Help! Weaning issue..

So my little filly is gonna be weaned at the end of October when she’ll be five months old. She’s been showing a lot of independence and is eating and drinking her fair share of creep feed and water. My issue is that the barn she’s at has no good way of weaning her prior to me getting her to my farm. Essentially, the plan is for me to pick her up in my trailer and bring her home. There has GOT to be a better way of doing this, and if not are there any ways to reduce the massive amount of extra stress this will put her under. Any ideas?

  • Also, she’s already been trailered three times so a trailer won’t be entirely new to her.

Could you move the mare and foal both to your farm for a few weeks and then wean?

How about introducing her new friend…whoever is going to be her weaning buddy weeks before the transition at the farm where she is now. When you are ready…bring both home together.

Days to wean by the signs, October 31st to November 3rd. Could you wait until she is six months old? I know she is showing independence now, but would be so much more settled at six months. You definitely want both mare and foal at your place before the weaning so you keep baby in a stall and remove mama. So much easier.

I agree that it’s better to move mare & foal back to your farm, then wean.

Personally I’ve never seen the actual day of weaning make much difference, but foals will only get more independent as they grow, so waiting another month sure won’t hurt.

Introduce mom & babe to “the herd” at your farm. In one month, remove mom.

Done deal.

There’s no way to move the mare with the filly due to the current owners preference and waiting until six months isn’t completely feasible due to the road conditions where I live…

I would just take your babysitter with you, have them separated of course. I did this when I bought a weanling, she was even younger than yours. 3 H slant, babysitter/good hauler in front stall, back two open with shavings and pile of hay for filly. She hauled just great. She will be 20 next year:).

Excellent article on weaning:

I’d really wait a little longer.

My main concern is the stress and ways to alleviate that te best I can. Waiting isn’t the safest option purely due to road conditions here. I’m not comfortable hauling any horse period on pure ice.

Curious to where you live to have ice roads already or will in the next few weeks?

I would also introduce the new friend soon so they can be friends before weaning day. Probiotics can also help not relieve stress but with any side affects of weaning.


Tranquilizer for the trailer ride and gastroguard afterward. It’s far from ideal, but it is survivable.

I’d say gastrogard for three to five days pre weaning, ideally. Continuing post.

I just posted the dates for October and November in the “Sticky” at the top of this forum. :slight_smile:

Where do you live? It’s really SO MUCH BETTER to wait until six months of age. Way less stress and much more independence for both mare and foal.

Also curious about location, since there just aren’t very many populated places in the US that are icy roads continually through November and December. It’s easy enough to work around weather nearly everywhere.

I live in Alaska.

Not me, but our roads are already icy and only gonna get worse. Plus the mountains here get so bad you’ll just slide back down.

Alaska did cross my mind. Very cool!

In that case , not ideal situation but yup wean early so you don’t have to deal with ice roads. Gastro guard, probiotics, introduce new friends to her early and tranq as well.


I love it here, it just makes things…difficult.

I live in North Idaho, about 90 miles S. of Canada. Even here were rarely get a serious snowfall as early as the end of Oct.

If the colt doesn’t “know” the weaning buddy, they aren’t much comfort. If the mare owner isn’t comfortable letting the mare go, then you need to take the “buddy” to the farm for 2 wks MINIMUM (4 is better) and turn them out with the mare/foal…then haul buddy & foal to your farm.