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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. 

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 Dr. Getty 


Ask the Nutritionist: Dr. Getty's Forum for Equine Nutrition
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Wheat chaff vs Oaten chaff to prevent founder?


I am in Australia and I have a founder prone pony. Something I have just read has alarmed me somewhat. It was advice that wheat was really bad. I am restricting lush pasture time and feeding wheaten chaff? Should I be feeding oaten chaff? Is oaten chaff less likely better than wheaten chaff?

Thank you in anticipation of a quick response…..


Re: Wheat chaff vs Oaten chaff to prevent founder?

G’day Gregry!

Chaff, in general, is a good way to slow down the digestive process and the movement of feed throughout the gastrointestinal tract. This is beneficial in preventing founder. It is not terribly nutritious, so it is important to offer grass and legume hays, as well. Beet pulp is also a good fibrous source that can be added to a hay diet for additional energy.

Wheat chaff and oaten chaff are similar in nutritional content however wheat chaff has slightly more phosphorus and is not as easily digested as oaten chaff. In terms of preventing founder, however, there is little difference. The most important thing, however, is that the chaff should not contain any grain. If you are feeding any grain, that should be eliminated from the diet.

Wheat chaff can harbor a fungus known as fusarium. We do not know the effect it may have on horses, but some people choose to avoid it due to the possibility of a problem. So, this may be a reason why you were told to not feed it.

I hope this was helpful.


Dr. Getty