Monday, March 6, when I went to feed the mares I noticed one mare out in the pasture that did not come up. She was about one-half mile away in the back pasture, but I noticed something laying in the grass near her. I had been planning to sort out the pregnant mares and bring them into the foaling area later this week because none were due until about the first of April. I knew when I saw the mare that she had short circuited me and beat me to the punch, delivering her first foal about three weeks early.
I quickly finished putting out feed for the mares and drove the Gator back to the pasture to check to see if I was right. As I got closer I saw a big flash of white on the “something laying in the grass” and thought, “Yea! An appaloosa hopefully. Just hope it is okay.” As I got closer I saw the tail swish and breathed a sigh of relief to know that it was indeed a tiny little appaloosa, and best of all alive!
His dam, Little America Color’s Mandy, is a six-year-old mare and this is her first foal. She is more difficult to handle than most of our mares and I knew that I would have a difficult time catching her in the eighty-five acre pasture, but figured that I could carry her foal and she would follow us back up to the barn. When I reached them the foal sat up, but didn’t stand, so I was able to catch him and examine him all over. I found that he was very correct, tiny, bay with a star and snow cap blanket. I also found that the lashes one of his eyes were inside his eyes, so I brushed them out and checked both eyes. They were very red but that is not too unusual for a newborn.
I picked up the tiny guy and put him in my lap between me and the steering wheel. Mandy started running around the Gator, but I finally got her attention and she located the foal, so we started driving slowly to the barn. As we went along I started thinking about a name, first thinking of Little Man, but as I thought more, I decided on Little America’s My Color Man. We generally use part of the sire (stallion/father’s) name. Since his sire is Little America’s My Oh My, I used “My”. His grandsire is Winner’s Circle True Colors, I used “Color”. And since his dam (mother), I used Man.
Grand Champion at the Ft. Worth Exposition and Livestock Show in January 2012
Once we got to the barn I wormed Mandy since we worm all our mares within twenty-four hours which seems to cut down on foal heat scours. I noticed that one of her hooves needed trimming so I trimmed a little on both of her back feet then took the pair to the foaling barn which is next to our house where we can keep a close watch on new babies and mothers for a few days.
When I put them in the yard I watched long enough to note that the dam was moving away every time that he tried to nurse. Since this was her first foal and she was “ticklish” I guess. I brought them into the barn and tied her up and held him to try to get him to nurse. He wouldn’t try because be had been scared trying to nurse before I found him. I finally decided that I had to get something down him, so milked the mare and luckily he took to drinking from a syringe quickly. I was able to get about fifty cc of colostrum down him so that was a relief. At first I had to put a twitch on her to get her to let me milk her. This went on every couple of hours for about thirty-six hours. Thank goodness he finally started nursing and she started letting him nurse and is now progressing nicely.