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Ask the Nutritionist: Dr. Getty's Forum for Equine Nutrition

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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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All the best,

 Dr. Getty 


Ask the Nutritionist: Dr. Getty's Forum for Equine Nutrition
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Re: Feeding weanlings and broodmares

Hi Maggie,

You are doing a wonderful job and there is very little I would add except a couple of suggestions.

First, it is really important to limit starch for youngsters, so I would not feed oats or any feed that contains oats (or other cereal grains). Therefore, to answer your question about replacing beet pulp with oats... stay with the beet pulp. High starch diets, as I explain in my recent book, Feed Your Horse Like A Horse in the chapter on growth, can significantly increase the likelihood of osteopathic disorders in growing horses.

Omega Horseshine is a flaxseed meal supplement that contains oats and therefore, I do not recommend it. Go with Nutra Flax, instead.

Grow N Win is a good idea for your hard keeper as long as it doesn't overlap with the other vitamins and minerals you're offering. Instead, I would prefer adding more alfalfa to the diet, along with a prebiotic such as Ration Plus to help the hindgut microbes more efficiently digest forage and hence, provide more calories to his system.

Thanks so much for writing,

Dr. Getty

I have been going over my feeding program and doing a ton of research lately and just can't quite decide where to go (or not to go!). I breed WBs so I have 3-4 broodmares, 2-4 weanlings, 1-2 yearlings, and our old retired QH mare (who has Cushings) at any given time.
Right now I am feeding everyone Nutrena's SafeChoice for a number of reasons (I have fed it for years and REALLY like the results, it was recommended by my vet (it's also what she feeds), and my old girl can eat it too). I also supplement with Vitamin E/Selenium (we are deficient here in NY), Omega Horsehine (a flax based supplement), and Mare Plus or Grow Colt for my broodies and weanlings. We make our own hay and I feed free choice a high quality 1st cutting grass/alfalfa mix hay. I supplement with an extra flake or two of a 2nd cut alfalfa to anyone who needs it (they rarely do). During the summer they are out 12-24 hours a day on good pasture.

Knock on wood, my youngsters seem to grow well (I haven't had any problems yet anyways) and everyone hold weight very well- most of them too well!

I am foaling out for a friend and she wants the mare on Buckeye's Grow N Win fed with crimped oats...I've been debating switching mine over to this (though I'd use beet pulp instead of crimped oats) but I just don't know...Is there any reason I should be rethinking my feeding program? If it ain't broke don't fix it, right?

I guess I should add that I have one particularly hard keeping weanling this year that is on 4 lbs of SafeChoice, 10 oz of Flax, does get that extra flake of alfalfa and also gets 4 oz of Rice Bran Oil daily. Would switching to a higher protein (but lower fat) like Grown N Win (fed with Beet Pulp) do her better or worse?

Edited to add...I will have to drive over an hour to actually get the Buckeye feed.

Where are you from? Bayfield, CO