and it has----weaning of all three foals happened at about 6:30 tonight.
Weaning is never what you expect it to be. I thought the Wonk would not care-not only will he be six months old tomorrow, he is pretty independent from his mother. He has raised three times the hell anyone else has over this situation. And boy is he loud. Taz does not seem bothered at all, and Bambi is kind of the middle one. I threw them all in a monster stall together, after their shots and the great separation, so they can distract each other and not be totally in shock.
I do that most of the time, although normally I do it in pairs. I did not want to leave one alone this time--esp since I had planned for it to be Wonkers, but he was so upset, I could not do it--so they are all together. The stalls are massive, so I do not worry about that. Or I did not until I saw Taz lay one on Wonkers for no reason at all. I will not keep them together for long, but to get them through the first few days, I will let them be together.
So I did it, reinforced the barn aisleway in case we have any climbers (you think they cannot do it, but hell hath no fury like a newly weaned baby, and they can surprise you with their wilyness and craftiness), and went back to work. Two hours later I returned. It was pretty dark out, and QUIET.
That is either great or terrible. Its hard to say about things like that. I parked outside the front gate-barrier number four to the big wide world, just in case-- and started moseying in. The first thing I saw was all three mothers standing at a gate staring at the barn. That just breaks my heart, especially for Haida Girl as this is her first baby and she probably does not understand. As I walked to the barn, the babies let loose--one starts and the others start falling like dominos. Ugh, that makes me feel awful. I think they were trying to tell me something was bad wrong--did they already forget that I am the one that did it? Maybe so.
The babies stayed quiet until they knew I was there, then they started crying. Its awful. Kind of cute though that I had to drag Playmate out of her dinner stall to go out to play--she was supervising the babies over the stall divider. I guess I know what her job will be this fall and winter--babysitting. I also remember why I used to go out of town when we did this, leaving hard hearted and partially deaf Barry to deal with it.
The worst part of weaning? going to check on them every few hours to make sure they are okay. I want them to stay in their stall, uninjured, un-colicy, un-hysterical, and eating and drinking well. If the mamas are still hanging out up front after work tomorrow, I will have to move them to another pasture, which is not a huge deal, but makes my life harder. From there though, there is way less hollering and crying because they 15 acres apart....that is what we normally do, but it was not convenient tonight. Lets hope it does not matter.
I hope I get through this without crying myself.