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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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Pellets vs cubes vs baled hay

Dr. Getty,
Did anyone ever tell you what a treasure you are?? Well, you are.

Is there any difference between feeding the various forms of hay? I hear it's possible for horses to choke on pellets or cubes, but other than that, is there a difference?

I've also read that you should have your hay tested for nutrients. Is that really feasable for someone like me who uses about 6 bales a year for my minis?

Thanks for all you do.


Where are you from? Arizona

How did you locate this forum? search engine

Re: Pellets vs cubes vs baled hay

Hi Pam,

What a lovely compliment -- thank you so much!

Yes, it's true that horses are more likely to choke on cubes and pelleted hays than by eating fresh hay. I would always soak cubes for this reason. And, it's important to feed no higher than elbow level to reduce the likelihood of choke.

Pelleted feed, whether it be hay pellets or any pelleted feed, does run the risk of choke in some horses (though pelleted beet pulp should always be soaked). However, most horses do just fine. It's very helpful to have water within reach so they can drink right after eating.

About testing hay... this is generally not necessary as long as the hay appears of good color, smell, and is free of weeds and mold. But, if non-structural carbohydrates (sugars and starch) are a concern, it is very helpful to know their level in the hay that you're feeding and testing it is the only way to make that assessment.

Hope this is helpful! Thanks for asking!

All the best,

Dr. Getty