Wheatland Off-Range Corral
Horses running down an alley.

The Wheatland Off-Range Corral is a privately owned, BLM contracted, more than 100-acre facility dedicated to the housing of between 500 and 3,500 wild horses and burros. It serves as a preparation center for wild horses and burros gathered from overpopulated herd management areas. Additionally, the facility can also serve as a rest stop location for wild horses being transported eastbound from western states. 

The facility hosts monthly adoption days throughout the year. For the latest information, please contact us or visit the link in the adoption information below.

A horse behind a panel.

The facility contract was awarded in 2020 with the facility achieving an initial operating capability to begin receiving wild horses and burros on January 7, 2021. The facility was fully completed in 2021.

It is located at 1005 North Wheatland Highway, Wheatland, WY 82201

Frequently Asked Questions

The Wheatland Off-Range Corral is currently closed to the public and has been placed under quarantine due to the presence of Streptococcus equi, or strangles, a contagious bacterial infection affecting horses at the facility. Adoptions have been cancelled until further notice.

The BLM has developed Frequently Asked Questions concerning the infection and will continue to update this page as needed.

NOTE: Updates are denoted in italics.

What is strangles?

Streptococcus equi, also known as strangles or equine distemper, is a contagious upper respiratory infection in equids (horses, donkeys, and ponies). Strangles is one of the most common infectious equine diseases and can be spread by horse-to-horse contact or through contact with contaminated people, tack, drinking troughs, etc. The root of this infection has not been determined.

No animals, including domestic saddle horses, have been shipped or received at the facility since the last load of horses gathered last fall were delivered in January 2022.

How many horses have been infected by strangles? How many have died?

The Wheatland Off-Range Corral currently houses approximately 2,900-3,000 animals total, including foals born this year (see question below regarding how many foals have been born at the facility). The capacity of the facility is 3,500 animals. Approximately ¾ of the animals at the facility have been observed showing signs of strangles. Nineteen horses have died since the infection was first detected.

How are foaling mares being affected? Have any foals died? How many have been born at the facility?

No foals have died due to the infection. Mare/foal pairs are currently showing symptoms but are maintaining a healthy body composition due to increased caloric intake and continued care. Additionally, all of the mares at the facility have been vaccinated for strangles and their foals are born with some immunity.

BLM estimates that approximately 250-300 foals have been born at the facility, however, for the safety of the foals they will not be processed until they are older (at least 4 months old) to avoid the risk of trampling and reduce the stress to both foals and mares.

How severe is the infection?

The mortality rate of strangles is typically under 10% but can be as high as 40%. In comparison, 0.8% of the horses affected by strangles at the Wheatland facility have died.

How many stallions have been gelded?

Approximately 90% of the stallions at the facility have been gelded.

Is there a vaccine? If so, how many horses have been vaccinated?

All animals processed into the BLM’s wild horse and burro off-range program are vaccinated against strangles. Vaccines are also administered against influenza, rhinopneumonitis, eastern and western encephalomyelitis, tetanus, West Nile virus, and rabies. The strangles vaccine can decrease the severity of symptoms but does not completely prevent transmission of the disease. All of the animals at the facility have received their first dose of vaccines, and animals are starting to receive boosters.

How is strangles treated?

Symptoms of the infection include loss of appetite, fever, and excessive nasal discharge. Loss of appetite is being mitigated with supplemental feed and additional lick tubs to entice increased caloric intake. If needed, medications to treat inflammation and pain are administered. Recovery of infected animals is further promoted by cancelling adoptions to reduce stress on individual animals and segregating weaker animals.

The BLM is also taking additional biosecurity measures to stop or reduce transmission, including bleaching equipment, alleyways, and chutes, as well as continuing to segregate animal groups that have not been directly exposed or have already recovered. On-site personnel must also wash hands and disinfect boots/clothes before leaving the facility. The BLM, along with contracted facility personnel and a veterinarian, continue to provide daily care and monitoring.  

In addition to the biosecurity measures the BLM and contractor are taking, the facility contractor recently completed a new extension to the facility that will allow further segregation of animals and reduce risk of transmission. The facility's total capacity will remain at 3,500 animals. 

When will adoptions resume? Will there be other opportunities to see the facility?

The BLM has closed the facility to adoptions and tours until the animals are determined to no longer be infectious. BLM plans to hold a public tour of the facility after we can safely reopen without the threat of transmission.

In lieu of being able to open the facility to the public while the infection is still a risk to the horses, the BLM will provide a diagram of the facility with associated photos taken from various perspectives.

We continue to work with the veterinarian to evaluate when we will be able to begin adoptions and will provide notification when the closure is lifted, adoptions can resume, and a tour is scheduled.

Contact Information

Mailing Address:
BLM Wheatland Off-Range Corral
P.O. Box 668
Wheatland, WY 82201

Physical Address:
1005 N. Wheatland Highway
Wheatland, WY 82201

Phone: 
307-251-2797

Email: 
BLM_WY_WheatlandORC@blm.gov

A map showing directions to the facility.

Hours of Operation

The facility is a privately owned BLM contracted facility and is not open to the public except for adoption or other announced public events.

Adoptions

Adoption events are held once a month with the dates of all BLM announced adoptions found on the Adoption and Sale Events list

Click below to see a virtual tour of the Wheatland facility!

Image link showing the Wheatland corral diagram and virtual tour.

 

Please note - Wheel 4 was recently completed and is not yet occupied. Subject to further sorting, particular animals seen in these photos may not be in the same wheel/pen at the time of your next viewing opportunity.