Thursday, March 11, 2010

Orphan Foal

Back in February, during one of our really cold spells, a neighbor from down the road came to our house. He wanted to know what to do with a new baby horse. You see, about 11 months ago, our neighbor was given a black and white stud horse. And you see, stallions won't breed mares if you don't want them to...Every stallion I have ever met defiantly practices abstinence. Okay, well not really, as you know that stud bred the mare and then they gelded the stallion. Then they got rid of the gelding because he was aggressive. Hmmmm........

Well, now this four year old mare has this baby and it doesn't seem to be doing well. The baby won't drink and the mare won't let it and it's about to rain cats and dogs and then drop to 30 degrees. The owner of the mare doesn't have a stall or dry ground for the mare and filly. So, they were laying out in a super muddy mess. It's been so muddy here for everyone, so that's not their fault. It was just sad.

If that baby was going to stay there that night it would have died. So, my father in law took the horse trailer over and picked up the mare and baby. Then, the mare turned into the dead beat mom. She wouldn't let the filly suck. We would hold her up against the wall and the mare would try to bite us and push us around. Good thing my father in law and husband are big boys!

Needless to say after four days of trying the baby was lethargic and skinny. If it had been my baby it would have gotten a bottle from day one, but it wasn't and the owners are not well off at all. So, I finally decided I was going to call them and tell them the filly was going to die unless they got her some milk. But I didn't have to call the owner showed up with some milk and a bottle.

When we separated the mare from her baby she could have cared less. She didn't make a single sound. All of our mares would have freaked out if we had done that. The baby just laid on the ground for a bit shivering. The guys then tried to get the filly to drink. She didn't want anything to do with it. You can see how small she is. She looked like a pony foal. It's sad when all of our mares are standing at the fence and they want the baby! They were sniffing her and nickering at her. It was so sweet. The filly had a strange head. It was all swollen and big. She walked around nickering for her momma. And she didn't get anything in return. Poor baby. She even walked over to our mare that has a baby right now and tried to nurse. She was just so hungry. She is a sweet girl though. She would come over to us. She would nudge around for some milk. She wasn't scared of us at all. She was just hungry. But she wouldn't drink out of the bottle. So, I suggested pan feeding her. You can kinda see how skinny she was in that picture. For a one week old foal, she is way underweight. Finally, success!!! She was so hungry. She drank it all up! I warned the owner about not spoiling her. I told him that when she got a bit older and stronger to get her a goat to play with. I told him not to treat her like a dog. Horses don't play nice. The owner was all excited about him and his five year old daughter "training" this baby. I know how much trouble I have training babies and I know what I am doing.....I couldn't imagine trying to train a foal and not know a thing. But, I am glad the filly got some food and as far as I know she is still doing fine. I haven't gone to see her but my father in law did. He said she had a nice round full belly.

And this happened while my computer was getting fixed! I am telling ya, so much has happened! It was quite an adventurous week.

8 comments:

Grey Horse Matters said...

Aww, the poor little thing.
She is so cute too. I love paints. Glad they are learning how to take care of her. It was good of your whole family to help out, otherwise she would definitely have died.

Stephanie said...

My heart is just broken for this poor filly! I mean I am glad she made it but what a rough way to come into the world. Especially when you talk about your mares wanting her....poor babe!

I am glad for now she is safe, but no offense, her owners sound like a train wreck waiting to happen with her. Just keep telling them the right stuff....your doing good!

Tj and Mark said...

what a cutie. so glad you were there to help. a suggestion for their lack of knowledge: a book presented as a gift perhaps. i think John Lyons has one on raising a baby, but I am sure there are others out there.

Danielle Michelle said...

Poor little thing! She's so adorable! I'm sure she'll do fine with her human parent's. I jsut hope they learn she will get bigger and pushy fast!

At least her owners knew that had to do something to help her out and came to the right people!

Sydney said...

Poor baby! Orphan foals can go either way. They can be the best riding horses, not being afraid of anything or the opposite and think they are lap horses and try to treat you like another horse.

Paint Girl said...

She is so cute!! I am a sucker for black and white!
Glad she finally drank some milk. Hope everything else goes okay.

Fantastyk Voyager said...

She's a cutie! Please keep us updated.

Dunappy said...

It's amazing that's she's lived this ling without milk. I'll bet she's had to have gotten a little at some point. I'm glad that your family stepped in to help. Hope she continues to improve.