

Eventually, the mares will be moved to a larger pasture. Her grain ration will need to be decreased for a few days to encourage her to dry up.

Abrupt Weaning:

In this method, the mares are left in secure stalls and their foals are placed in a safe paddock together. The foals should be out of sight and earshot of the mares. It’s helpful to have at least two foals together for company. The mares should also have a buddy nearby.

Over the next few days, breeders can begin working with the foals for 15 minutes at a time.

There are other methods that can be successfully done. You’ll have to decide what works best for your individual setup.