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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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Hay vs. Senior Feed for 23 yr old gelding?

Dr Getty,
My 23 year old Arab gelding has been stabled with an older gelding with an allergy to hay for the last 3 months. My horse has been getting a flake of oat hay plus a quart of senior feed in the morning and evening. They have an acre-sized paddock, but essentially no grass to graze. The other horse manages to eat some of the hay each day (he is dominant)which is making him cough. As a result the caretakers "clean up" the hay after a couple hours making it impossible for my horse to "graze" through the day. They are suggesting that I eliminate the hay from his diet and switch to senior feed only (which he can eat quickly, there's no clean up issue or health issue for the other horse). My horse has no dental problems or allergies, but loses some condition in the cold of winter, which is my reason for supplementing with some senior feed. Would I be doing him a disservice by eliminating the hay from him diet?
Thanks for your advice,

Where are you from? coastal Mendocino county, CA

How did you locate this forum? Google search for senior horse health

Re: Hay vs. Senior Feed for 23 yr old gelding?

Hello Denise,

At least half of a horse’s diet must be in the form of roughage – hay or other high fiber source. So, you really cannot feed only Senior Feed. However, you can offer hay pellets and hay cubes. You can also give him plenty of beet pulp – dry so it takes more time to eat (as long as he has access to as much water as he wants -- kept at a temperature no cooler than 50 degrees).

Of course, even with this route, he won’t be able to graze, which is the healthiest way to go, as you know. If moving him to a different location is not possible, then offer him these other roughage forms. The other gelding would likely benefit from this, as well.

All the best,

Dr. Getty