orphan bonding new mom
How to do the grafting to create mare/colt bond for a 4 weeks orphan colt
I found a mare that just lost her 6 weeks colt today and she will be here with me tomorrow to try to adopt my colt
Outside United States
First of all it is important to work with someone in your area that is comfortable with mares and foals. This can be a barn manager, veterinarian, etc. Since you have likely started the process of grafting by now, hopefully it is going reasonably. Grafting normally takes 48 to 72 hours to accomplish. Since this mare apparently lost a foal, if the lost foal had any blankets, halters, etc with its smell present, I would put them on the new foal, There are also products available to spray on the neonate and the mare that may make the mare more receptive to the foal (at least in the USA). The initial periods of nursing (at least every 2 hours, if not every hour) should be totally supervised with the mare in hand or in a stocks. When not nursing, the foal and mare should be able to interact over a barrier that keeps the foal safe. Some mares are very receptive to grafting, while others are not. It is very important for the foal to feel safe around the mare. If the foal gets kicked, not only is major injury a concern, but the foal becomes very apprehensive about nursing. Some mares will need to be tranquilized or twitched initially for safety reasons, however, the more relaxed the setting (including the people helping) quicker and more successful the graft.
This article from The Horse may help as well http://www.thehorse.com/articles/31320/feeding-orphan-foals-aaep-2012
Yes, if you have another orphan about his own age, I would try to pair them up. If that doesn't work, an older mare or gelding that loves babies may also be used as a companion. Goats have been used as companions, as well. He needs interaction with others to learn to be a horse and a herbivore. He also needs to be able to exercise in a paddock, hopefully with a buddy to develop strong bones and muscles..