Draft Horses Treatment of the Mare When Foal is Weaned
Draft Horses Treatment of the Mare When Foal is Weaned the usual time for weaning is when the foal has arrived at the age of five or six months, when, if the mare has re-conceived, or has been, or is about to be, severely worked, it is for her benefit that the separation should not be longer delayed.
If the milk secretion is not excessive, no danger needs be apprehended from the process of weaning, which is desirable in all cases to affect gradually. On the contrary, the separation of the foals from free-nourishing mares must be accomplished by degrees. For some days prior to final removal of the foal, the intervals of allowing him to suck must be increased in length, and the food allowance of the mare reduced in quantity and quality for a corresponding time.
If practicable also the mare should be more severely worked. After ultimate severance of the foal, the glands must be periodically hand-drawn, and a brisk purgative administered. A restricted diet, particularly regarding fluid and succulent provender, should be enjoined until the secretion of milk is completely sus- pended. Mares kept only for breeding purposes, if in good condition and not enfeebled by age or other circumstances, may continue to nourish their foals for a much longer period—until, in fact, a natural weaning takes place, and the milk secretion ceases.
The weaning of foals from mares are not subjected to labor and furnishing a full lacteal secretion must be accomplished with the exercise of all the hygienic and medicinal precautions previously indicated and rendered especially necessary by abstinence from work.
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