Wednesday, March 11, 2009

~*~In Motion~*~ First Steps, video at the end!...and a supper date! (foal care to date at the end)

Another 8 hours and getting stronger with each moment! (I'm sure there will be tons of misspellings spell check isnt working and I type faster than my brain works some times so I apologize ahead of time)
I have had the camera ready at all times since Radish has been born...though I think I need to recharge my batteries! I was so happy to be able to catch his first steps! Look at him! He's standing! He is increasing his milk intake and staying awake for much longer periods of time now!
Here he is taking a rest from standing for about 10 minutes total! WOW!
I picked up a halter for a foal.....LOL ummm he's got some growing to do before he fits into it! This gives you an idea just how small he is! He didn't know he could hold his head up with this thing on! LOL
This is his new "room" for the time being. Now that he is getting up and atempting to walk, we had to build him a corral so that my carpet doesnt get nasty. Norm built it for me in no time and put it on top of the thick plastic we have been keeping under him. Norm did such an awesome job and I'm still amazed that he has allowed our newest member of the family indoors. I know he knows how much this little foal means to me and the kids, especially Leah. And Norm likes his Sire - Buck- so much too I think he likes having one of his babies here on the farm. I think its cool! I cant tell him enough how I love what he's done for me and this baby the last few days! What a prize I have in him, huh ladies??
He's just too cute not just post tons of Gin came and babysat for me so that I could go to town with Mari and talk to a gentleman about advertising my "business". I put that in quotes because I only WISH I had a business.....right now more like a hobby. He got my card for my soaps from somewhere and liked my website and wanted to talk to me about advertising online and in the Yellow Book.....I wish I was at that level with my soaps. But I'm not, if I was making enough from my soaps to warrant an advertisement, hey it would be great and affordable....but at this point selling on Etsy and Artfire, whom both put you in google searches, is good for me. The best part was eating supper at Panera Bread with my favorite friend Mari
I always enjoy spending time with Mari, she always gives me good sound advice and listens to me even when I'm telling her crazy stories of my growing up. I am a talker and all over the place when I get going! LOL Poor Mari....I'm sure she wants some ear plugs at times! lol She and Gin are Radish's adpotive Grandma's. I feel like I could talk to Mari about anything and I know she'll keep my secrets and tell me "like it is" when I need to be told "how it is"! I love her for that, and for her giving heart. Over the last year she has become someone very dear to me.
It was nice to get out of the house for a couple of hours and not worry about the baby. It's been stressful the first 2 days, no sleep, worrying about if I'm doing all this right or not, and the basic care of a foal. There is A LOT to it, and if it can be avoided, its always best to let nature take care of its own. However this isnt a perfect world and sometimes without human intervention things don't always go so well. Most of the time we dont have to interfere, but there are times we do. I would have loved it if Radish and his momma had been able to take care of themselves. The chances of an orphaned foal making it without all the nutritional needs it has to get from its mother, are really pretty thin..but definately do-able. With a Preemie the chances of a foal making it are not as high. Which is why I have worried so much over this baby. I cant loose him, knowing how much Leah and myself were looking forward to his birth. Leah lost a colt at her dads awhile back and was heartbroken...I cant have that happen to her again. It's a whole lot of work, its constant 24/7, but like I stated in my post this morning, worth every muscle ache, lost sleep, and worry. We are over the most critical time, now to just make it to the 2 week mark....then I'll feel more confident about his survival. It could go either way still....I cant make up for not having his real momma in every way. But I'm persistant about my babies born here on the farm, and I have that refusal to let any of them die. Animals have always been a passion of mine, and I'm thankful every day that I wake up and get the chance to work with animals. It brings such a contented joy to my life that I cannot describe in words! It makes me smile from ear to ear! What I have learned the last 56 hours are that you can read everything and anything online about saving an animal....but the advice from those who have been there is invaluable, and that every animal is different. There is no "text book" case..there will always be something that you have to do different, and feel your way through to find what works. I'm lucky to have friends who have real life knowledge and life saving advice. again......I have to thank you all for holding my hand through the last 3 days!
I love you all!
I hope you'll enjoy the movie of his very first steps! Dont mind the wreck called my living room in the background....I have paper towels, towels, laundry baskets of blankets, garbage bags, etc...that arent normaly laying around like that! Words of Wisdom...if there is a horse in your will not remain spotless! LOL Oh..and build a corral! Enjoy the movie! I hope I uploaded it right!

Foal Care to date>

Fed colostrum in 2 seperate feedings within 6 - 8 hours after birth. Could not milk Georgia (mom) for her colostrum.

Tetnus and antibiotic shots given at birth, and enema (by Vet)

moved into the house away from drafts and cold, foals are born with no fat reserves and preemies can die quickly if left in the elements. - Getting chilled is one of the main causes of death in preemie foals, along with no colostrum.

Foal doesnt have good head control, or lip control, learning still to suck, must make the nipple stay in his mouth and cup the nipple and his mouth in order to create suction for him. Have to hold foals head up and keep him awake to feed..the sucking reflex also causes a secure feeling like a human baby and puts him to sleep.

days 1 -2 1 1/2 cups of milk replacer ( NO COWS MILK - can feed a foal goats milk) every hour ..thats 24 feedings day..and night. Slept a lot, restless sleeps...had a hunch not getting enough food..requirements on milk replacer are not working for this foal....made hole in lambs nipple larger....fed better and slept more soundly. Milk Replacer instructions say to feed 3 cups every 3 hours...not so with a preemie...he needs more feedings at smaller intervals. Foal is being roated so that he doesnt lay on just one side, or he will get pnemonia..and also must be fed sitting up, this requires you to litteraly hold the newborn up to feed.

Day 3 eating 2 cups a feeding every 1 1/2 to 2 hours. 16 feedings a day. Now begining to stand on his own, and takes his first steps at 48 hours old. With a normal birth..the foal stands and walks, and sucks within 1 - 2 hours. He sleeps more soundly...yet awake more through out the day, constantly trying to stand. He still has no interest really about his surroundings....will track my voice and "nicker" to greet me when he see's me...thats also how he tells me he is hungry. He has neighed 2 times now...the first was Tuesday night when Levi whom was on the porch by the back door right where Radish is laid began doing his "get out of my yard" bark at the coyotees....he neighed very loudly as if Levi's barking alarmed was cute really!

At 48 hours old he now sleeps mostly sitting up rather than laying flat on his side. Is drinking almost 3 full cups a feeding every 2 to 2 1/2 hours - approximately still 16 feedings in a 24 hour period. He has begun to fill out. His legs are now getting straighter and stronger, still not walking on his hooves....they will straighten in time. They finally are starting to look like a "real horse leg". He has control over his lips, his bottom lip no longer hangs there, he can hold his head up steadily, but still have to help prop his head while he eats..still wants to fall asleep toward the end of his bottle. All bottles and nipples must be kept very clean and sterile, and cannot mix with cows milk. He is now standing for a few minutes and attempts to walk taking 6 steps before falling.

At 56 hours old....stood for approximately 10 minutes on his own! And praying that I'll get even more sleep tonight!


  1. It is good to see him standing on those wobbly legs! I think it is a good sign that he is standing, don't you? ;) He is so darn cute! What a great hubby you have to help you build his little corral.
    Interesting that he can't have goat's milk, do you know why? How is his mother doing? Have you read anything about reintroducing a foal to it's dam, or is it a done deal once she rejects it?

  2. Hi there! I think its a real good sign he is standing and walking too. I thought when I wrote that I would confuse people..he cannot have cows milk, but he CAN have goats milk. His mom is doing well, she wont have anything at all to do with him, and with him not standing to suck and having to bring him in, its too late to introduce them back...besides she didnt realize he was hers, he was her first foal, and that sometimes happens. I think with my Radish its a done deal..which is fine, I'll make a better mommy!LOL shes a little witch of a horse actually! LOL If she had claimed him we might not have been able to get our hands on him if the truth be told! Good luck with your boy! I'm looking forward to following his progress!

  3. Hurray for Radish! What a cutie pie!!! I think the little guy's doing great considering that he was born premature. As soon as he becomes stronger, you're gonna have your hands full with that little boy!

  4. Awwww, he is just so beautiful and precious. He does look better and it's great to see that he has the desire to get up on his own and take a few steps, but it does worry me that his legs are so weak and unable to hold him up or 'focus' on the task of walking or even standing for long. In the wild he would have already been killed by predators, because as you know a foal has to be up and running within a couple hours.

    Poor little Radish. I'll keep him in my prayers and keep sending him strong, courageous energy.



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