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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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 Dr. Getty 


Ask the Nutritionist: Dr. Getty's Forum for Equine Nutrition
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Feeding 9 month old on stall rest

I have this new filly that has many injuries in all of her legs from about 4 or so months ago. Healed over but still sore to walk - I believe they are from being caught in fencing? She has been on stall rest for about 2 months. Her diet was hay ( I think alfalfa) and a scoop of sweet feed. ( not sure what size scoop but am assuming bigger feed scoop)
My question is I am trying to make sure she has a balanced diet with all she needs and a proper diet for healing her injuries and also for a growing filly.

What I have started since she got here is: free choice mixed grass hay with custom minerals in a flax meal base to balance this hay. Added to that is 1.5 mg selenium. I am giving a handful of alfalfa pellets, beet pulp & couple handfuls of Timothy cubes moistened to mix in the minerals , sprinkle of Iodized salt, vitamin E, 1 ounce Nutra flax, and the last day I started adding Aniflex Complete for helping her injuries to heal. Can I also use Buteless liquid with this also? I am still mixing in a half scoop of the sweet feed mix to all of this. I am trying to get a hold of the sweet feed analysis and the ingredients but, I know there is oats,corn possible soybeans,molasses .......I think the usual but like I said I want to know for sure what is in there.
Can you see anything I am missing for her? I am going to increase the Alfalfa pellets and remove the cubes I am using for sure but am trying to do everything very slowly. I am increasing her salt a little too as she does not drink much water - 2 - 3 gallons a day?

Can you help me fix anything that I am missing? Or need to adjust?
I have thought about replacing the sweet feed with something less sugar/carbs. Is that wrong in a growing filly?

Thanks so much for your help. I really appreciate it.

Re: Feeding 9 month old on stall rest

I forgot to ad that I am feeding a handful of split peas to her feed also. These amounts are also fed twice a day.
The custom mineral I am feeding was made up for my IR/Cushings pony so would there be any difference for a growing filly in mineral requirements?

How much Nutra Flax should I be feeding her?
This is not my everything I do is out of my pocket. I am just trying to see if I can make a difference with her health and recovery.
Thanks so much

Re: Feeding 9 month old on stall rest

Hi Keli,

Two things come to mind as I read your messages... First, are you overdoing it on the selenium supplementation? Selenium is highly toxic when given at too high a level. You must not exceed 5 mg per day. It sounds like you are giving her this mineral from at least 2 sources, if not more and there may already be enough in her hay (depending on what part of the country you are from).

The second thing is the high starch and sugar content of her diet. She is growing and this is not a good idea -- too much starch can lead to osteopathic disorders. Go with a low starch feed that has at least 5% fat. Then add flaxseed meal. If you are not feeding enough alfalfa, you'll want to buy a flaxseed meal product that has the correct calcium to phosphorus level, such as Nutra Flax. Flaxseeds that are not fortified in this way have an inverted calcium to phosphorus ratio, and you want to keep these two minerals in balance.

I don't know what's in the mineral supplement you're offering but you are providing minerals from several sources -- the "custom" mix (not sure what this is), the commercial feed, and the supplement for cushings horses.

You would be much better off feeding her all the grass hay she wants, along with 5 to 8 lbs of alfalfa, flaxseed meal, and a good vitamin/mineral supplement designed for growth such as Mare/Foal IIP. You can use a low starch commercial ration in a small quantity to act as a "carrier" for her supplements, or shredded beet pulp also works very nicely.

Her water consumption needs to be at least 8 gallons per day. If you are in a cold climate, it needs to be heated to at least 50 degrees. Most horses will not consume ice cold water in adequate quantity.

I hope this is helpful.

All the best,

Dr. Getty

Where are you from? Bayfield, CO