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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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Yearling/Weanling nutrition...

Hi Dr Getty,

I have an 8 month old weanling who lost his mom about two months ago (it was an immediate weaning, we took him away because she was colicking and she died 8 hours later). He is UTD on worming, etc... for a long time he looked like a potted out belly on sticks but he is beginning to fill out....

Anyhow, I have been discussing what to give to him to both fulfill his needs and make him really DESIRE his food, rather than just pushing it around with his nose. He is putting on some weight and filling out correctly, but he still doesn't have a hearty love for his food... one person suggested that a yearling could get by on little to no grain and just good quality hay...

What would you suggest IDEALLY for a growing weanling? (He is 13.3hh, on the high side for me for a weanling, and I suspect he will do a lot of growing UP before he does too much growing OUT) I don't need him in show halter shape but I like them fat and sassy. :)

Thanks in advance!

Where are you from? Canada

How did you locate this forum? Google :)

Re: Yearling/Weanling nutrition...

Hi Amanda,

Oh, poor little guy -- I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your mare.

Yes, good quality grass hay is fine. But, you'll also want to give him alfalfa hay, pellets or cubes (soaked, please), to balance out his protein quality. In addition, he needs a multiple vitamin/mineral supplement designed to meet his additional requirements for growth. Mare/Foal IIP is one that I recommend. In your area, you can likely find something similar.

He doesn't need grain, nor do I recommend it since too much starch can lead to osteopathic disorders in growing horses.

So, prepare a meal each day that consists of alfalfa hay cubes or pellets, along with his supplement. Make sure he has a plain white salt lick available, and gets plenty of water.

Thanks for writing. Happy Holidays!

Dr. Getty

Where are you from? Bayfield, CO