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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. 

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All the best,

 Dr. Getty 


Ask the Nutritionist: Dr. Getty's Forum for Equine Nutrition
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Need to decrease feed, but want adequate nutrition.

Dear Dr. Getty~

I am sooo sorry to hear of the loss of your dear Belle. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

My question:
My vet wants me to DECREASE the amount of feed for one of my fillies(10 mos Haflingers). She is just starting to have a tad excess around the ribs. She weighs about 575 lbs.

I have decreased her Blue Seal TROTTER from 8 cups daily to 6 cups daily.

She is also getting:
- 1 oz of Nutra-Flax daily
- 1/2 oz of Accel daily.
- timothy/alfalfa hay,which is pretty much free-choice.

I was wondering if I would need to add more of the supplements if I was decreasing the amount of feed, or is this adequate nutrition for her ?

(TROTTER information: PRO 14 fat 3 fiber 18
calcium .60-1.10, phosp.60, copper 45, manganese 120,
selen .42, zinc 140, Vit A 3,500, Vit E 60
dehydr.alfalfa meal,soybean hulls,wheat middlings,cane molasses,oat mill by-products,veg oil)

I was also wondering if I should be weighing her hay to keep her weight in check, but then that wouldn't be free-choice? What are your thoughts?

Thanks so much!

Where are you from? MA

Re: Need to decrease feed, but want adequate nutrition.

Hi MJ,

Thanks so much for the kind words. We're all doing much better, especially since we got a new colt -- 10 month old -- a really nice companion for Belle's colt.

About your baby -- Since you've cut back on the Trotter, she isn't getting the vitamins and minerals that she would normally get if you were giving her the recommended amount. Which, by the way, is an enormous amount to feed! I looked at the website and they recommend 2 - 2.5 lbs of feed per 100 lbs, so that would be around 12 lbs of feed per day! That could cause a case of colic, for certain.

In any case, go ahead and give her 1 scoop of Accel. That will cover your bases.

Another thought to consider -- feeding a high starch, sweet feed like this is going to make it very difficult to keep weight off. How 'bout considering giving her beet pulp, along with flaxseed meal and Accel? This, with free choice hay is a much better way to go and much safer for her growth. High starch diets, like Trotter, are known to cause orthopedic problems in growing horses.

Just some "food for thought."

Best regards,

Dr. Getty

Re: Need to decrease feed, but want adequate nutrition.

Hi MJ,

I'm back again. I just took a closer look at the ingredients in Trotter, and I was mistaken about it being high in grain! It is very high in fiber and low in grain. So, you can stick with it, instead of the beet pulp I suggested. Nevertheless, you'll still want to increase the Accel because the amount is not large enough to provide all the vitamins, minerals, etc. to fill in the gaps.

I wouldn't cut back on the hay. She is still growing, and it is important to provide all the energy and nutrients she needs.

All the best,

Dr. Getty