If you're thinking of breeding because you want a foal please consider saving one instead. Last Chance Corral can only save as many as they can find homes for. Hundreds of these precious babies perish every year because there just aren't enough homes. Adoptions and donations are down for Last Chance Corral as with all rescue organizations. The poor economy and saturation of the market of foals in Ohio have made it more difficult to find homes for these innocent babies. If you are interested in adopting a couple of foals (you have to adopt at least two) then we will be glad to put you in touch with Last Chance Corral or another reputable nurse mare foal rescue organization. There are so many horses needing help locally that we don’t have the room or resources to take in a large number of foals like we did in 2008. However, with enough interest and people willing to adopt or foster some of the babies we would be glad to help facilitate a trip.
Foal Haven, a clip from Mississippi Roads, is an interview with the Billingsleys on how they became involved in saving nurse mare foals and working to find homes to save as many as possible. Click here to watch segment.
The Last Chance
Watch documentary on Last Chance Corral.
About Nurse Mare Farms
Nurse mares across the country are giving birth to babies for the sole purpose of being able to provide milk to another more “expensive foal”. As heartbreaking as this is to those of us who love horses, it’s just a way to make a living for the nurse mare farmers. Even though there are nurse mare farms throughout the United States, most of the information obtained has come from the farms in Kentucky. The average nurse mare farm in Kentucky has 70 to 80 nurse mares per season that are leased to the big Thoroughbred breeding farms. These farms can get as much as $2,500 per nurse mare. The farms have no use for the foals and because it’s very expensive and time consuming to nurse an orphaned baby, the foals are killed unless a rescue organization can take them.
There is some good news concerning the use of nurse mares. Walnut Hall is a breeding farm in Kentucky that has successfully used hormone-induced lactating mares instead of regular nurse mares to raise the babies when their moms are shipped out of state to be bred. The farm is excited about their success of using the hormone induced lactation method and hopes that other Thoroughbred breeding farms will see the benefits and follow suit. The hormone treatment only costs around $200, there is no risk of exposing their herd to an outside sickness, unwanted brood mares will have a job and most importantly, no unwanted foals will be born. Most large Thoroughbred breeding farms do not know or care what is happening to the babies of the nurse mares that they lease. They are the ones that can stop this unnecessary killing of innocent foals. There needs to be a public outcry against this practice if changes are ever to be made. Until then, we will save the ones that we can and hope and pray that someday this industry will be a thing of the past.
Twelve Oaks Farm's 2008 nurse mare foals
Many went in pairs to their new homes while some went alone to live with a new pasture buddy. It’s been a long hard journey for these babies in their short lives but they are now in good homes where they will be given the love and care they deserve. Watch video of 2008 foals. Thanks to everyone who found room in their hearts to adopt one of these innocent foals and give others a chance to live.