Monday, July 20, 2020

theHorse.com: Wean at Six Months or Wait?

As we head towards fall, and plan to wean foals, it's interesting to look at the trend toward more natural weaning. Not everyone can do it, of course, but I'm glad that science is taking a look at the results of different weaning methods. 

A recent article on theHorse.com takes a look at a French study, which finds that "allowing foals and their dams to wean at their own pace could be a more welfare-friendly breeding strategy than traditional methods." 

“It might seem impractical to some breeders to allow foals to naturally wean from their mothers, but the potential benefits could be worth considering,” said Séverine Henry, PhD, lecturer of animal behavior at the University of Rennes, in France. If you are interested in the humane aspects of raising horses, and you have the resources, it's worth a read.

Read the full article here.


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In a similar illustration of our shifting focus more and more toward animal welfare and humane treatment, theHorse.com also addresses the question of handling foals in the breeding shed. This doesn't come up in warmblood breeding as often as other breeds, but it's still interesting.

Read "Minimizing Foal Stress Levels in the Breeding Shed".

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