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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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Re: harvesting hay

Greetings Terri,

Nice to hear from you! And you have definitely been doing your homework!

Yes, the safest time to cut a hay field would be early in the morning, before dawn. This is when the grass has had the most time to use up its starch and sugar, before it starts the cycle again as it is exposed to sunlight.

But one caution -- are your night time temperatures above 40 degrees F? Ours are still in the 30s but in your area of Colorado, it may be a bit warmer at night. I would defintely wait until the temperatures were in the mid 40s before cutting because grass does not relinquish its sugar and starch as much when it is cold.

Thanks for writing.

Best regards,

Dr. Getty
Author of Feed Your Horse Like A Horse

Terri Daldos
I have an IR mare, mild case. We will be cutting our grass hay field in a couple of weeks, weather permitting. It is a combination of bromes, timothy, clover, and a little alfalfa. Based on your advice of when to allow an IR horse to graze, would it make sense to have the hay cut in the early morning hours to minimize the carbs in it?

Thanks, Terri Daldos

Where are you from? Bayfield, CO