We all know that nature can be a mean beast and sometimes a foal has no mother. Since the foal usually accompanies the mare until approximately six months of age, any foal that loses a younger mother is considered an “orphan”. The same happened to the foal in the following video.
And we know that an orphan foal still needs another mare or a person to give it milk and care, especially during the first important days of life, right? Some producers have successfully used other mares as foster mothers. There is a real case in our video. Under these circumstances, the mare must not only accept that the foal is breastfeeding it but must also breastfeed simultaneously.
Some owners rub the foals with the feces, milk, or sweat of foster mares to help the mares accept the foals as their own. Others put some kind of steam ointment around the mare’s nose to interfere with the smell of the foal and fundamentally fool the mare. The same ointment can be applied to the foal.
Foals that are orphaned at early age should be placed on a “sucking” mare or given artificial milk substitutes. In either case, newborns should get enough colostrum. Obviously, if a mare dies at birth, the foal must be fed colostrum from another mare to survive.
A good way to foster is to keep the foal full of food and drink until you are ready to foster. Ideally, you should provide an alternate supply of colostrum, tetanus antitoxin, and antibiotic coverage. You will also need to check the IgG level and perform a plasma infusion if it is missing. When trying to raise a child, make sure that there is a safe and quiet environment with at least two helpers.
In addition to feeding the foal more often, its growth rate is ideal. Most orphan foals can be fed every 1 to 2 hours in the first week, and then every 4 to 6 hours after the second week of life. Take a look at the video, let us know your opinion, and please share the video with your friends and family to make their day.