Here’s Kendra’s patented (not really) recipe for stress-free (as much as possible) weaning.
- Foal is at least 6 months old (7 is better).
- Foal has a friend his own age.
- Foal is eating the same food that they will post-weaning (free choice hay and mare & foal ration).
- Adjacent pens with a safe and secure fence between them.
- Leave foals in the pen they are comfortable used to, move mares across the fence.
- Ensure plenty of hay on both sides of fence.
- Allow foal to see, smell and touch their dam, but not nurse.
- In a week or two, can move mares further away (back out with herd) so they can move out of sight of foals, or stay closer if they choose.
No crying foals, no panicked mares. No risk of injury, and minimizing stress and all the health issues that stress causes.
Here’s Victor and Vodka, about 90 seconds after I moved the mares across the fence. As you can see, they aren’t feeling very traumatized. 😉