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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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What to feed along with alfalfa

I am moving this spring from Denver to the very NW corner of Kansas and it has been impossible to find a source of grass hay in KS.
I have purchased 100 bales of 22% protein alfalfa which I feel I can feed 10 lb am and 10 lb pm.
I am told oat hay is what people "used to" feed along with alfalfa. However, even oat hay isn't available in this drought stricken area. (I am completely unfamiliar with oat hay - would a large round bale have been a good choice, since the horses will be on a "dry lot" - 24 hour turnout, but no pasture?)
A local vet told my husband that I should feed cane bales. I'm not sure what this is, and have never heard of feeding horses cane.
Can you help? !!!!

Where are you from? NW Kansas

How did you locate this forum? accidentally, looking for info about cane and oat hay

Re: What to feed along with alfalfa

Hello Diane,

Cane hay is the term generally used to describe sorghum–sudangrass hybrids. Generally this hay is safe for horses. However, if the plant is harvested under stressful conditions, it can contain dangerous levels of prussic acid. This can lead to health problems in horses. Here is an article that you may find interesting:

So, before you feed this hay, make certain that it is safe.

If you have access to a round bale of oat hay, that would be a better choice, in my opinion. Round bales can easily mildew if they are not consumed quickly. So, look out for signs of mildew (dark, dusty areas or white clouds of dust).

Colorado to Kansas! Now that’s a major change!

All the best,

Dr. Getty