Natural Horse World

Raising Rory

by Jenny Eddington

Rory&AimeeAlmost a month ago as I write this a brave aged Connemara mare died when her foal was born. As she had no colostrum to be given to the colt foal we were very grateful to a though bred stud that was able to supply enough frozen for the first 24 hours.
The extremely strong foal drank well from the beginning his breeder passed him onto Aimee to attempt to raise not an easy task for one so young, with motherly warning not to get attached in these early days when it was really a one day at time thing Aimee forged ahead with the confidence of youth.
Mother having been raised on a stud farm had raised several foals in the past and also had had those inevitable heart breaks of loss. I had never raised a foal totally from birth without access to mares milk in the first
Towards the end of the first day we began mixing Divetalac mixed at suggested strength with the remaining frozen colostrum . At this stage he was drinking about 4 litres per day and he weighed about 30 kilos.From day 2 he drank pure divetalac and was using a 750 gm tin every day and half. We were feeding him about every 2/3 hours but by the end of the first week he spaced himself to 3 plus hours between feeds. We mixed a spoonful of natural yoghurt with each feed and then as we had ready access to cows milk the change began to that. ( It would cost I estimate in excess of $800 to use Divetalac only until weaning even buying the bulk size).
As mares milk is higher in sugar we added glucose to his feeds and gradually changed the ratio of Divetalac to cows milk. We also added an egg once per day.
By 2 weeks he was drinking about 6 litre per day of cows milk and mouthing hay and grass and some rice based pellets soaked. I don’t think he was actually eating it but exploring.
As he approached a month old he is very happy the only slight concern was at about a week he was a little constipated and we gave him a mild enema which solved the problem quickly.
He now is spending increasing times on the grass and is eating a little but still mouthing mostly his teeth are through and we did have a concern when he began rubbing them on wood in the barn. He has some toys and they seemed to distract him and now the teeth are through he doesn’t do the wood chewing.
He has an old mare for a friend but she isn’t trustworthy enough to be in with him but can sniff and chat through the panels.
He is much more interested in Aimee who is his mother, when she takes him for his daily gallops he ventures of increasing distances just like foals do with their Mum’s, when she see something new or scary he runs back to her and hides his head under her arm. We will be bonding him to a pony soon as he needs a four legged leader to teach him about being a horse. He should eventually grow 14 hands plus so he isn’t a small pony.
Rory will be given a registered name in due course by his breeder but we have called him Rory on the advise of my Irish Sister Law as it means waif or orphan in Gaelic.
He is a very special little boy and Aimee is very proud of him.


Rory the orphan connemara colt meets new friend, Maggie the miniature pony. Both are lucky to have Aimee to care for them.

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