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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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All the best,

 Dr. Getty 


Ask the Nutritionist: Dr. Getty's Forum for Equine Nutrition
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How much is too much

This question is for my dear friend with no computer. She has an old mare that is currently recieving alfalfa/bermuda pellets, equine senior, bran, as well as alfala hay. The question is how many or how much supplements can be given before the risk of foundering becomes a problem. Or can you reccomend a more consolidated feeding program (inexpensive) that may be better for her skinny gal? Her teeth will be cared for this week. And she receives a good worming program. Does an older horse need to be vaccinated for West Nile?
Thank you so very much!

Where are you from? Showlow Arizona

How did you locate this forum? search

Re: How much is too much

Greetings Anne!

You friend is fortunate to have you! I'm not sure why she's feeding bran, but if she does, it must be on a consistent (preferably daily) basis. Bran mashes, once a week, like I see frequently, is risky because the bacterial flora that live in the hind gut do not get a chance to get used to the new feed. Anytime a new feed is introduced, it much be gradual and consistent.

In addition to what she's feeding, I would recommend a weight builder. If her budget will allow, there are two items to consider: the first is Ration Plus. This will help with weight gain because it feeds the existing bacteria, making digestion more efficient. The second is Hard Keeper, which adds additional calories to the diet without adding a lot more feed. Ideally she should consider adding both to the diet but if she has to choose one, go with Ration Plus.

Be careful to not overfeed -- the stomach of a horse is relatively small and meal size should be limited to no more than 3 to 4 lbs depending on the breed of the horse.

I hope this is helpful.

All the best,

Dr. Getty

Where are you from? Bayfield, CO