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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 a balanced diet

I own 2 horses, a 11 yo arab and 4 yo QH. They each get am. 4lbs grass hay, 3lbs safe choice. noon 4lbs grass hay. pm. 8lbs grass hay, 2lbs beet pulp, 1 cup flax seed ,i grind myself. My uestion is,i read that with only 3lbs safe choice there not getting the vit/min they need. can i replace the safe choice with alfalfa pellets. will it be to much protein. what about ratio of calcium to phosph.I cant seem to figure it out. is horse sho-glo(manna pro)a good vit/min for this this a balanced diet.thnk you so much.great website.

Where are you from? Phoenix, N.Y

How did you locate this forum? searching the web

Re: feeding a balanced diet

Hi Becky,

Since you are feeding the Sho-Glo supplement, it really is not necessary to feed Safe Choice. So, yes, you can substitute alfalfa pellets. Build up slowly to around 2 to 3 pounds per day. The protein content is fine -- in fact, alfalfa contains additional lysine (an essential amino acid), which boosts the overall quality of the protein in the total ration.

The calcium content of alfalfa is high, however, horses can very safely tolerate up to 6 times more calcium than phosphorus and they are getting plenty of phosphorus from the grass hay. Also, 3 lbs of alfalfa is not very much -- it's equivalent to approximately 6 lbs of hay.

You're doing a fine job! Thanks for writing.

Dr. Getty