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When to Wean Young Horses By Kentucky Equine Research Staff · June 19, 2014

Foals are usually weaned when they are from four to six months old. By this age, most foals are grazing and have been introduced to concentrate rations. They depend less on their dams for nutrition or companionship, and usually get along well after the first few days of separation.

Foals might be weaned earlier for several reasons. Young horses that are growing too fast, and are therefore in danger of becoming too heavy for optimal joint health, might be weaned before they are four months old. If the dam is producing so much milk that she is losing weight, or if she becomes ill, the foal may be taken off her at a younger age. Foals are sometimes weaned because they need to be taken to a clinic for some type of treatment, though the mare is often allowed to accompany the foal for security and nutrition.

Later weaning could take place if a foal has been sick, has not grown well, or is a single foal on the property and there is no place to separate it from its dam. The mare will eventually wean the foal herself, pushing it away when it tries to nurse. Persistent foals may even get nipped or kicked by their dams before they accept the inevitable.