The Percheron is a draft horse breed that originated in France. They were originally bred as war horses and for the transportation of people and goods. Percherons were used extensively in Europe during the first world war. After the war they continued to be used in agriculture for draft work and also as dairy animals. Large numbers were export to America and then Brittan. They are returning to popularity again today as riding and competition horses Although they are still bred overseas for their meat and milk.
The percherons ability to produce a large amount of milk, obviously makes them a good choice for foster mares. In dairy conditions mares raise their foal (unlike a cattle dairy) and also produce 10-12 litre of milk daily. Percherons also have a docile nature and great maternal qualities. This means they are more content with the handling and fussing about required to bond them with another foal. The docile nature also allows the foal to take on a new sibling and share its mother.
The process of bonding a mare with another foals usually takes between five to seven days. This time the foals pair-up and the mares adapt to accepting both foals. The new family of three is under constant supervision, foals feed every two hours day and night and this is very labour intensive process. Our vets visits daily during the breeding season and we consult with them for every and any concern.
Once upon a time, a foster mares own foal was euthanised or poddy weaned to make way for the 'valued' foal. Please be assured that all our foals stay with their mother and are raised here at the farm. We can't keep them all of course, they are educated/ broken in and sold to approved homes.
If you are able to source a mare for fostering, we can also help with the bonding process.
The most suitable mares:
Healthy with good body condition.
Lost their own foal with 24 hrs. (Not weaned a larger foal).
Successfully raised a foal previously.
Good mothering abilities.
Easy to handle and content in a stable.