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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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oat hay & carb sensitivity

What a great forum, thanks for providing such useful information. :)

I have a question concerning an extremely carb-sensitive horse & oat hay.

Due to the extreme drought-- the barn where I board at is feeding oat hay outside in the pastures during the day. While I am happy to know that hay is being fed (there is no grass) I am worried about my horse eating the oat hay since I know that it is high in NSC's.

I have looked thru the hay & there aren't a whole lot of oats attached but there are some. As typical, the hay is 'stemmy' & coarse & he seems to be chewing it slowly. I would 'guess' he may consume 2 or 3 flakes during the day??

My horse is turned out approx. 8-9 hrs daily (& getting the oat hay). Then is brought in & given 4-5 flakes of orchard grass for the overnight hours. He is fed minimally with 2 cups of Triple Crown Low Starch, split between a.m. & p.m. & is supplemented with a carb-free vit/mineral supp, powdered fat supp & mag/chrom.

How worried should I be about the oat hay? Is it enough to cause problems? Thank you for any thoughts.

Re: oat hay & carb sensitivity

Hi Wendy,

Thank you for writing and posting this interesting question. You're correct about oat hay -- it is high in starch and sugar and isn't particularly nutritious. However, the only way to know the levels in your hay is to have it analyzed. You can have this done by your local county extension agency or send it off to be analyzed by Equi-Analytical. Here is their website: Email them or call for a free forage collecting kit and send a sample back to them with your order. Choose the "Equi-Tech" test -- it is thorough and most economical ($29).

Keep me posted!

Dr. Getty

Where are you from? Bayfield, CO