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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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Ration Balancer or Multi Vitamin?

My horses currently eat free choice hay along with a ration balancer (Purina Born to Win). Right now I very nice second cut hay that probably has a protein content of about 14%. Is there a real benefit to feeding a ration balancer in this situation or would a good multi-vitamin/mineral supplement suffice? My boys are turned out 24/7 but the grass has all but disappeared given the lack of rain in the area.

Where are you from? Boston

Re: Ration Balancer or Multi Vitamin?

Hi Liz,

If your hay is of good quality, a good vitamin/mineral supplement is really all you require to fill in the gaps. Take a look at the lysine level in your hay, since this will give you an idea of the quality of protein -- this is more important than just the percentage of protein. Depending on your horse's age and exercise level, he'll require enough lysine (an amino acid -- building block of protein) to remain healthy. This requirement can vary between 20 grams to up to 45 grams per day, as an estimate.

Or, you can find a supplement that contains added lysine to boost the quality of the hay. One that I like for hay diets is Glanzen Complete because it contains flaxseed meal for omega 3s as well as added vitamin E. Neither of these are found in hay.

Thanks for writing,

Dr. Getty

Where are you from? Bayfield, CO