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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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24/7 Hay......Again

Dr. Getty,

Does feeding free-choice hay work equally well with any kind of hay or are we shooting more for the low-test varieties? My horse definitely likes the taste of orchard grass better than our local meadow grass, so would a tastier grass such as orchard, also probably higher in nutrients, be more likely to result in weight gain if given 24/7 just because the horse enjoys the taste more and so eats more? I want to try 24/7 feeding, but my horse gains weight easily.

Where are you from? Oregon

How did you locate this forum? browsing

Re: 24/7 Hay......Again

Hi Anna,

Great question! Orchard hay is a cool weather grass, and as such, tends to be somewhat higher in sugar content. Therefore, horses like these grasses better.

However, they will still self-regulate their intake once they realize that they have all that they want to eat.

Your best bet would be to have your hay analyzed for its sugar and starch levels. Your local feedstore or county extension service may do this for you. But, make sure the test is for horses (not cattle). I like using Equi-Analytical for my hay and pasture testing. The test is reasonable -- I believe under $30 and it will give you some peace of mind.

All the best,

Dr. Getty

Where are you from? Bayfield, CO