by Paulette Weir

" Daisy & Buttercup "

Saffron's pregnancy had been text book. She had been bagging up normally and on Sunday 18th April she had wax on her teats. So a couple of sleepless nights were expected, but at 1.30am she started foaling and by 2.00 am had given birth to a healthy filly foal by Bay Dream.

Mum did not show a lot of interest in baby but did not seem aggressive or frightened. I had been handling her udder as she was a maiden, and although she did not mind me milking her, she would not let her foal suckle. The situation got worse and she went for the foal attempting to kick and bite her, as she tried to suckle.

Saffron was sedated, given painkillers and oxytorin by the vet, and finally the foal had its first feed. There followed two days of sedation or twitching to allow baby to feed every 1-2 hours with bottle feeds in between. Unfortunately Saffron still would not accept her foal, it was so traumatic for them both and everyone involved.

Luckily the National Foaling Bank came to the rescue, and on the Wednesday afternoon Andrew and Denise such a wonderful couple from Daventry, brought their much loved Welsh X Arab 13.2 pony "Daisy" and her dead foal to Taverham, Norwich.

Daisy's' foal was skinned and put over a sack of straw, Andrew then had to convince her, that it was her dead foal come back to life. They pretended to suckle and Daisy got excited. Meanwhile Saffron's foal had been bottle fed with Daisy's milk and smeared with her and the dead foal's faeces. The dead foals skin was tied onto " Buttercup " and she was backed into the stable for Daisy to sniff. Again Daisy got excited, but allowed the baby to suckle. This was repeated 7-8 times during the following 12 hours. By which time Daisy had produced lots of milk and they did not want to be parted. The dead foals skin was removed and all was still well.

Daisy is a wonderful and protective mum, and Buttercup is a happy healthy well adjusted normal foal. As for Saffron, a ridden career is perhaps in store for her. She is happy without her foal, and calls to them both.

I cannot thank Joanne Varden enough for all her helpful advice, she is available on the telephone 24 hours a day, Andrew and Denise Murray for their time, effort , concern and generosity in lending me Daisy, Barbara Gregory for sitting up with me for two days and nights feeding Buttercup and keeping up my spirits, and Tina, Pat and Evelyn for their help and concern.

I hope to be able to show off Buttercup to the world next year, but in the meantime if anyone can suggest an appropriate name beginning with "S" I would love to hear from them.

Paulette Weir
Church Farm Arabians
01603 408765 /07944 952971


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