We all know that nature can be a cruel beast, and occasionally a foal is abandoned without a mother.
Because a foal typically lives with the dam until it is around six months old, any foal who loses its mother before that period is called “orphaned.”
And we all know that an orphan foal still requires the milk and care of another mare or a person, especially during the first critical days of life, right?
Other mares have been successfully utilized as foster moms by several manufacturers.
And we have a real-life example in our video. In such circumstances, the mare must not only tolerate the foal feeding on her, but she must also be lactationally synchronized.
To assist the foster mare adopt the foal as her own, some owners have rubbed the foal with her excrement, milk, or perspiration.
Others have applied vapor rub ointment on the mare’s nose in order to interfere with the foal’s odor and, therefore, fool the mare.
The foal can be treated with the same ointment.
Foals who are orphaned at a young age should be placed on a foster “nurse” mare or given an artificial milk substitute.
In either scenario, the infant must receive sufficient colostrum.
Obviously, if the mare dies during childbirth, the foal will require colostrum from another mare to survive.
Keeping the foal nourished and hydrated until fostering is possible is an excellent approach to foster.
Ideally, you should have a backup colostrum supply, tetanus antitoxin, and antibiotics on hand.
You should also monitor the IgG levels and, if necessary, administer a plasma transfusion.
If you’re thinking of fostering, make sure you have a secure, peaceful atmosphere with at least two people to support you.
Most orphan foals can be placed on a feeding schedule of once every one to two hours in the first week, then every four to six hours after the second week of life,
with the proviso that the more often the foal is fed, the more optimum his growth rate.