About this time last year, I had to go through the process of getting my colt Finnegan weaned from his Mama.
Although many horsey-folk prefer to do this by shipping one or the other off to board somewhere for a month, I don't like doing things that way. Having nursed babies myself, I thought the whole thing just sounded too stressful for all parties involved (yes, myself included).
So what I did was just keep Genevieve separated in a pen where she and her baby could still see and hear each other, but he wouldn't have access to the 24/7 milk bar.
And it worked out quite well. Have a look....
So the weaning process is still ongoing. And Mama and son are both doing well. Some crying and pacing, to be sure, but they're dealing.
But doing things this way does mean more work.
I have to pitch hay out to Genevieve since she no longer has access to the barn.
I (meaning my kids) have to haul buckets of water out to refill her water tub, because the hose won't reach that far.
And I have to milk her every now and then.
**cricket cricket **
I said I have to milk her every now and then.
See, her udder is still producing milk, it just has nowhere to go. So after a day of no 800lb baby slurpin' down his breakfast, lunch and dinner, the milk just builds up till her bag is tight and uncomfortable.
So I milk her just a bit to take the pressure off. Just enough to make her more comfortable. Plus this will fool her body into thinking that's all the milk she needs to make, so it will start to produce less on the next go round.
But Daniel was helping me feed her a couple mornings ago when he saw me reach up under her belly and start yanking on her teats.
What are you doing?
I'm milking Genevieve.
He just watched with a mixture of horror and fascination for a minute, then shook his head and walked back to the house.
I think I need to add this to the chore list!!! I can just see their faces now when they discover that their weekly chores might include emptying the dishwasher, mowing the lawn, and milking the horse.
Oh, this is brilliant. I gotta go. I need to find my dry erase markers and start making some changes on the chore board.
Click the brown button if you think "milking the horse" should be a chore for my kids.
Click the brown button if you think I should consider the long-range therepeutic needs of my children instead.
Or just click the brown button to vote for me.
I'm linking today's post up with the Farmgirl Friday blog hop over at Deborah Jean's Dandelion House. Be sure to hop on over to check it out!