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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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hay is extremely low, what can I do?

We in the Midwest are finding a real shortage of hay, can not locate any from local people, or feed stores. What can I feed? I heard that if a horse, in my case 3 ponies, HAVE to have hay? What can I supplement, or can I? Please help I have now become completely out. And the store doesnt know where or when they will recieve hay again, all local farmers are sold or storing for their own use. thank you, ginger

Where are you from? Midwest/ USA

How did you locate this forum? internet

Re: hay is extremely low, what can I do?

Hey Ginger,

Does your feed store carry "complete" feeds? Those formulas have the roughage included. You have to feed a lot, but it might help your situation.

Where I live, grass hay is grown locally but alfalfa is not. My friends and I get together and bring in a truckload of alfalfa from another state and divide it. Because of the cost of shipping, we try to buy all we'll need for several months. You can find growers online.

Where are you from? Poolville TX

How did you locate this forum? Horse DDS

Re: hay is extremely low, what can I do?

Hello Ginger and Pam,

I empathize with your predicament, having been there myself during an extreme drought in Texas. I did what you did, Pam, and ordered a large amount of hay from out of state (California) and split it with a few of my horsey friends.

But, to answer your question, Ginger, you will need to get a "hay extender" which is not necessarily a complete, commercial feed. These feeds are fortified with vitamins and minerals, which are fine to feed as a meal, but not to replace hay in most cases because you would have to feed too much. Even the high fiber ones need to be fed in meal sizes no more than 4 lbs for the average 1000 lb horse. So, it is best to add a hay replacer.

To replace hay, get hay cubes -- such as timothy, alfalfa, or even both. Feed them in amounts similar to what you'd feed for hay -- approximately 2% of body weight. But, it is best to moisten them because they are very dry and can cause choke.

I wish you well and hope this situation doesn't last too much longer.

Best regards,

Dr. Getty

Where are you from? Bayfield, CO