The ~Texas~ Mustang Project's Blog

Working for better management options and cohabitation through compromise and communication for the American Wild Mustang

Tuscarora Wild Horse Gather Con’t & Indian Lakes Foals Update… May 16, 2010

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on May 16, 2010


(Re-Posting a Message from Willis…)

Feel free to cross post. First, some good news.

A few individuals have been posting all sorts of speculation on the internet recently over some foals at BLM’s Indian Lakes Rd. contract facility (AKA Broken Arrow.)  I’ve been forwarded messages where claims have been made that BLM has been doing everything up to and including shooting foals.

Here’s the story:

Whether on the range or in facilities there are a number of mares out there that can’t maintain their foals.  They are aged or otherwise run down and don’t produce sufficient milk.  When BLM gathers horses in the fall this is a non-issue since the mares generally foal in the spring. If mares cannot maintain their foals the foals will have long since died and aren’t part of any gather statistics.

Obviously when horses are gathered in the winter, mares are going to foal in facilities.  It is likely that some run down mares will be more capable of maintaining their offspring when put on a managed diet but even with increased feed and more accessible water provided in these facilities, some of these mares are going to still come up short.

We were recently asked to pick up three foals that fell into this category.  Wild Horse Organized Assistance had also picked up three foals.  Here’s what we found with ours.

From one pen two foals had dams that weren’t producing sufficient milk.  They found a mare in the pen that would nurse them along with the mare’s own foal.  Doc Sanford and the crew realized that this good producing mare couldn’t successfully support three nursing foals and as such all three foals were at risk.  The decision was made to remove the two foals that weren’t the dam’s.

In another pen a foal from a mare producing insufficient milk was trying to nurse off other mares and getting pretty beaten up because of it.  Naturally a decision was made to remove that foal before she was seriously injured.

I suppose that BLM could take the position that since the foals were not viable given their circumstances (having no sufficiently lactating dam) they would technically be justified in euthanizing the foals.  Instead they did what they have done for years, turned the foals over to qualified non-profit groups to care for until they can either be placed with adopters or be turned out with other weanlings.

I take great exception to some of BLM’s range priority and horse removal policies, and I’m certainly critical of several aspects of the Calico gather.  However the facility crews are taking care of horses and given the huge task that they have, they do a respectable job.  It’s not perfect, but it’s definitely credible.

Also all this insistent chatter that BLM is going around murdering horses is starting to backfire.  We were developing an audience for our cause and now many of the people that we really need are getting tired of all the hype.  We clearly have some issues that we need to address and it is my opinion that we need to focus and coordinate our efforts there, developing arguments based on facts that will motivate politicians and bureaucrats to favor making changes that will protect the standing of our free-roaming horses and burros.

In the meanwhile, here is a KBR Wild Horse and Burro News report on the foals.  Once they returned to their normal level of vigor, these little guys have adjusted very well, have become friendly and the orphan foal corral is a giant playground to them.  The photos in the report speak for themselves.

http://www.kbrhorse.net/news/ilfoals01.html

Now into an issue that we do need to address:

BLM has posted its proposed Tuscarora Wild Horse Gather on the internet.

http://www.blm.gov/nv/st/en/fo/elko_field_office/blm_programs/wild_horse_and_burro/owyhee_rock_creek.html

I haven’t had time to review the documents and look for any mistakes or misapplication of data, however one thing immediately jumped out at me.  At the bottom of this web presentation is a section titled “News Article.”  This “News Article” is actually a link to an opinion piece by Tina Nappe captured from the RGJ.com site and posted to an official government site.

I personally have a problem when subjective opinions are characterized as news by official agencies and published on government sites and I have submitted a complaint to that effect.   Years ago we had a brouhaha over this kind of stuff and BLM determined that its policies precluded the publishing of opinions except in the context of producing records when requested of official public comments.  My personal opinion is that this so-called “News Article” is an improper attempt to lobby public and legislative opinion by posting subjective material not generated by the agency, and therefore it needs to stop.

Both sides in this issue need to play fair in order for us to come to some reasonable and sustainable solutions.

“:O) Willis

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52 Responses to “Tuscarora Wild Horse Gather Con’t & Indian Lakes Foals Update… May 16, 2010”

  1. Linda said

    Good news about these three foals and the dams that will hopefully do better only nursing their own. One question – Has the BLM made horses that are ill or have been injured, but still have a chance of being rehabilitated available to qualified rescues or individuals BEFORE they are too far gone?

    Our rescue has had many successful outcomes with Henneke ones and less-than-ones, severely injured horses, and horses 20 and older. Also with a mule that came in at over whatever age teeth stop being an indicator, and has been with us for about 4 years. Ol’ “Buddy” is our “spokesmule”, and major fund-raiser!

    • Linda said

      P.S. – Even at his advanced age, “Buddy” can still clear a hay cart on the way to his private dining hall in our feed room with form that rivals most hunters!

  2. sandra longley said

    I also take issue with a government agency substituting an article by a “writer” who played fast and loose with the facts, and doesn’t seem to be an expert on anything-for a scientific evaluation of the range forage and habitat in this particular EA…I see it as an attempt to augment their lack of studies in this evaluation…this does NOTHING to raise my respect for the BLMs oversight-of publicly owned lands and horses..these are not as the writer states..Nevadas lands and horses..

    • sandra longley said

      Given the fact that they are publishing an opinion piece to a taxpayers website..I demand equal time..and want my comments published in rebuttal..they have been taken to task for their “puffery” before..but aparently they are so covered with snake oil..it slid right off..there are laws that apply..

  3. sandra longley said

    In domestic breeding programs one would expect about a 99% conception rate and a 90% foaling rate..so a 20% rate as opposed to 90 is pretty dramatic..that means there is a 70% difference in attrition rate for wild horses..70% more do not maintain their pregnantcy and/or foals have a larger death rate in the wild.

  4. sandra longley said

    also, the fact that the BLM constantly and unchangingly uses that 20% figure would indicate to me…that the forage and habitat is pretty consistant to excellent..the dramatic reductions they are claiming across the board should be showing up in a reduction of live foals…starving horses=more abortions less conception-mares inability to provide nourishment to foals..more deaths on the range of foals and old horses..we are not seeing that-to be the case.

  5. LOUIE COCROFT said

    DON’T FORGET THE LAHONTAN CUTTHROAT TROAT MENTIONED IN THE REPORT–THEY HAVE TO BE PROTECTED FROM THE HORSES.

    • sandra longley said

      Oh yeah..the horses are fishing without a license..However, the Ruby Pipeline going through there was determined “to have no impact’ on the trout…yeah like 600 workers are not going to wade in the stream take a dunk or fish for trout on their lunch break..LOL

  6. sandra longley said

    I wonder if the taxpayers are footing the bill for the Wiiji boards they are using to predict the future forage and water…

  7. LOUIE COCROFT said

    I PUT SOMETHING ABOUT THE TROUT IN MY ORIGINAL LETTER, BUT THEN DECIDED NOT TO–DIDN’T WANT TO SOUND LIKE A SMART YOU KNOW WHAT. THIS IS A GOOD PLACE TO VENT OUR SPLEENS.

  8. Chrystie Mort Davis said

    Enlighten me please. I have been going to the facility virtually every weekend. I have heard no chatter about horses being shot from any of the attendees nor from the BLM representative. Those in attendance are very aware that there is change on the wind for a multitude of reasons. We are also very aware of the foals and the mares that have had more than one foal to attend to, as we have been pointing them out. I can only speak for myself, but I am thankful that the foals have been removed and are being taken care of. This saving of the foals and the mares probably would not happen in the wild. I appreciate the integrity of those BLM employees involved who are doing what they can within the scope of established policy and implementation of proceedure. I also thank Mr. Bolstad for facilitating the “tours” and allowing a 3 hour time period instead of 2. This has greatly facilitated both sides, as anyone who has been on a tour knows that 2 hours is just an aggravation thrust onto everyone involved.

    I ask again, please point me in the correct direction to see the posts or blogs or websites that are stating that horses are being shot at Fallon.

    Thank you,
    Chrystie

    • sandra longley said

      These are the rumor mills that start, in a couple of places and then expanded upon with imaginations..Probably started with some that were shot during the roundup phase..I have to say-a animal that is suffering needs to be put down immediately..and if you KNOW what you are doing, a shot is the fastest most humane way to do it..I have posted this before..euthanasia is not a quick process in a horse..some horses struggle against it, it would be simular to smothering. Allowing an animal to suffer..is NOT an option in my opinion.

    • Chrystie,

      Dean speaks very highly of you, so I think that you have an understanding of what actually does go on with the horses at Fallon. As Sandra stated, there are individuals among the different blog pages who have stated that the foals of Fallon have been shot for various reasons, but suffice it to say that the main reason is that “BLM just doesn’t care”. I know differently, and several others know differently. Troy, John, Dean, and the “guys” at Broken Arrow truly do care for these horses. I wish so often that everyone could be there and meet them and see how they interact with the horses and how they care for them themselves and in person.
      However, not everyone has this opportunity. That is why it is up to us to let everyone know – there are not viscous atrocities the likes of which come straight from a horror flick going on with these horses at the hands of the BLM and WH&B personnel at Broken Arrow.
      There are those among the “So-Called Wild Horse Advocates” who would have everyone believe that BLM/WH&B are systematically killing the Calico horses one by one intentionally. This is simply not true. They are in fact doing everything they can to save as many of them as they can. If this were not the case, I would not be writing this reply to you or to anyone, or at all for that matter. If this were not the case, why else would they release foals to rescues in order to give them that opportunity to thrive and live where they would otherwise not have that chance? If they wanted them to all die anyway, what would be the point of trying to save them? None.
      But they do release these foals to rescues. They release colts to rescues. They perform surgeries that 90% of the domesticated horse veterinarians would never even attempt due to costs and time consumption. They have a veterinarian attending to these horses whose entire career has been spent treating wild horses. They give the chance to the horses who are sick and have a possibility to recover that chance versus immediate euthanasia.
      I don’t agree with gathers. I don’t agree with all of the current management options or with the current policies. But I do agree with the possibility of a better set of options and policies tomorrow. If they don’t happen tomorrow, then I work for it the next day, and the next, and the next. And one day, may it be soon or may it be later, there will be those better options and policies. I for one know beyond the shadow of doubt that I will not be the only one jumping for joy. There will many fellow true advocates jumping with me. There will also be many BLM and WH&B employees jumping up and down and shouting “Finally!”
      T.

  9. Anna said

    Wilis Lamm wrote:
    Instead they did what they have done for years, turned the foals over to qualified non-profit groups to care for until they can either be placed with adopters or be turned out with other weanlings. Anne’s comment: If this is true; why did John Neill not call a rescue for Lil One Day? If this is true, why did John Neill not give a rescuer the Foal referred to The Calico Colt?

    Another thin Foal was shot on Sunday! Willis; that is 4 foals I have record of:
    3 of those foals were “shot !
    one of those foals got chemical shot!
    Many Mustangs have been “shot @Fallon

    • sandra longley said

      Anna..YOU donot not know that the foal was SHOT all we know is that it was euthanized..That is what was stated..we stick to the facts because that is the only way we will earn respect for our opinions.

    • Anna, the foal euthanized on Sunday was not shot. It was chemically euthanized for very humane reasons.
      The statement has been made that “this foal did not become this way overnight”. No, he didn’t become that way overnight. In reality, the foal was likely born this way as a result of his dam’s inability to provide the proper nutrition and/or ability to develop properly while still in the womb. This foal was only 2-3 days old. Foals such as these are not uncommon – both in the wild and in domesticated horses. It just happens sometimes. The fact the mare had a dry nurse bag is even more evidence to the theory that she was not a suitable breeder. In domesticated horses, we have the ability to select which mares are bred and which are not bred. Needless to say, this is not the case in the wild.
      The public did not “find this baby and call for help” on his behalf. There was likely no help that could have been given to this foal given his condition. A foal that small and that young without the benefit of foal imprinting would likely not have survived even if he had been given to an “orphan” rescue because he was likely not able to thrive as a result of his lack of proper fetal development.
      These are the cold hard truths of Equine husbandry: Some foals do not live. Some foals are born dead. We don’t like that this happens. Generally, we grieve over the loss of said foals alongside of the dam who has just lost the foal. But we know that everything happens for a reason. Had these foals – and the foal in question – been “saved” if it were possible, their quality of life would have not come close to the quantity. The irresponsible act an owner or caregiver of an animal can commit is to allow their own selfish wants and desires to override the suffering placed upon the animal as a result.
      T.

      • sandra longley said

        From my prospective, I believe the foal was savable given what I know and see. he does not appear to be born with a defect..he ‘tried” to nurse(not a dummy foal) he was on his feet and pacing-he had not given up-He had not passed his meconium or was impacted yet he was not down and colicky..which I have seen in the first day of birth with a nursing foal..He needed colostrum and/ or a transfussion and to be placed on a bottle..I see no defect in the colt-nor have i been told there was a defect..I have raised orphans that stand 16 hands and go on to win halter classes.A sickly colt could have not made it that long without IVs or nourishment.

        • I agree that the foal should have been turned over to the group that took the other foals. As long as the foal was standing an attempt should have been made to re-hydrate him. It “appears” that the authorities are not keeping a close eye on the pens when the public is allowed to witness and photograph foals in distress. It also “appears” that the BLM has one less mouth to feed in the long run, and “appearances” are everything!

  10. Anna said

    Willis Lamm wrote:
    “However the facility crews are taking care of horses and given the huge task that they have, they do a respectable job. It’s not perfect, but it’s definitely credible. Also all this insistent chatter that BLM is going around murdering horses is starting to backfire.”
    Anne’s comment: 87 Mustangs perished!
    (This does not include:
    1. The Mare shot at gather site; (Troopers Mare)
    2. The other 5 “destroyed @ Gather
    3. This does not include the 3 Foals who died with their mum during birth (3 sets of mares and foals died during birthing)
    4. This does not include the miscarriages foals (foals born dead; up to 30 miscarriages or greater…
    5. This does not include the “Foals inside the pregnant mares who were “shot by doc Sanford; who openly admits he destroys preg. mares (about 30 preg. mares were shot so u must count the unborn foals in wombs and on and on and on; general speak;
    *we know 87 Mustangs perished IN THE PENS @ Fallon; for various causes; MOST of them perished due to colic…
    we know at least 3o mustangs miscarry; we know at least 3 sets of mares foals; (one set died on HSUS visiting day!; we know 4 Foals have been “shot… Hope the Foal; another foal previous;
    lil one day and another Foal (starving was shot just past Sunday!
    So 87 @ pen; 6 @ Gather = 93 Mustangs
    Plus 30 miscarriages at least = 123 +
    3 foals died during birth = 126 +
    Foals in pregnant mustangs wombs = 30
    93 + 30 + 3 + 30 = 153 Mustangs Gone!
    And Willis…hear me out; if reading;
    THIS DOES NOT INCLUDE THE FOALS WHO HAVE BEEN BORN AT FALLON AND ARE UNDER THE AGE OF FOUR MONTHS WHO… Either “die on their own or are shot! 9 due to weakness or they won’t nurse! So my point was; and believe me: I, Anne of Conn. USA: have NEVER once used the word “murdering…not once! The word I use is the right word; Sanford shoots sick and weak Stangs! Sanford has shot about 87 so far!
    How could you call this “Credible”?
    WILLIS; NO OFFENSE BUDDY BUT WHY DO YOU THINK 87 MUSTANGS HAVE DIED?
    WHAT’S YOUR OPINON? I’d like to know because a toll of 150 out of 1,500 is a 10% toll; you find this credible. PS: have you seen the new pix of “The Starving Foal @ Fallon… Now hear this:
    ANYONE WHO HAS EYES CAN SEE THE FOAL! And how the BLM “shot the foal on Sunday. So pls. Stop defending a corrupt government. Sanford does shoot Mustangs; imo Anna
    PS: Sanford does not shoot healthy ones; I never said that! Only the sick; that is what is so terrible… Sanford shoots sick mustangs instead of treating them with extra hay; shelter; supplements; pellets; electrolytes; rice bran; warm mashes; etc. Sanford does not try to save ’em.

  11. Anna said

    Sanford does not try to save weak foals and weak mares…weak adults
    So therefore Sanford is in “violation of the his profession which is to TREAT SICK MUSTANGS…
    He does not treat them with anything!he either lets ’em die or destroys em and alsways recall what the BLM said; the blm can tell which Mares have miscarried during the night; when the BLM goes out to “gather miscarriages; BLM said; I can tell which mares have miscarried; becuz in the am when we go out to gather the striken miscarried foals; the Mares who have miscarried are:
    curled up like a greyhound !; so in other words; a mare who miscarries @ Fallon is in such distress; the mare has to “curl up like a greyhound;
    the no. 1 prob. at Fallon is:
    Malnutrition caused by inferior Hay; this is why mares miscarry; because the mare has to have a certain requirement of Nutrients which is was finding on the plains but cannot find @ Fallon; in fact; some Mustangs @ fallon cannot find the hay or reach the hay ! imo a

    • sandra longley said

      Anna He did NOT say the mares who aborted were “curled” up like a greyhound. They are tucked up like a greyhound. Thats they way a mare looks whether she has given birth to a live foal or aborted. Now an aborted foal is dead when it is born. It never struggles but remains in a curled up fetal position as it was in the womb.

    • sandra longley said

      The facts are this: the stress of the roundup caused the abortions. The horses were for the most part in decent condition given the time of year. They HAVE GAINED weight as we can see in the pictures. They are NOT starving the horses. We have plenty of arguments against the BLM – we cannot afford to make stuff up. No one will take us seriously. We have to stick to the facts and ask good hard questions.

    • Really? “Sanford does not try to save weak foals and weak mares…weak adults.” Then why are there horses in the sick pens? Why did I personally witness several horses in those pens who were weak and in need of some TLC? Why did I personally witness weak adult mares who were placed by themselves in a pen all to their own to facilitate a no-competition feeding environment? Dr. Richard Sanford is one of the foremost leading veterinarians in the country for wild horses. He has been practicing solely as a wild horse veterinarian for 25 years. Doc does treat them with medications, rest, and balanced feedings to increase their caloric intake while not increasing their chances of refeeding syndrome. No, he is not perfect! Are you? Am I? Is anyone on this world wide web? Nope. Has your veterinarian never lost a patient? Nope. He’s likely lost quite a few.
      Even though this was not a statement made verbatim by BLM, I think it kind of fits. Quite frankly, I can tell you also from experience: after a miscarriage or birth, just about every mammal on the face of this planet will “curl up like a greyhound”. It hurts!
      Furthermore, that hay is by no means “inferior”. That hay is the best hay that can be found in the region. It is mixed to a precise formula for proper feeding of mustangs. Yes, there were miscarriages. No, this is not an uncommon occurrence. It simply is not seen as visibly in most cases as it has been at Fallon because lets face the real facts here: There were 1922 horses gathered from Calico. Of those horses, approximately 648 were mares. Of those mares, approximately 350 – 450 were pregnant. They experienced a traumatic and stressful gather operation while in their 3rd trimester. This type of physical and mental stress will take it’s toll on 99.9% of mammals. So yes, there were miscarriages. Was it a result of the nutrition they were given? Likely yes, but not from the BLM. More likely, it was from the lack of proper nutrition from the winter range mixed with the stresses of the gather operations.
      “in fact; some Mustangs @ fallon cannot find the hay or reach the hay !” This statement has not one ounce of truth or reality to it. I’m sorry. I just can’t hold my tongue on this. Again, I have seen with my own eyes how this facility operates. The hay is continually pushed back towards the horses after the horses have rooted through it – which by the way is a perfectly normal Equine behavior. And if there is a horse that cannot find hay that 50-75 other horses in the same pen are rooting through and chowing down on, then there is a serious problem with that horse. And for the record, the hay is not moldy, contrary to other statements and reports.
      The #1 problem at Fallon is not malnutrition. The #1 problem at Fallon is a whole lot bigger, deeper, and louder than hay bales.
      T.

  12. Anna said

    It would be good to find a way to count the number of foals under 4 mos. who have perished at the
    “sinful conditions of Fallon:
    a. hot sand lots
    b. no shade
    c. hay too far high or low to reach
    hay mixed with sand; too much ! anna

    • a. hot sand lots – They live in the desert.

      c. hay too far high or low to reach, hay mixed with sand; too much! – Once again… the hay is not too high or too low, and it is not on sand in the first place so it cannot be mixed with sand. It is on concrete slab that stretches from one corner post of the fence to the other outside of the pen with feedlot style front fencing to facilitate grazing.

      T.

  13. Anna said

    Final post today thanks for reading;
    For sure the Foal who was thin could have been saved with Nutrients like
    qualtiy hay pellets or cubes
    supplements; rice bran rice bran oil
    specialized vitamin mineral pellets
    they don’t try to save ’em ! why not?
    why don’t they try to save em
    are they short on hay and money? : (

    • sandra longley said

      They have placed out some of these foals to qualified people. They screwed this one up. They obviously need the manpower for 1 individual at least to be responsable for patroling the foaling mare pens to catch problems immediately. When they decided to do this winter gather. They knew these mares would all be foaling in these pens and should have had a protocol in place. Again I say – when you remove them from the range – you are responsable for their care custody and control. There is no excuse – if you don’t have the manpower to handle it. Then don’t round up so many at one time.

    • Seriously? You would feed a 2-3 day old foal “quality hay pellets or cubes”? A newborn foal’s digestive system cannot tolerate such forage. This is why they require their dam’s milk. And again, they do try to save them! There are many foals who have been released to rescue organizations – several in the past few days!
      T.

  14. OK, Anna, I have some questions for you. Please feel free to correct me if I’ve missed something here.

    I haven’t seen you out here on the wild horse range so do you actually live here or not?

    I haven’t seen you doing field work as some of us do day in and day out, protecting range horses.

    I haven’t seen you field doctoring wild horses so they don’t have to be brought in.

    I haven’t seen you involved in any of the negotiations and activities that resulted in horses being released back onto ranges.

    I haven’t seen you out getting horses off state highways, untangled from fences or off private property.

    I haven’t seen you taking in orphan foals or special needs horses.

    I haven’t seen you submitting field reports, attending meetings or involved in the Environmental Conflict Resolution process.

    I haven’t seen you at field meetings between government personnel and advocates figuring out how to resolve horse-human conflicts so yet even more horses don’t have to come in.

    I haven’t seen you hauling water, repairing fences and doing all the other physical, time consuming logistic work that helps prevent additional herds from being targeted for removal.

    I haven’t seen you interacting with BLM personnel on a regular basis.

    So what makes you think that you know more than those of us who do? For that matter, what makes you think that you have better insights than we do as to who can and can’t be trusted at BLM?

    Some of these claims going around are preposterous and you can bet that folks on other side are keeping book on the hysteria coming out of the wild horse advocacy camp and using it against us. Claims that foals are being shot are beyond ridiculous and expose wild horse advocates to ridicule, a preventable situation that many of us very greatly resent given the amount of time we devote to this issue.

    Every minute we spend on damage control to protect our side’s image in the eyes of fickle politicians is a minute we don’t have to find and make use of and exploit or correct disinformation being generated from the other side.

    In addition every minute we waste on self indulgent drama is a minute we lose going after the real problems.

    While on that subject, those of us with range experience come to expect these kinds of foal losses. A lot of foals simply don’t make it. the difference is that if the mares aren’t pregnant in the facilities the foals are produced and die out on the ranges, unseen except to those of us who are actually out regularly checking on the herds. While I’m certainly not claiming that the methodologies used in the recent Calico gather didn’t produce undesirable complications with many pregnant mares, the current issues in mares and foals are not likely due to neglect or mismanagement at the facility. They are the product of the problem, not the problem.

    We’re heading to a point where the future of wild horse management may well turn on who is considered credible and who isn’t. There are politicians getting big bucks from interests who want the horses removed. It is strategic suicide to hand them examples that they can use to discredit our position so they can fabricate excuses to follow the money. This is fundamentally an unfair fight to begin with and the last thing we need to do is to tip the balance point even more in the other side’s favor.

    Please, let’s stop with the self indulgent drama and hysteria. It is hard work and effective strategic planning that is going to produce any long term improvements in wild horse and burro policy. The rest of this is nothing more than a useless sideshow.

    If you’re more interested in drama than developing sustainable solutions then you’ll dismiss the knowledge and experience of those of us who have been pretty heavily involved in this issue for a very long time.

  15. sandra longley said

    I want to pass this info along from the web..my knowledge comes from 40 years of delivering foals and caring for foals..Foaling season requires 24 hours around the clock observing..Missing problems is a humane problem..not a horse problem..This is not a sickly born foal..it was on its feet moving and looking for nourishment for a least a couple of days..was it born a dummy foal? who knows..observation is the key..for those that need info..here is an article that covers it.

    In the real world there are several things about the foal that will alert us to a shortage of milk in the mare. We will notice immediately the foal is spending all of its time nursing. This is not to be taken that the foal has a great appetite! The foal only needs to nurse a couple of times per hour to be satisfied. In addition, the poor foal will walk around humped up with its tail out. It has not passed any significant amount of stool, but feels like it needs to. During our exam of the newborn, we examine the rectum for stool. We know immediately what the situation is with the mare’s milk by the consistency of the foal’s stool.

    By the time we see the foal, it has nursed. If we find the stool to be hard and packed into the rectum, we immediately become suspicious of the mare’s milk, or the lack thereof. Occasionally simple impaction of the stool will occur, but the most common cause of constipation is a shortage of milk coming in the front to push the old stool out. Either condition will be greatly relieved by administering an enema. This should be repeated every four hours until the aforementioned soft, yellow stool is passed.

    Observation of the foal is a simple way to evaluate the mare’s milk production. However, our preference is to milk the mare twelve hours after you find the foal (so this will usually be the evening of the first day). At that time you should find pure white milk. If you do not, start the mare on the oral medicine we mentioned last week. This will start and/or increase milk flow. Then you and your partner draw straws to see who gives the enema and who comes to the clinic to pick up oral colostrum, milk replacer, antibiotics, and tetanus antitoxin. We must not wait to see if the mare will start producing milk before deciding to feed the baby. By the time we realize the mare is not producing milk, the foal is already hungry, constipated, immune-compromised due to lack of colostrum, and on its way to developing septicemia (navel or joint ill). In addition, even if the mare does develop milk within the next three days, the short time you have spent feeding the baby six to eight times a day will help you build appreciation for the job the mare does! If you do not start the baby on supplemental milk by the second day, the prognosis for saving the foal decreases dramatically.

  16. At the risk of editorializing I’m going to post a couple of more comments.

    First, most everyone involved in this mess, save a couple of people who in my opinion keep dredging up (or manufacturing) stuff to keep themselves in the limelight as the self appointed watchdogs for the horses, recognize that the real problem here is horses coming in, not horses in the facility. If BLM isn’t ripping everything that moves off the range then we don’t have these issues. The real problem is outside the facility fences. To that end, so long as we keep going around in circles over the symptoms rather than the disease, we’re never going to move forward. Circles simply don’t produce forward motion. It’s a geometrical fact.

    I have a dog that keeps barking inscessantly after whatever threat, real or imagined, has passed. I finally bought a shock collar. My imagination is clearly at work right now with respect the issue under discussion.

    Secondly, and more importantly, the national focus (as in the collective focus of concerned citizens, politicians, bureaucrats, etc.) is starting to shift away from this facility business to public lands policies and priorities on our public ranges where it belongs. The Deepwater Horizon debacle has moved the energy companies out of favor and Secretary Salazar is being beaten up in a few venues over perceptions that he’s been too cozy with oil companies and special interests. It appears also that some of the rational and scientifically based arguments presented by the horse advocacy camp are receiving more open minded review by some in Federal service. It may be critically important that the issues that make noise about stay fact based and relevant.

    What I’ve been doing includes writing the Obama administration and pointing out in each message some authenticated complaint about Secretary Salazar, and I make sure I throw in at least one line about wild horses and the Secretary’s debacle there. At some point the administration is going to want some of this stuff to go away. The Deepwater Horizon mess is likely to be around for decades. So by comparison an easier issue to resolve involves finding some peace over wild horses and burros on public lands. But these folks are only likely to engage in rational and constructive conversations.

    To help “motivate” such solution finding there have been some interesting revelations offered by some advocates working on the legal – technical aspects of BLM’s Environmental Assessment processes, and they may be able to prove that BLM used outdated, inaccurate or otherwise irrelevant documents and data as a basis for its decision making process. If BLM is out of compliance with regulations in this regard, it doesn’t matter if it was Congress or the DOI that trimmed the funds needed to comply. If the EAs aren’t legal, then hopefully the court will order BLM to perform due diligence and get real numbers before determining that horses are to be removed.

    What we have to accept is that if we are going to have science based management of our public lands, as the laws require, and if BLM can get back to real, verifiable statistics, we will minimize special interest “influence” in decisions affecting free-roaming horses and burros. But on the same token, where verifiable data does show that populations have exceeded resource capability, we have to accept that some horses will be removed, and to that end we need to focus on developing resources and getting some laws changed so that excess horses can be relocated onto other suitable ranges. That concept is going to take some hard work since these ranges are useless without water and BLM doesn’t own the water on or under our Federal public lands here in Nevada.

    Bottom line is that we have an opportunity to change this game, however we need to have realistic expectations. Due to a variety of factors and restrictions we’re not going to open the West to wild horses, but we can make things one Hell of a lot better than they are right now.

  17. sandra longley said

    Now, I want to add to this by saying..the Philosopy that in the wild these foals would not survive..does not apply..They are no longer in the wild..this is an unnatural environment for mares to be foaling in..Anyone who had this kind of foaling operation would be turned into the humane society and arrested. The concentration of mares in these facilities does not allow for the privacy for a mare to bond with her foal that she would find for herself in the wild..There are distractions and competion and a mare finds herself in the position of protecting her foal before she has a chance to bond..she maybe run off if she is not an aggresive experienced mare. As a breeder this is the most appalling aspect of this roundup. I am disgusted that this situation was not discovered and/or assesed and addressed sooner. I find no excuse adequate.

  18. sandra longley said

    Since my last post didn’t make it to the page..I am going to try again.
    The fact is, these mares are not foaling in the wild-they are not able to go off and foal in the privacy that they normally seek..instead they are foaling in feedlots and do not have the ability to bond with their foals and may in fact spend that time trying to defend their foals from other mares-which can cause many problems they do not face in the wild..in neither place are they assisted in the foaling process..but the pressures on them are entirely different. When you take them into your care custody and control-you assume that responsability..and I WILL hold you accountable..If the BLM can not provide adequate or NORMAL oversight and/or manpower for these foaling mares…then DONOT round up so many during a time when you are going to have to provide care for foaling mares..they are no longer in mother natures hands-they are in yours.

  19. LOUIE COCROFT said

    SANDRA, THAT IS MY POINT–OUR POINT–THIS ROUND-UP SHOULDN’T HAVE BEEN DONE IN THE FIRST PLACE.

    I THINK WE NEED TO SIMPLIFY, SOMEWHAT, AND KEEP ON DRIVING KEY POINTS HOME
    CONGRESSIONAL ATTENTION SPAN IS SHORT AND WE HAVE TO MAKE OUR POINTS VERY CLEAR AND CONCISE

    HOW MUCH LAND HAS BEEN GERRYMANDERED OUT FROM UNDER THE HORSES AND BURROS-LAND THAT WAS LEGALLY SET ASIDE FOR THEM IN 1971–I SAW IN ONE VIDEO WITH CRAIG DOWNER THAT IT WAS APPROX.3/4–HOW MANY MILLION ACRES?

    ACCURATE POPULATION COUNTS–IN FACILITIES AND STILL IN THE WILD–I THINK THAT IS THE GOAL OF “HERD WATCH”.

    ACCURATE REPRODUCTION RATES–SANDRA, AS YOU POINTED OUT, FOALING IS A CRITICAL TIME AND IN THE WILD, THERE AREN’T PEOPLE AND VETERINARIANS WAITING TO HELP. WILD HORSES ARE NOT REPRODUCING LIKE RABBITS.

    BENEFITS TO THE RANGELANDS FROM THE HERDS–THERE ARE MANY–THEY DO FIT INTO THE ECOSYSTEM

    CURRENT PROGRAM A FISCAL TRAINWRECK–NOW WE ARE SEEING DATA THAT SHOWS THAT THESE ROUND-UPS ACTUALLY CAUSE POPULATIONS TO INCREASE. BIG CHANGE NEEDED–CHANGE TO “IN THE WILD MANAGEMENT” PROGRAM. BOTTOM LINE–HUGE BENEFIT TO TAXPAYERS–MORE HUMANE FOR THE ANIMALS–BETTER FOR ALL CONCERNED

    • sandra longley said

      i agree totally Louie-the fact is- we will have to show evidentiary proof of the negative biproducts of the roundups-and eliminate forever the roundups in winter and put a maximum on the numbers gathered at one time..There will always be issues assoc. with them but none so great as this..next would be enforcing protocols for the helicopter roundups..there were existing protocols..the contractor did not adhere to them..typical of government..they donot enforce laws on the books.

  20. LOUIE COCROFT said

    ALSO BETTER FOR POLITICIANS WHO WANT TO STAY IN OFFICE

    • sandra longley said

      Its looking pretty shaky for salazar, if Abbey thinks he is flying under the radar..surprise! I have been putting Jon Marvels name out there to head the BLM and Ron Wyden for the DOI-no more career politicians heading BLM.

  21. LOUIE COCROFT said

    A HUGE PART OF THIS JOURNEY FOR ME HAS BEEN TO IDENTIFY WHO TO TRUST. THEY HAVE TO HAVE A LONG AND GOOD TRACK RECORD. SOMETHING HAPPENS ONCE THEY GET INTO OFFICE–NOT SURE WHAT IT IS–BUT WE HAVE TO KEEP RIGHT ON THEM. THESE ANIMAL CAN NO LONGER BE LEFT IN THE HANDS OF ANYONE BUT US.

  22. sandra longley said

    How many personel work at the fallon holding facility?

  23. LOUIE COCROFT said

    SANDRA, I DON’T THINK I HAVE EVER SEEN THAT FIGURE. IT COULD BE DIFFERENT ON DIFFERENT DAYS. IS THERE ANYONE THERE AT NIGHT?

    • Yea Troy & the missus live onsite to provide better security.
      T.

      • sandra longley said

        That must just be for security purposes because they consistently report that horses are discovered dead the next day..Since most foals are born during the nightime hours, the first opportunity to discover a problem would come during the next day.

        at least 2 “experienced” personel should be on duty patrolling foaling mares pens and that should be their only job..2 people would have their hands full with that many to observe..The idea that a breeding farm would only have 2 people to manage 350-450 foaling mares is ludicrous..so I have given the BLM alot of slack by stating 2. But then on a breeding farm..every foal is given every advantage to survive..reaching the decision to euthanise is a last resort-not a management stratedgy.

        • sandra longley said

          OR-as I and others suggested on the DOI comment website..video monitors could be installed and 1 employee could sit in an office and observe the pens for problems…tapes could be made and reviewed when there was something missed to see what actually happened so there would not have to be speculation..Unfortunately-you cannot verify that a foal is nursing just because it is going to the bag of the mare and trying..a sick foal will constantly go to the bag for comfort..a sign he is not nursing..his nose is encrusted with milk and his face or muzzle will be soaked..Personel will not be able to get close enough to those mares to get a good look at the bag to see what is happening and is the foal actually nursing and swallowing.

  24. LOUIE COCROFT said

    MY GUESS IS THAT IT IS RUN LIKE EVERY OTHER GOV. OR CORPORATE ENTITY THAT I HAVE SEEN. THEY KEEP THEY GRAVY AT THE TOP AND SKIMP AT THE BASE WHERE IT IS REALLY NEEDED. THEY DO IT IN HOSPTALS–KEEP THE HIGH SALARIED PEOPLE WHILE CUTTING THE NURSING STAFF. IN THE SCHOOLS–KEEP THE ADMINISTRATION WHILE CUTTING THE TEACHERS AND WORKING STAFF–40 STUDENTS IN A ROOM–NOT ENOUGH PEOPLE TO KEEP THE FACILITIES CLEAN OR MAINTAINED. YOU CANNOT LET THE FOXES GUARD THE HENS. THIS FACIILITY SHOULD HAVE A LOT MORE PEOPLE ON DUTY THAN THAT.

    • sandra longley said

      Louie, there were alot of DOI employees who put forth comments and blogs on that site expressing their frustration with the system they are working in..In many cases they are as frustrated as we are.They are heavy on structure and light on performance. it seems everyone i know in government is working for their retirement..and do not want the applecart upset.

  25. LOUIE COCROFT said

    IT’S JUST THE BAD APPLES THAT NEED TO BE REMOVED.

  26. LOUIE COCROFT said

    THIS WAS IN AN EMAIL FROM IDA

    CBS News Airs Wild Horse Footage – Please Ask Them To Tell The Full Story
    Last week the CBS Sunday Morning News aired breathtaking video of wild horses of Nevada. Filmmaker and wild horse advocate Carl Mrozek recently filmed the beautiful, healthy wild mustangs. Click here to watch the video.
    Please post a comment urging CBS News to do a news segment on the wild horse issue. If CBS gets a huge response it may trigger broader coverage of the mustang and burro story. The response over the next several days will be key. This is a great opportunity to make our case directly to CBS producers so please take full advantage of it.

  27. wild horse advocate said

    I stumbled across your website today and appreciate your views on the issue. Please continue to stay objective and report the facts. There is so much mis-information out there. I know, from a personal perspective, that the BLM does great work. Yes, it is not perfect, but it is very impressive given the difficult situations that have to be dealt with both on and off the range. I encourage everyone to be informed and to understand the facts. Try to put the emotions aside. I know it’s difficult to do sometimes. Wild horses have a tough life on the range. These arid rangelands don’t produce a lot even under ideal circumstances. Balance is key. As much as people think they could do a better job, it is just not that simple.

    Keep up the good work. Education and awareness are so important. However I must say that it probably won’t be long before people try to discredit you because they will say that you are BLM supporters even though you are reporting the facts.

    • Howdy! Welcome to TMP! Glad you found us and hope to see you often.
      Education and correctly reported facts and information are the key to any situation. Thank you so very much for also being a part of the furthering of this concept.
      Yes, I’ve actually already had several individuals accuse me of being everything from an “undercover BLM agent” to a “BLM wanna-be” LOL! At the end of the day, I and many others here know that if we give in to the “emotional outbursts” for too long, we will lose sight of our goals. We’ve already experienced this – even recently – and have missed a few key points that we really shouldn’t have. We used it as a learning experience and refocused our energies.
      The idea of discrediting someone is actually a bit of a joke to a couple of us off-blog. When the day is done, the stalls are cleaned, and the horses are fed – TRUTH shines through brighter than a full moon and the morning sun. When those who are relaying misinformation and false claims find themselves sitting on the sidelines with no one in any position of authority speaking to them, they might have an “epiphany” of sorts wherein they’ll realize , “Hey, maybe I shouldn’t have done that.” If they don’t, its a shame for them, for they will never realize what damage they caused to the ones for which they’ve claimed to advocate.
      Again, TMP greatly appreciates your support of the furthering of truth and facts. Please, stop by anytime!
      T.

  28. I believe that a great deal of the “misinformation” is on the BLM’s shoulders. If the BLM and the DOI were really “transparent” they would not be “afraid” of video monitors on the corrals or giving visitors access to view the horses. It seems the observers have been the ones to draw attention to injured and at risk horses.
    I live close to the largest Standardbred horse farm in the world. The 3000 acre operation includes 418 breeding mares, 12 stallions, 106 retired broodmares. They have 3 resident vets, a foal manager, a yearling foreman and numerous stable workers. Their records show that 95% of mares foal at night so someone is always in attendance in the foaling barns. The mares and foals are kept in foal age-related groups in large fields with run-in sheds. The operation received the 2008 Lavin Cup from the American Association of Equine Practioners for care and compassion for horses.
    Okay, I will concede the fact that the wild horse foals will not become valuable race horses but if our government takes these animals from their home then OUR GOVERNMENT has the duty to provide for these animals in a compassionate and caring way. As a horsewoman I DO NOT see this being practiced by the lack of transparency being shown by BLM/DOI. Just what are they afraid observers will see–what are they hiding? As for there being not much for the horses to eat on the “arid rangeland” I am just wondering how all those cows and calves manage to survive?
    I might also add to the above poster that most advocates here use their names. I could “suppose” that the poster could be employed by the BLM?

  29. LOUIE COCROFT said

    THE EMOTION ISSUE KEEPS COMING UP.
    LOVE,COMPASSION, EMPATHY–THESE ALL STEM FROM EMOTION
    IT WOULD SEEM THAT MOST OF THE WOES OF THE WORLD ARE CAUSED BY THE LACK OF IT.

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