Sunday, August 28, 2011

A weanling?!

Why yes, he is. It is done. It has been 36 hours since his last sip of milk, and about three hours since his last bit of whining.

Chinook's just about 4 months old (which in my mind is a little young to wean), but circumstances being as they are, it had to be done. I was about to let him go on for another few months, but we had an incident in the barn aiselway where he nearly ran me over because he couldn't see his mom for just a brief moment. This is in contrast to when he chooses to leave her miles away and doesn't care because it is his idea.

At that point, I made the decision. He's too big to be acting like that, and if that's what it's going to be like in 2 months when he's bigger, I don't want to have anything to do with it. Plus, Sage has been getting thinner and thinner. And the weather now is ideal for weaning because everyone can be outside and I'm not stuck with what the rain dictates.

So on Friday afternoon, instead of going out in the big pasture, Brandy and Chinook went into the pasture just to the north of the arena, and Sage and Gabby stayed in the paddock just to the west of the arena. They can, of course, still see each other, but they are separated by a super reinforced electric fence that does not allow nursing.

Sage, to say the least, looked very relieved. Brandy and Chinook are good friends, and she takes very good care of him...except when he tries to be a brat, as below:

Needless to say, he was not too thrilled with the new situation, but that did not stop him from eating hay and generally nourishing himself, which is good. Over night Sage developed a very full udder, which is terrible to witness because you just have to let it do it's own thing (milking it out would encourage her to produce more). She ate throughout the day, but it was obviously uncomfortable.

In an effort to get her moving around a little bit to reduce some of that swelling, I put Sage and Gabby in the far north pasture over night and Brandy and Chinook in the far south pasture. They can just barely see each other if they both stand at the gates. I'd hoped getting Sage out grazing would get her to walk around more, and she did toodle around for a little while. Until sometime in the middle of the night when Chinook got upset and she took to galloping around, too. Which ultimately helped her out a lot, as when I brought them all in for breakfast this morning, her udder was no longer full and tight.

Now they are back to where they can see each other for the day, and Chinook is still a little concerned about his mom. Sage has adapted very well and I think is quite pleased not to be nursing him anymore. It will only be a short time before Chinook figures out his new life as a big boy and settles right down.

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