When a foal reaches the age of six months it is usually separated from its mother.
It is much easier if the foal has been well handled, be able to lead on his own and been introduced to hard feed before it is weaned, as weaning is quite a stressful process for the foal.
The majority of foals are born in the springtime, so weaning time is most likely to be in the autumn.
If the foal is not of a hardy type, it is probably better to bring it in during the night for its first winter.
This will also give you the opportunity to handle it on a regular basis.
If you decided to keep the foal out at night, you will need shelter in the field.
If you haven’t got this then you either buy a field shelter or get someone to make it; as he will need protection from the elements.
It is also a dry place to eat hay.
Horses love company, so if the foal is wintering out, make sure he is not on his own.
Even when the horse is out twenty four seven you still have a commitment to care for the animal so this would mean visiting twice a day.
You’ll need to check the rugs, make sure there is sufficient fresh water and provide hay as most fields have very little grass in the winter months.
Horse and foal pictures
If the foal is already, used to hard feed like foal pellets, then it is less likely to lose condition when taken away from its mother.
Foal weaning information
The foal needs to be brought in to a stable with a quiet companion horse to act as a “nanny”.
They will need to be kept in for at least 24hrs.
Afterwards they can be turned out into a small, well-fenced paddock out of earshot of the mare.
If the mare or foal can hear each other, it can be very stressful for both.
It’s not uncommon for a foal to jump out of the field and jump into the same field as his mother. I have seen this several times.
Horse and foal pictures
If it is not possible to remove the mare out of earshot, then ride the mare out while the foal is shut in with the companion horse.
After a week or two the foal and companion can be turned out separately from the mare.
By the end of the foal's first year it should be.
Foal introductory page
Foal weaning >> home
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