How you separate the mare and foal depends on your experience and the housing facilities at your disposal.

Parting is such sweet sorrow. Breaking the mom-baby bond can be painful or painless, depending on how you do it. There are many ways to wean foals, but a method in which the foal can make a gradual adjustment to being apart from his dam or herdmates is often the least stressful. There's no best way to wean, however, because many factors enter the equation, including health, age, and temperament of the individuals, as well as facilities and management time.

Abrupt Separation

Foals in the pen The traditional way to wean on many farms has been to put foals together in a pen and remove the mares. This works best if mares are taken far away, to another farm if possible, so the foals can't hear them. Foals should remain in a familiar place, as they will be less likely to injure themselves and won't come into contact with new pathogens while their immune systems are compromised by stress.

On large breeding farms or ranches this is still the way weaning is often done. Ideally, the mares and foals are brought into a big weaning pen together so the foals become familiar with the feed and water and are at ease with their surroundings. A few days later the mares are taken away.

Foals in stalls Some breeders prefer to wean foals in a box stall and think it's safer than a pen because the foal can't build up as much speed if he becomes frantic. Some prefer to wean a foal by himself, while others wean two foals together for company.

Jimmie Hardin raises Paints and h