Turnout for 6 month old colt ýes or no

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17 November 2021
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Hi I am a first time foal owner and I don't know if I should turn him out over the winter untill he's been chopped or find a livery yard and keep him in a stable. The field that he would go in has only natural shelter such as tress and so I am worried about him being stuck in the elements over the winter. However, not alot of livery yards near me will take colts and if they do it is individual turn out only. So is it better to turn him out and let him be a horse or find him a liver yard where I can monitor when he goes our. I'm really stuck on what's best for him. Please help
 

windand rain

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Get him out as long as possible stabling foals for too long will seriously damage their welfare. Make sure he has safe surroundings no rugs and a dry spot to sleep is always welcome. I only take mine in if we have days of cold, wet, windy weather only long enough to dry out and have a decent sleep
 

honetpot

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You must turn it out with company, if possible 24/7. Young foals are like small children, they learn from interacting with others, often animals that are kept in isolation never learn and to cope they develop stable 'vices' which are really to relieve stress, and not a vice. Would you put a small child, or even your self in a small room for hours on end and expect to develop normally.
 

millikins

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Ours will be out over Winter, the downside being we'll have to geld him after Christmas and would have preferred to let him grow on a bit. I don't like the idea of keeping them in but have to say my farrier keeps his Welshies stabled for their first Winter and they seem to turn out o.k.
 

daydreamer

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I'd say turn him out. My youngster was turned out 24/7 when I got him as a 6 month old (and still is!). He never wore a rug until the snow days last winter when he was 2 1/2. The first winter his field did have a field shelter but he used to mainly stand outside it. Since then it has only been (not very good) natural shelter and he has been fine. Will they be fed hay over winter - if so I wouldn't worry. I had him gelded about Easter time after that first winter.
 

Shoei

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Mine is coming in at night, just to get into a routine, but he would be fine out with natural shelter and company. I have already had mine gelded though, he's a KWPN and has a good thick coat on him, so I am not envisaging the need to rug.
 

Mary3050

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He’s better off out with company another . You maybe planning to anyway but do keep handling him . Someone brought a foal of us he was very well handle for his age would take a little time to go in a new stable. Got a phone call in March to say they couldn’t catch him , he had got out and was in the farmers 30 acre field . Turns out they had left him a field for 7 months and didn’t even touch him. I dunno what goes through some people minds 🙃
 

Shoei

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24 February 2011
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He’s better off out with company another . You maybe planning to anyway but do keep handling him . Someone brought a foal of us he was very well handle for his age would take a little time to go in a new stable. Got a phone call in March to say they couldn’t catch him , he had got out and was in the farmers 30 acre field . Turns out they had left him a field for 7 months and didn’t even touch him. I dunno what goes through some people minds 🙃
Well interestingly, when I was buying mine, the amount of people who told be to just turn him out in a herd and leave him to it was quite shocking!
 

TPO

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A ray of sunshine 🌞
Have you got/are you getting the foal from the breeder straight after weaning?

Whilst I fully agree that turnout in a herd is better of your two options the ideal is other youngstock with some "nannies".

What are the ages of the others in the herd? How will the introductions happen? What do the owners do with the other horses, will there ever be a chance of the other being ridden/out of the field and yours left alone?

Does the field have hardstanding, lights and a secure shelter in case anything gets hurt and needs to stay in or be kept separated?

Have to had a foal/youngster before? If you haven't will there be someone else at the yard/field that is to help?
 
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