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Unformatted text preview: Low Stress Foal Weaning Kevin H. Kline, PhD Professor of Animal Sciences University of Illinois Weaning Stress Stressful to both horses and humans May lead to: Reduced resistance to disease Loss of body condition Injury from panic behavior Mare discomfort Prepare for Weaning Nutrition Have foals started on creep feed Parasite Prevention Disease Prevention Foal Creep Feeders Height and width of creep feeder openings: For average sized light breed horses: Four feet to the top board No less than 2 feet wide openings Size of Creep Feeder
# Foals Eating Minimum Perimeter Size 1 2 3 4 8' X 8' 10' X 10' 12' X 12' 14' X 14' Size of Creep Feeder (cont.)
# Foals Eating Minimum Perimeter Size 5 6 7 8 16' X 16' 18' X 18' 20' X 20' 24' X 24' Loafing Shed affix board at 4 feet high Creep Feed Complete pellets are best Reduces sorting Evenly distributes vitamins, minerals 14 16 % CP .7 .8 % Calcium .4 .5 % Phosphorus .5% Trace Mineralized salt Improperly balanced skeletal problems Limit highgrain creep feeding Foal Parasite Control Start deworming @ 4 6 weeks old Every 2 months w/ continuous grazing Can use daily dewormer in creep Strongid C Manage pastures don't overgraze Deworm for: Ascarids Bots Strongyles Tapeworms Foal Vaccinations Mare should have been uptodate at foaling (especially tetanus) Start foal vaccinations 2 3 months old Vaccinate against: Tetanus Rhinopneumonitis Influenza Strangles Sleeping sickness West Nile virus Don't vaccinate at weaning time!!! Don't wean or vaccinate if foal appears sick!!! Deciding When to Wean Any time after foal receives colostrum Typically 46 months of age Several factors to consider: Physical maturity General health and condition Adverse environmental conditions Temperament of mare Weaning Methods Factors to determine weaning method: Available facilities Number of mare/foal pairs to wean Age distribution of foals to be weaned Gradual vs. Abrupt Weaning Methods Gradual Weaning Place mare and foal in adjacent quarters Must have a strong and safe fence between Adjacent separation may last days to weeks Discontinue if mare or foal displays dangerous behavior i.e.: jumping Usually less stressful than typical abrupt methods Can't do without adequate, safe facilities Good method for one or two mare/foal pairs Must have good facilities and watch behavior of mare and foal Abrupt Weaning Methods
Stall weaning Stressful Abnormal behaviors: Licking, chewing walls, pacing, pawing, bucking Abrupt Weaning Methods
Group weaning May also be excessively stressful if foals are not "buddies" already Could introduce single foal to a goat or sheep "buddy" before weaning. Abrupt Weaning Methods Pasture weaning Stable social unit of mares/foals Mares are removed one at a time Foals remain in familiar surroundings Foals have similarage buddies Foals have "babysitter mares" Mares with older foals removed first Aggressive mares removed first Remove tolerant "babysitters" last Sometimes "babysitters" are too tolerant! General Recommendations Wean in a familiar environment Removing familiarity compounds stress Don't forget the mare's needs Mares appreciate compatible "buddies" Reduce grain feeding to "dryup" mare Conclusions No weaning method is always superior
No method completely eliminates stress Evaluation of existing conditions on individual farm should lead to a weaning management decision that minimizes stress to the greatest extent possible ...
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This note was uploaded on 04/10/2008 for the course ANSC 206 taught by Professor Kline during the Spring '08 term at University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign.
- Spring '08