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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 shortage

Dear Dr. Getty - I am very sorry for your loss. I know it is very difficult to have to lose a horse.

As you are aware, since you too live in Texas, we are having a hay crisis. I also have the added complication of one of my horses having an allergic reaction to a couple of batches of hay from east of IH 35. My feed supplier over in Fredericksburg cannot find any horse quality coastal that the growers are willing to part with. They've got their own animals to feed and recognize we are in a drought that may last awhile.

I am feeding Triple Crown Low Starch and Coastal Hay. Since I'm almost out of hay, and TCLS is considered a "complete feed," how realistic is it that I can increase the feed and gradually reduce the hay, finally feeding no hay at all? (I also feed Platinum Performance as a supplement - recently recommended by my equine vet). My hayburners are going to be bored without their munchies, perhaps begin eating Oak bark and whatever else is chewable in their one acre pen, right? My horse buddies and I are all wondering what to do when there is no hay available or it becomes so expensive (because it is shipped in from other states) that we cannot afford to buy it. Some feed stores around are asking up to $9.50 a bale already!

Please advise. Thank you.

Where are you from? Wimberley, TX

How did you locate this forum? Google

Re: Hay shortage

Hi Jean,

Thank you for your kind words. We brought home a new baby to keep my colt company and the two of them are doing very well. But, nothing can replace my Belle.

I understand perfectly about how the drought has affected hay availability and price. I am currently paying $18.00 for a 100 lb bale shipped in from California. It is gorgeous bermuda, but very pricey, indeed.

They really do need some hay, but will manage with the TCLS. However, if you're going to feed more of this ration, you will need to feed 4 to 5 times a day, at least. That's because you should not feed too large a meal (no more than 3.5 lbs) -- horse's stomachs are too small and there is a significant risk of colic with a large meal.

How 'bout picking up some beet pulp? You can feed it dry and horses generally like it (though there are always exceptions!). You can feed this in between meals without oversupplementing, since the TCLS contains vitamins and minerals.

But, even beet pulp cannot be fed free choice. So, if your pocketbook can stand the pain, hay is the best bet for them. Do you have Hay USA near by? They have beautiful hay from California, at about $16 per 100 lb bale. I know they are in Weatherford -- it may be worth the drive.

I hope this is helpful. Horses, as you know, are trickle feeders and need to eat small amounts throughout the day for the health of their relatively delicate digestive systems.

Let's hope for more rain!

All the best,

Dr. Getty