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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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Pregnant, starving Palomino

Dr. Getty,

This horse is a beautiful palomino, she is with foal and very skinny. Got her at an auction and it looks as if she has been starved. I would like to know what to feed her for her to gain weight and be able to feed her foal properly.

Thank you,

Re: Pregnant, starving Palomino

Hello Karen,

Let me start by thanking you for taking this poor baby into your heart. She is so lucky to have you.

You will need to proceed cautiously and slowly when adding food and nutrients to her diet, since she has been starving. How far along is she in her pregnancy – do you know?

There is a book that I hope you’ll consider purchasing – it will give you a great deal of guidance regarding what to do to prepare for her foaling. It is not a nutrition book (I’m currently working on writing that one). But, it is an excellent guide that will give you valuable insight and help. It’s called “The Complete Foaling Manual” by Theresa Jones and it’s available on my website or at:

Now, getting back to feeding her…

You’ll want to purchase a vitamin/mineral supplement designed for pregnant mares. There are several. One that I like is Mare Plus (by Farnam).

You’ll also want to feed her a mixture of grass and alfalfa hays. She should be able to graze all day long, either on pasture or on hay. And allowed to walk around – not stalled – so she can get the exercise she needs.

If alfalfa hay is not available in your area, purchase alfalfa cubes or pellets. This will provide her with high quality protein to help her build new tissue. I would also recommend giving her flaxseed meal. There are equine products available, or you can buy flaxseeds at any healthfood store and grind them in a coffee grinder to make a meal (don’t feed them whole – they must be ground).

She’ll need a salt lick and access to fresh, clean water at all times – warmed to 50 degrees is the outside temperature is below that.

These are a few basic guidelines. I hope this has been helpful and I hope you’ll keep me posted on her progress.

All the best,

Dr. Getty