Class Log: Feeding Foals

Feeding Foals - Taught by Sr. Apprentice Dalaynia - Aug 03, 1998

Breeding Pastures
A favorite place of many herders and visitors as well, this lush green pasture houses newly born runners, their mothers, and mares at many different stages of pregnancy. Carefully maintained by the runner breeding specialists, it is clear of rocks and other potentially harmful debris leaving only acres of green grass and large trees to provide shade on those harsh Summer afternoons. Down a small trail to the west is a large shelter erected to house the runners during extreme weather and threadfall. Following a gentle slope to the south is a large, clean pond filled with fish is where the runners drink, play and swim. Overall, this pasture has a very peaceful feeling to it, and it's not a wonder why so many spend their free time here.
This place could use some small tidying.
Standing quietly are Aislinn's Foal, Wi'nd, Leda, Song, Shetana, and Ra'in.
Gliding around are Thirst
Kaetryn is here.
Obvious exits: Lower Pastures

Tryn walks in from the Lower Pastures.

Tryn waves to Sr. Appy Dalaynia and J-man Kaetryn, "G-day…"

Dalaynia smiles at Tryn and smiles as she looks to see if anyone else is showing.

Sariani stalks quietly in from the Lower Pastures.

Tryn looks around, climbs up on the rail and sits in a shady spot as she waits for class to begin.

Sariani walks in brightly, if a little stiffly. "Hi, I heard Dalaynia was going to be teaching…."

Dalaynia smiles and nods as that looks that's all who is going to show "Okay today I'm going to teach about the feeding and weaning of foals who are /not/ orphaned.

Tryn nods and balances on her perch to pull out her notebook.

Kaetryn listens quietly. Why not, she's got nothing better to do.

Dalkirk walks in from the Lower Pastures.

Sariani nods, settling down in the grass with her notebook.

Dalkirk nods a hello to all.

Dalaynia smiles at the late Dalkirk, but not too late as she starts "A foal will drink it's dam's milk for the first few weeks, but should be allowed to experiment with it's dam's concentrate feed if it wishes." Estella walks with her head held high and with her eyes flashing in from the Lower Pastures.

Brittanie walks in from the Lower Pastures.

Dalaynia smiles as she goes on, checking to see if the are listening "The foal is unable to digest hay at this age. When the foal begins eating more of it's dam's feed, you can gradually start feeding the foal feed of it's own. "

Sariani listens attentively to Dalay. "when do they usually start to es(experiment) with the feed?"

Tryn nods and looks at Sariani. She was going to ask that.

Estella nods silently, her eyes trained on Dalay

Brittanie walks quietly in. Looking around, she makes her way to the group of herders. Quietly she whispers to Tryn, "Am I very late. Did I miss much..?" Brittanie turns the Dalaynia and listens to the info that is given out.

Dalaynia smiles "Depends on how curious the foal is some never really try until later on others may begin within a few weeks or so. Most foals are able to eat solid food at around 6 mths."

Dalkirk raises his hand.

Tryn shakes her head and whispers back, "Not much….just the beginning part. I'll fill you in later."

Dalaynia nods to Dalkirk "Yes"

Dalkirk says, "How long is a runner gestation?"

Sariani scrawls down her notes. "Is there any age at which we should be worried if they haven't started to eat the dam's feed?"

Tryn listens carefully to the questions and Dalaynia's responses, writing carefully in her notebook.

Dalaynia smiles "Well for a runner it is around 11 months, pregnancy will be covered in a different class." She turns to Sariani. "Well if after a few months and the foal has yet to even sniff at the his dam's food something may be wrong but then he may not be interested. However if you plan to wean the foal at about six months of age and he still hasn't eaten you should try to find out whats wrong"

Tryn raises her hand.

Dalkirk says, "Okay, I was just curious."

Dalaynia smiles at Dalkirk and then nods to Tryn.

Tryn looks up from writing in her notebook, "What kinds of things could be wrong?"

Brittanie takes some notes and listens to everyones questions and responses carefully.

Dalaynia nods "Well, there may be an internal digestive problem where the foal is unable to digest anything solid. Teeth may not be developed or he could even have had a bad experiance that he associated with eating and does not want to do it again."

Tryn nods and hurriedly writes the response down so she won't forget it.

Dalaynia nods softly as she looks around and goes on" Gradually the foal will take to hay as well as grass, as it copies it's dam. Though don't be surprised if the foal spits things out at first. The feed should be absolutely clean with out any dust or dirt present and a permanent supply of water should be available if at all possible."

Dalaynia smiles at Tryn "For one, dust can cause a lot of coughing and sneezing, plus it's always a good idea to have clean feed so other problems don't arise"

Dalaynia watches them a moment before asking "Okay unless anyone as any other questions on feeding. I'll go onto weaning."

Tryn looks up from her notetaking and blinks, "No. No more that I can think of."

Dalaynia smiles and as she goes into talking about weaning. "Normally weaning is a gradual process that is barely noticeable when it is allowed to occur naturally. Even mares with a new foal can be seen with last years foal taking along for the occasional suck, which does no harm."

Tryn nods and looks over at some of the foals in the pen, watching them interact with their dam.

Dalaynia smiles as she follows Tryn's gaze, ahh how she loves working with foals. With a slight nod she goes on. "A lot of people tend to wean foals around six months of age. This can be a traumatic experience and leave lifelong mental scars if down too early or too suddenly."

Sariani chews on her pencil, then speaks up. "If it's so much less painful naturally, why do we wean them so early?"

Brittanie frowns and scribbles some notes down.

Tryn turns back at Sariani's question and nods, "Yeah, how come?"

Dalaynia nods to Sariani "Somepeople are to impatient for one. A lot of people also believe that it is okay, and some do quite well at weaning."

Tryn lifts her hand and waits for Dalaynia to notice her.

Dalaynia nods to Tryn Sariani hmms. "In that case, is it okay not to wean them til they're older than six months…?"

Tryn says, "So natural is best?"

Dalaynia nods to Sariani "Yes, in fact some do." She turns to Tryn "For some people it is, for others gradually weaning is the only option open for them. Geaduall weaning is fine as long as it's done probarly and at a slow pace."

Dalaynia looks around a moment before going on. "It is best to wean gradually by introducing nanny mares to the herd and taking away the dams of the oldest foals, who will soon attach themselves to the nanny mare."

Dalaynia continues. "Gradually remove more and more mares from the herd until only the foals are left with nannies who have no milk."

Tryn taps her stylus against the side of the notebook, "So, what about feeding them some grain and let them suckle for a while. Begin giving them more feed gradually and eventually, they's weaned?"

Sariani scribbles that down. There's something she actually has never ever heard of. "Won't they attatch to the nanny mares too much, then?"

Brittanie walks out.

Dalaynia nods at Tryn "Yes they should be getting grain anyways." she turns to Sariani "Well that's usually not too much of a problem as the nannies have no milk so it won't get them anywhere and most foals start feeling a bit independent as the grow older"

Sariani ohs. "Okay, I was thinking of emotional as well as the need for milk. but if they won't get attatched to the nanny…" shrug.

Tryn points towards the foals in the pen, "Let me see if I've got the straight of this…. Introduce nanny mares and start giving them more grain to begin weaning and then move dams out completely when they's attached to the nanny mare." looks up at the sky making sure that's what she wanted to say.

Dalaynia smiles at Sariani "Well alot of runners develope attachments to another runner or even a human, infact seperating runners from there 'friends' and herd mates can cause anxiety especially if they are pregnant"

Sariani hmms and scrawls that down as well. "Okay," she says, curiousity satisfied.

Dalaynia smiles at Tryn "That's basically the idea. Another way is to separate the foal and dam for short periods of time. Gradually increasing the length of time they are separated until they are living separately."

Gendo flies in from the Lower Pastures

Dalaynia smiles "Any other questions before I dismiss this class?"

Chrissa walks in from the Lower Pastures.

Sariani shakes her head. "nope, that's about all I can absorb in one sitting.'

Tryn shakes her head, "Not right now, but I'm sure when I look over my notes something will pop into this lil' ol' head o'mine."

Dalaynia smiles and nods "Well class dismissed than"

Tryn hops down from her perch on the fence and walks over to Dalaynia, "Thanks for the class. If I think of any questions, I'll let you know."

Dalaynia smiles at Tryn "Alright!"

Tryn nods and walks towards the lower pastures.

Tryn walks to the Lower Pastures.

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