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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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What is meant by Oats is the safest of grains to feed horses?

Re: Oats

Hi Kasey,

When a horse is heavily exercised, it is sometimes appropriate to add cereal grains to the diet. The most common cereal grain would be oats. But, corn and barley are often fed, in addition to wheat.

Oats are the "safest" because they are the most digestible. This means that they are digested in the fore-gut (small intestine). Corn is the most "dangerous" feed because it is poorly digested in the fore-gut and therefore, ends up in the hind gut (cecum and large intestine). When cereal grains end up in the hind gut, they are fermented by the bacteria that live there and this can result in laminitis.

But, even oats can be overfed, with the same tragic results. So, if you feed oats, I suggest limiting the quantity to no more than 3 lbs per day, and only for those horses that need the extra calories for exercise.

All the best,

Dr. Getty

Where are you from? Bayfield, CO