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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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Soaking Hay

Hi Dr Getty:
We just got our new coastal hay delivery and it looks pretty tasteless. As the last load was quite nice and green and this one BROWN, I am soaking it to try to entice the horses to eat it (they really do enjoy it this way). My question is can I start soaking it at 4:00 PM to be fed the next day at 8:00 AM? The evening temps are in the 60's, will soaking it this long cause fermentation or anything else that would be harmful? Thanks for your help.


Re: Soaking Hay

Hi Elyce,

Well, soaking it will actually cause it to lose even more vitamins than it has already lost. The fact that it is brown indicates that most of the vitamins have been destroyed. And, adding moisture will cause even more destruction.

About the length of time soaking... I don't think it's a good idea, to be perfectly honest. If I were to leave your salad outside overnight, would you feel good about eating it in the morning? It will have bacterial growth, and even some mold starting.

So, if you are stuck with this hay, you can feed it, as long as there is no mold (which can cause colic) --check for any white or brown dust -- that's mold.

Best regards,

Dr. Getty