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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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How many lbs of pellets to feed per day

I have been feeding alfalfa hay for quite sometime. But recently the hay quality isn't that great. My mare has developed a cough too. I have switched to feeding pellets. Its a hay/corn type pellet. My question is how many pounds do i feed a day. I have three mares, two are rodeo horses and one is still dealing with lameness and is over weight. Thanks for your help.

Where are you from? Arizona

How did you locate this forum? via internet search

Re: How many lbs of pellets to feed per day

Hi Kendra,

I would not recommend feeding corn, since it is poorly digested and will increase the risk of laminitis. Plus, you mentioned that one of your horses is overweight, which translates into insulin resistance. A low starch diet is very important in this case, so corn (or any cereal grain such as oats, barley, wheat, etc.) is inappropriate.

Generally speaking, pellets are twice as concentrated as hay. But, they cannot be fed free choice, like hay. And, feeding only alfalfa can cause digestive problems as well as providing too much protein and calories.

So, my suggestion would be to try and locate a grass hay and give them as much as they want. Add about 30% alfalfa to the mix.

A good vitamin/mineral supplement to fill in the gaps, and you're all set! (Don't forget a plain white salt block and fresh water at all times.)

All the best,

Dr. Getty

Where are you from? Bayfield, CO