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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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Pregnant mare and flax seed


I have a mare who is about 270 days along in her pregnancy. I had the vet out yesterday and he told me to start supplementing her diet with Dicalcium Phosphate, as well as some good fat such as Flax seed. I have the dicalcium, and I am searching for the right flax seed, and in the correct form. I am looking at the product Nutra-Flax however they add calcium. Is that safe to feed along with the dicalcium? Can I just buy Flaxseed meal from the health store? How much should I feed? I even have some in my cabinet! She is on a 12% pellet as well as beet pulp, and a Timothy Alfalfa mix. Thank you for your help clearing up my confusion!! I just want to give her the right stuff.

Where are you from? Illinois

How did you locate this forum? Equine Reproduction forum

Re: Pregnant mare and flax seed


Where are you from? Illinois

How did you locate this forum? Equine Reproduction forum

Re: Pregnant mare and flax seed

Hi Lindsey,

Thank you for your patience. As I mention at the top of the forum, I try to respond within 7 days of your question.

I suggest adding Nutra Flax even though it has some added calcium because the amount of calcium is minimal -- only intended to balance out the high phosphorus levels found in flax. Also, Nutra Flax is stabilized, which means it will not go easily rancid -- it has a 6 month shelf life. Feedstores do not generally stock flaxseed meal because of the shelf life, unless they can sell a lot of it. And, using the flax in your pantry requires daily grinding, plus it is too high in phosphorus.

You're already feeding a good amount of calcium, so I do not recommend adding dicalcium phosphate. You're feeding beet pulp and alfalfa, both of which are excellent and will provide the necessary amount of calcium for a pregnant mare.

Before you should even consider adding dicalcium phosphate, you need to evaluate the calcium and phosphorus levels in the entire diet. I can assist you with this, if you like, but from what you describe, along with Nutra Flax, your mare is on the right tract.

I prefer a low starch feed if your pellets are high in cereal grains. And, you'll need to feed it according to directions to get enough vitamins and minerals, if it is fortified for a pregnant mare. And lastly, be sure to give her all the hay she wants.

If you are not very experienced with foaling, you'll find The Complete Foaling Manual very helpful.

Happy Foaling!

Dr. Getty

Where are you from? Bayfield, CO