Orphaned Foal Gets an Adoptive Equine Mom

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When Libby Boey Myers lost a broodmare a few days after the mare gave birth to a colt this winter, she had to deal with not only the heartbreak of losing her horse, but the challenge of raising an orphan foal.

Because he did have a few days with his mom, the orphan colt did receive the colostrum, or first milk, which is essential to a newborn horse’s early health. But Myers struggled to find sufficient appropriate nutrition for the colt in the days after losing the mare. She was able to keep him going with goat’s milk, but finding enough of it was a challenge.

Myers operates SnowRidge Farm, a Standardbred operation in Michigan. When another mare on the farm, named Ab’s Super Hall, foaled a few days later, Myers took a chance on an unusual solution to the orphan’s struggles. She took the towel that had been used to clean the second colt and rubbed it on the orphan before bringing him to the mare’s stall. Most of the time, a mare will not accept another foal in addition to her own, but Ab’s Super Hall accepted the orphan colt alongside her own right away.

Now the young colts are growing up together as siblings. Their mom allows both to nurse and they’ve enjoyed their first days running around in the pasture, and they’ve picked up quite a following as Myers posts updates to her Facebook page. Myers told mlive.com that the colts will stay with Ab’s Super Hall until they’re weaned in late summer or early fall, but she’s keeping an eye on the mare to make sure she’s not overwhelmed by her two boys.

“When they go running through the field, it’s so cute to see two babies running after her,” said Myers. “She watches where they’re at. She takes care of both of them. She has no idea that’s not her kid.”


Leslie Potter is a writer and photographer based in Lexington, Kentucky. www.lesliepotterphoto.com


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