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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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Hello Dr. Getty,
I loved the christmas card. Thanks!
As you know I have had my horses on the ultium for some time now. They were doing great in the summer, looked good, etc. When winter struck. My horses looked horrible, lost weight drastically. They have always had access to hay around the clock, plus i was giving the some alfalfa. So of course I increased the ultium amounts for each horse and nothing was working, so just from past expierance I ran out and got some oats to mix with the ultium and they look better now than they ever have BUT I know how you feel about startches and things like that, so I just wanted you to comment since you and I have worked closely with my feeding regimen. Thanks, and have a great day and talk to you soon.

Where are you from? Georgia

Re: ultium/oats

Hi Kim! Nice to hear from you!

Oats can be fed in small amounts to horses that are of normal weight and healthy (no ulcers, no history of laminitis, etc.). I would not feed more than 2 lbs of oats per day.

The fact that they gained weight indicates that they needed the extra calories that oats provided. There's nothing special about oats that contributes to weight gain. My preference, of course, would be to add more calories in the form of rice bran or flaxseed meal. These are high in fat, rather than starch, and excellent sources of essential fatty acids.

Horses tolerate fat very well, and fat has twice the number of calories gram for gram than carbohydrates. So, it's a good way to boost weight gain.

Another issue that may have happened during the winter is the bacterial flora may have diministed in number, making it difficult to get enough calories from the forage they were eating. Ration Plus would be the best option for that situation.

So, that's it in a nutshell! Thanks for asking!!

Best regards,

Dr. Getty