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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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feeding foal

Hi, My TWH mare is due anyday now. She gets Nutrena safe choice ,alfalfa pellets,Free choice grass hay,Flax and sho glo.

My question is when its time to creep feed the foal
will the safe choice be good enough or should i get a foal formula.

I also thought before of switching to Ultium, but there is a 4.00$ price difference.
Is ultium that much better than safe choice?
If it is i will switch.
Ultiums ingredent list looks better than safe choices. Thank You. Becky

Where are you from? NY

How did you locate this forum? Been here lots of times

Re: feeding foal

Hi Becky!

Congratulations!! I just wrote to you about the Poulin feeds and I hope this is helpful.

But, for your foal, you can start a creep feeding situation after a month and offer a growth formula. Poulin grains offers a growth product so try that one, if you can get it in your area.

Do you have The Complete Foaling Manual? It's a must have to help you through the foaling process.

Happy Foaling!

Dr. Getty

Where are you from? Bayfield, CO

Re: feeding foal

I am going to add something to the advice Dr.Getty gave you, I have experience in raising foals.
Have an analysis done on your hay. Feeding programs must start with a hay analysis, then you know what minerals ect you have too much or too little of.
Protien is no problem for growing foals, but your calcium/phosphorus balance is crucial. An imbalance of these two will cause your foal to develope bone problems...ex:contratced tendons.
Baby will probably start sharing food with mama after about a week...wether she lets him share her grain is up to her, but most mares don't care...I've had foals that'll start trying to eat mama's grain at a few days old. But they usually will eat their own grain at about a month might start putting a very small amount in your creep feeder just before he turns a month old.
Nutrena Safe Choice is a good feed...I used it with all my mares & foals...but, please, be sure to have your hay is key!!
I also suggest, at about 2 months old have a blood draw done (most foals that are handled daily (imprinted) won't object to the bolld draw...have babies blood checked for'll tell you exactly how much cal/phos ect is in his system, then you can make adjustments if necessary.
Hope this help you and best of luck with Jr.

Where are you from? Wyoming

How did you locate this forum? I'm a member

Re: feeding foal

Hi Becky and Joanie,

Great advice, Joanie! Hay analysis, in any situation, is always the best approach. Unfortunately, I encounter more times than not, situations where hay supplies change every few weeks, so analysis is not feasible. But, if your hay supply is consistent, Becky, consider calling your county extension agent for an analysis. Or you can contact Equi-Analytical for their services. Here is their website:

Nutrena Safe Choice varies in its ingredients depending on the manufacturing facility, so it is best to check the ingredients label. Many of their products are very high in corn and the %NSC is high, even though they advertise their product to be low in starch and sugar.

All the best,

Dr. Getty

Where are you from? Bayfield, CO