What are the pros and cons of a late foal?

haras

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My friend is in a dilemma about letting her stallion cover mares this year, as it would be his first year covering and he is currently doing better than we expected showing and we don't want to ruin the remaining shows, because his attitude has changed after covering mares.

There are 2 mares that we had hoped to cover this year. Would it be a huge problem for them to be covered in august, once the main shows are over? I know the foals would be late, but with good food and rugging would it be possible?

Thanks
 

Enfys

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Hi,

So you are looking at July/August foals, say 4 or 5 months old by Christmas.

I think it depends mainly on whereabouts you are really.
If you get months and months of snow and minus silly temps (like me) then I never plan to cover later than August, or earlier than the end of April. Saying that, I actually think foals would cope better with cold and snow than British rain and mud.

Also, how you plan on keeping them, weaned or still on the mare, on yards, in with turnout, out full time? At that age they should have a fair covering on them and be capable of coping with most weather.

Another teeny thing, if these are to be shown, would foals born that late be at a disadvantage in their peer groups? That is a very small consideration, obviously as showing people you will know that.
 

magic104

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It is not ideal just because they wont be that bit older come winter. Another thing to consider is as you get later into the season some mares are more difficult to get in-foal as they are going off.
 

the watcher

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It can be done, I had a foal born in July last year - I wouldn't have planned it that late in the year but it worked out fine. I left mare and foal together 24/7 until Christmas, then split the foal off at night in his own stable before doing a final separation this spring. Having them together over the winter, and having to bring them in at night meant that the foal got a lot of handling.

He is out with the geldings now, but to look in the field you would think he is just a pony out with them, not a 10 month old youngster

I have abandoned any ideas of showing him this year though, he still has a short baby tail and wouldn't compete realistically with other (earlier and bigger) yearlings.
 

rabatsa

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My mare was a very late born foal - September - and it was not until she was a 7 year old that she looked like her age group so showing her was a complete no no. Also mentally she was affected as over the winter older foals bullied her, along with their mums. more than once she was knocked over at the feed troughs. I did not breed her and got her as a yearling very cheap as she was so backwards.
 

Tnavas

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Pro's - one It's warmer

Cons -
1 There is less feed as it dries off
2 Resulting foal is months behind others in the show ring - affecting them for 4 - 5 yrs.
3 Research has shown that late season foals are more at risk of delivery problems
 

Rollin

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I have a mare who was a September foal as a result of an accidental covering. At three she was a bit backward and still looked out of proportion but with a bit of good husbandry she looked great as a four year old.

In this part of France I don't want late foals. We will cut hay in a week from now and there is a danger of having grass burned off by June. For me late March to mid April is ideal.
 
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