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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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 Dr. Getty 


Ask the Nutritionist: Dr. Getty's Forum for Equine Nutrition
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With the high cost of things these days, I am concidering to stop feeding grain. I feed excellent grass hay and alfalfa with Accel for the vitamins, minerals and salt. Does accel have pre-biotics? I don't feel the horse doesn't really need the grain, if they are eating plenty of the hay. Can you tell me why I might want to feed grain? I have race type events where it calls on a lot of energy for a short period of time would this call for like a couple of pounds an hour before and after the race? What is your opinion?

Where are you from? Oregon

Re: grain

Hi Kasey,

Thank you for your patience in my answering your questions.

No, you do not need to feed grain -- a forage based diet can be very nutritious especially if you combine grasses (hay and/or pasture) with a legume (such as alfalfa) as you are doing.

Accel does contain probiotics so this will be fine for a healthy adult horse.

But, it is not a good idea to add grain to the diet only on those days when extra energy is needed for performance, since this will disrupt the bacterial flora living in the hind gut and can lead to colic and worse, to laminitis.

So, if your horse is in training or performs regularly, then you will want to be consistent with your meals, feeding the same thing each day. Grain, in small amounts (no more than 3 lbs of cereal grain -- oats, corn, barley -- per day), is fine. You can also feed soaked beet pulp instead, which has virtually the same number of calories as oats and is much safer to feed.

Thank you for writing.

All the best,

Dr. Getty

Where are you from? Bayfield, CO