Monday, March 24, 2014

The orphan chronicles

It's been an eventful couple days for this little orphan foal.
He was started on milk replacer immediately after his mother died.  Rather than bottle feeding him, his owner opted to use a wall mounted igloo cooler that was donated by the Longhopes Donkey Shelter.  
This has worked really well.
Since he looked so alone in that great big foaling stall, his barn family assembled a group of toys.
 We all wanted him to like the teddy bear... 
but he's far more interested in the ball and cones.
Everyone has been pitching in to help with his care...
and training.
He especially likes playing with the kids... 
in the indoor arena. 
Yesterday a nurse mare was located and brought to Kenlyn.  Unfortunately, she hasn't been cooperative.
It's possible she'll come around, but for now, he remains an orphan.
It's not the best case scenario, but with this much love and attention...
I think he's going to be okay.


  1. Really heartwarming post, I hope he ends up okay too.

  2. You are so good at these stories. I do not feel like I am missing out while working. Thank you.

  3. I *should* be working but this baby has just captured my heart. I can't seem to stay away from him.

    1. Time to start another custom? I would love to see him in miniature! His markings are too cute, and I love his curly ears!

  4. Thanks for the continuing updates. Hopefully the nurse mare will come around. Freelands Gypsy Horses lost a mare to colic not long after giving birth and the filly spends her days with the rest of the herd outside but her nights alone in a "nursery" stall. It's so sad.

  5. I hope the little guy pulls through alright. I do have a question, how is the wall mounted igloo cooler used/rigged up? The vet had talked about using a bucket after awhile with the colt I bottle fed for a week, but he didn't make it. The same day I went home for the weekend the little guy passed away and my boss didn't tell me until two nights later when I called him. Anyway, just curious as to how that works, I have never seen or heard of something like that.

    1. The Longhopes people have raised several babies on the igloo feeder. I am told that it's better than a bottle for several reasons. The igloo holds more milk than a bottle and keeps it warm for an extended period of time. The baby can nurse on his own schedule without needing humans to help him. Also,since orphans usually have boundary issues with humans, it's better not to let him nurse from a human held bottle.

      I am NOT a foal expert, and certainly NOT an orphan foal expert, but all that makes sense to me, and the baby is thriving so far.

      As an aside, it's so cute watching him nurse. He goes up to the igloo and bumps it with his nose first, just like he would do to his mama to get the milk flowing.

  6. Glad to see/hear he's doing ok. Prayers are still heading toward this little guy for a bright future!

  7. Glad to hear that he is doing well. Hopefully the nurse mare takes to him!

  8. You may have heard this before:
    If you rub the foal down with a strong soap all over and also rub the mare's muzzle and nose. She can't smell the difference, hold her head and after the foal has started to suckle slowly let her start to see him. The mare will normally nudge, lick, and try to care for him, if so watch them for a while and even as the soap wears off she will usually accept him.
    I have done this multiple times and it has worked!
    Good Luck

    1. I wasn't present while they introduced him to the nurse mare, but my understanding is that she was extremely non-receptive. They worked with her for the better part of a day, and she was still kicking at him. Today he was out in the pen and she was still in the barn, so I guess they've given up on her. I'm disappointed because it would have been wonderful if that had worked. Fortunately, he seems to be thriving without her.

  9. If nothing else this little fella is going to be SUPER well-socialized! :) That's quite an enthusiastic crew keeping an eye on him.

    I think the bucket feeder is a marvelous solution for all the reasons you mentioned. Easier on humans, better for the foal. Glad they were able to locate it!