Official Nurse Mare/ Orphan Foal Thread------Rescuing/Raising Nurse Mare Foals

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by diamondsmith, Feb 1, 2015.

  1. diamondsmith

    diamondsmith Out Of The Brooder

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    Does anyone have any experience raising nurse mare foals? If so post here! Share pictures and tips. For my senior project I'm going to Last Chance Corral next March and bringing home my two little angels! Share your stories and help me prepare!
     
  2. Peaches Lee

    Peaches Lee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So are these orphan foals? Or weanlings that were raised by a mare other than their dam?
     
  3. diamondsmith

    diamondsmith Out Of The Brooder

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    In the thoroughbred racing industry, horses cannot be raced unless they were born from a live coverage. So owners have to ship their mares to the chosen stallion's farm to be bred. They don't want a high quality racing foal to have to be shipped with its Dam, it's to risky for the foal. So they will rent a nurse mare. A nurse mare is a mare of any breed who is currently producing milk. They then have the nurse mare adopt the race horse baby and raise it so that the thoroughbred mum can be immediately bred to another stallion. Now we all know that to be in milk, a mare had to have a foal. So what happens to the nurse mare's own baby? Sometimes the breeders will raise the fillies to become future nurse mare, other times they are sold into loving homes. And then sometimes they are left to starve, or clubbed to death, or sold as a delicacy foal meat, or skinned to be made into pony skin furniture and purses. So rescues usually rescue these babies and adopt them out to loving homes.
     
  4. diamondsmith

    diamondsmith Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm getting mine from last chance corral, you should look on their website. There's also a documentary on them called born to die. It's defintly tear jerker.
     
  5. Peaches Lee

    Peaches Lee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG] WoW! I didn't even know that this sort of thing went on, I thought race mares raised up their own foals. I try to work up the courage to take a look at the website. So basically you are going to raise an "orphan" foal?
     
  6. diamondsmith

    diamondsmith Out Of The Brooder

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    Yes. I'm adopting a pair so they learn "horse talk" and have a buddy. And this b happens at a lot of race barns but not all of them. There's a lot who have there own studs and only use nurse mares for rejected babies and babies who lost their mums. I really recommend v looking into it
     
  7. kbarrett

    kbarrett Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I experienced working with several horses that had been orphaned and bottle raised. One was an Arab show horse, one was at the racetrack and one was at a barn that prepped for sales. I can't attest to the way they were raised but I recall they had a common trait and that was their total lack of respecting your space. They were pushy in your face walk over you if you didn't move type horses. That's a behavior I can't and won't tolerate. It is usually greatly improved with a few short lessons with a chain shank, you can walk when I do, if you get ahead of me or run into me I will pop your nose till you back up a few steps and stand until I decide to move off. This is something I was taught as a child and is simply instilling manners. The bottle babies could never grasp that concept but for a few days at a time. I really thought the first one was just really dull/ and or plain slow in the head. But after noticing the same attitude in two more horses I drew my own conclusion. My opinion for this behavior is lack of discipline. You'd be surprised by the amount of people who tolerate behavior in foals as cute not thinking that in 6mo to a year the same behavior is not cute but downright dangerous. The last job I had in the horse industry, before raising my own family, was on a very large TB breeding farm- who incidentally did NOT use the practice of nurse mares. While I have always been around foals having 70-80 mares foal in one season gives a wonderful opportunity to observe behaviors. Mares give out discipline in ways a person cannot. I can't tell you how many times I've seen a swift kick delivered to a mouthy (biting) baby or see one get a good bite on the backside. I've always been fascinated by how the pecking order will be passed down to a foal. Watching a dominate mare push another off of the feed or water and watching the foal mimic mom's behavior and use it on the other foals. That works both ways by seeing the foals learn to get out of the way of dominate mares. Watching foals be weaned into large groups separated by gender and seeing how they roughhouse with another I can't even imagine being thought of as an equal by them and endure their games. My least favorites were always the yearling to 2yo colts. Dangerous enough work having your tolerance tested let alone a total lack of respect. For the most part the horses I have been around in my life were not "pets", I demanded a certain level of respect which included not running me over, biting, kicking or rearing up. All of those things happened to me, many times over before coming to a mutual understanding that there were consequences for that type of behavior. My personal style of discipline included a good 15-20 seconds of harshness and growling followed by stillness and silence looking them in the eye, then back to business as usual, you can't hold a grudge. Don't forget to growl or use a low voiced" hey" - you don't have ears to flatten back or a tail to signal your warning of displeasure.

    Sorry- didn't mean to write a book/ rant lol.

    Good luck with your babies- good for you for taking them in. Be a good parent & discipline your kids [​IMG]
     
  8. diamondsmith

    diamondsmith Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you so much very helpful! My family is known for not taking bad behavior from horses. I will defintly never abuse a horse in any way but those babies will defintly not be allowed to "play". I have an older Morgan mare Elly May. She has raised two foals and she will be put into a pen next to them until their weaned so in know she won't be sneaking milk from their buckets[​IMG] after that they are going to be penned with Elly so she can teach them the manners that's can't. I'm excited though. Right now I'm working with my new horse. She is an ex western pleasure show arabian. And the things she went through to be a "perfect" show horse is sad. We went to an open breed show and there happened to be some halter Arabs practicimg, she took one look at that Wil and almost bolted. Explained why I can't lingerie without draw rains, or touch her with a whip (we are almost over that though). And I'm glad that your tb farm raised them with nurse mares. I think the majority of them goes without them.
     
  9. kbarrett

    kbarrett Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am so happy to hear you have an older horse to keep the youngsters in line! That's awesome- truly the best case scenario. Make sure you post lots of pictures!!!

    I have seen many sad things too. I was a teenager when I was an Arab show groom. We had a 4yo colt that had spent time with a trainer that was known to chase the English Pleasure horses with a fire extinguisher!!! He was afraid of his own shadow. I also burst out in tears one night after a race. I got in a new horse the trainer claimed for a really nice owner. Polish Dancing was his name, I thought he was going to be a jerk due to a fractious at the gate note in his form. He was a bit standoffish when I first got him but we got on well, he liked to stretch like a dog when I would saddle him in the am to wait for his exercise rider :) He had clipped the inside hoof wall of a rear leg and it was a lot of work until that was healed up. The first time I ran him he didn't win and when we got back to our barn (a mile walk) I let him get a drink then headed into his stall to unbridle him & pull his bandages. He slammed me into the side of the wall, rushed passed me and went to the back wall with his head up and white eyes waiting for me to beat him. OMG I was bawling, that was one of the saddest things I ever saw. He never did that again, I can't ever remember having to correct him for anything, anyway he learned I wasn't going to hurt him. I always spent the walks back to the barn giving him special attention. He was a big butt when he won, you have to go to the test barn and cool down there and only get to leave after a urine sample. He was always the tough guy on those walks back to the barn [​IMG]

    I've seen many people who didn't belong on the other end of a lead rope or in the saddle. Discipline should never equate to abuse. I have to say I've been really fortunate, for the most part I have worked with horsemen I could respect and learn from. Doesn't stop you from seeing the garbage now & again or the result of their efforts.
     
  10. diamondsmith

    diamondsmith Out Of The Brooder

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    Eva also clips her front heals.... Uggg she also loves to dance with barbed wire...but she is a sweetie. We do dressage and jumping. My trainers wife just adores her! Sounds like you have a lot of experience! I would love to become a arabian breeder who trains them using Pirelli and natural methods.
     

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