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Ask the Nutritionist: Dr. Getty's Forum for Equine Nutrition

   Welcome to my forum. 

Here you will find more than 6 years of questions and my answers. It is searchable and offers a great deal of information. 

Currently, I am discontinuing new questions. This may change in the future, but in the meantime, please know that It has been a true pleasure serving you. 

Take a look at my Nutrition Library and Tips of the Month for a variety of answers on selected topics. Be sure to sign up for my monthly e-newsletter, Forage for Thought

I also have a growing number of recordings on "Teleseminars on Nutrition Topics that Concern You" as well as the new, Spotlight on Equine Nutrition Series -- printed versions of favorite teleseminars.

And finally, look for my articles in a variety of local publications and online newsletters, as well as the Horse Journal, where I am the Contributing Nutrition Editor.  


All the best,

 Dr. Getty 


Ask the Nutritionist: Dr. Getty's Forum for Equine Nutrition
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feeding weanlings through winter

Dear Dr. Getty, I run a breeding operation of about 15 broodmares, so i feed about 10 weanlings through the winter, depending on sales. They are put in a large pen at weanling time around 5 months of age all togeather. I feed them 2nd cutting alfalfa free choice that test on average 17 to 18% protien. It is pretty nice hay, but not dairy quality. Then I feed them 3lbs of corn a day, salt(or trace mineral salt) and water. I want opitium growth, not nessicarily maxium. We are also farmers and we raise our own corn and some oats. I want to feed what we raise and if have to supplement what we can not. I do want what is best for them with out breaking the bank. Thanks so much, Jean

Where are you from? Nebraska

How did you locate this forum? search engine

Re: feeding weanlings through winter

Hello Jean,

Feeding the alfalfa is the best way to go since it provides the additional protein and calcium that they require. To balance this, I would suggest that you also offer a forage energy source such as beet pulp or rice bran, instead of so much corn. Corn is one of the least digestible grains for horses and over time, can result in an increased risk of insulin resistance and even chronic laminitis.

If you would like to feed a grain, I would suggest oats that have been rolled (not whole). And, I would limit their intake to no more than 1 lb at each feeding. Beet pulp can be added to this for additional energy. It is a very economical source of calories that also has the benefit of slowing stomach emptying while being more efficiently digested.

Happy weaning!

Dr. Getty