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The Orphan Foal

The Orphan Foal

Wendy O'Connor

add to basket £20.00

Publisher: Whorl Publishing Limited
ISBN: 978-0-9957440-1-1

A practical guide to fostering and hand-rearing orphan foals. Wendy has over 45 years experience of working with horses and her skills with orphan foals are passed on in this book. When things go wrong at foaling 'time is of the essence' and this book will be a valuable guide to anyone involved in breeding horses, whether professionally or for pleasure.

The book covers the reasons why foals are orphaned, advantages and disadvantages of using a foster mare, hand-rearing and supplementary feeding and many practical tips.

The book will be of interest to: studfarm managers, assistants, students, private horse owners/amateur breeders, equine veterinary nurses, equine veterinary surgeons and equine veterinary students.



This is a compact, spiral bound manual containing practical advice on the raising of orphan foals from birth to weaning, written by someone with over 30 years of equine stud farm experience. The language is simple and much of the information is presented in point form making it easy to read through and create a mental checklist of what is needed and how to get organised for each step and process. Being prepared is half of the battle and the author has carefully listed the equipment and facilities needed to undertake whichever rearing route is taken.

The author starts with why you might have to consider hand rearing or fostering and what to be on the look out for in a newborn or very young foal. The choice made will depend on many factors and the chapters on both fostering and handrearing outline the pros and cons of each option so that the reader acquires a good understanding of what will be involved. There is excellent advice on handling the foal and trying to ensure that it develops ‘normal’ horse behaviour if it is handreared – they can all too quickly become humanised and badly behaved.

There is no baffling science but reassuring reference to the need to take professional veterinary advice if needed.

This book covers all of the basics and more and would be an excellent addition to the reading material for stud managers and stud employees plus the amateur breeder who wants to ensure they have access to some sensible, practical advice on rearing a foal when things haven’t gone to plan. Vets and vet students will also find it useful if they are unfamiliar with these situations.

Deidre Carson BVSc MRCVS
Rossdales LLP.
May 2018


I found Wendy O'Connor's book on the orphaned foal easy to read, informative and practical. This book would be a good learning tool for anyone interested in fostering or rearing foals, and a good practical aid if in a real life situation that requires knowledge of the orphaned foal.

Lynn Irving RVN REVN DipAVN(equine)
BSc (Hons) Clinical Veterinary Nursing


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