I have an update on baby #3. I called this post Good News but it is really a mix that is mostly good. The filly is strong and doing well. That’s the good news. The less than good news is that she is still at the vet hospital. Also, her mother didn’t bond with her, so she won’t let her nurse. Instead, the hospital set up a styrofoam cooler with milk in it that the baby has learned to nurse on. It’s available all of the time, which is better than a human coming out every 2 hours to offer milk. The baby came home yesterday but wouldn’t nurse, so she was rushed back to the hospital at midnight. It turned out that the antibiotics she’s been getting don’t taste good, so she didn’t want the milk, which she thought also didn’t taste good because of the residue of antibiotics on her lips. The vet hospital figured this out and once they washed her mouth out with molasses, then she was ravenous. She should be coming home tomorrow but as a week-old weanling.
I wonder how she will adapt. Physically, I’m not worried. I think she will overcome everything that happened. But the mare teaches the baby so much. Will this filly know how to be a horse? Will she understand that humans are the boss and not just the milk bar? Her situation is far from unique. There are always stories about orphaned foals. Anyone who reads On The Bit’s Blog (Horse and a Half) knows about Phoenix and his group who were weaned at 3 days old. I have to say that Phoenix is a brat. He’s bossy with other horses and people. But he’s not horrible – I’ve seen worse (far worse). It will be very interesting to see how this filly develops, both as an individual horse and as a sport prospect. Good news. Good luck.