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[RC] question for breeders - kathy swigart

Marirose Six said:
> About how long does it take for the average
> broodmare to dry up after weaning?
It depends on how old the foal is at the time of weaning.  If the foal is 3-6 months old, it can take months. If the foal is 12 months old it takes a week or so. 
> And, if the foal should try to nurse again (after weaning),
> would she likely start producing milk again?
If the foal DOES nurse again, the mare will start producing milk again, but not if the foal only tries, but fails.
I do not know if the mare will eventually dry up even if the foal is not weaned.
"The bond between mare and foal is great and there have been instances where they have been placed in paddocks together many months after a sccessful weaning, only for the owner to find the mare suddenly starts producing milk again and the foal starts feeding! Unless you absolutely have to, it is probably best not to reunite mare and foal in the same paddock for 6 months or more to be sure the mare will not take the foal back, but this will vary with each case."
Additionally, it is possible with a little hormone therapy and then regular nursing to induce milk production in "open" mares, years after they have had a foal (I have never heard of anybody doing this with a maiden mare though).
However, with my fillies that were weaned at the age of about 14 months (they had periods away from each other before then when I would take one or the other out to work with her and leave the other with the rest of the herd), I only had to separate the mare and foal for a couple of weeks, and even then, it was just in a paddock adjacent to the pasture.  The whole weaning thing was a total non-event.
When I weaned the colts, they were never put back in with their mothers, but that is because I did't want the colts out with ANY mares and had nothing to do with milk production.
Orange County, Calif.