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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: foal feeding

Greetings Judy,

I'm delighted to hear about your old fellow and how well he is doing!

The key to feeding a foal is to avoid starchy (or sweet) feeds. Starch and sugar has been implicated in the development of osteopathic disorders, including physitis.

Set up a creep feeding setting so your mare cannot eat your foal's feed and your foal can come and go throughout the day to eat as much as he likes (discussed in my book in Chapter 19).

You can go one of two ways. You can feed a commercially fortified feed according the directions that is not high in sugar and starch, such as Triple Crown Growth or ADM Alliance Junior Glo. Or you can feed a meal of beet pulp (moistened) and alflafa pellets, plus a comprehensive vitamin/mineral supplement such as Mare/Foal IIP. To this, I would add some flaxseed meal -- such as Nutra Flax, which does not have added grain.

So, avoid anything that contains oats, corn, barley, wheat, etc. or pellets that are made from these grains.

Best regards,

Dr. Getty
Author of Feed Your Horse Like A Horse

Would you kindly provide an update to your recommendations on foal feeding? I have a Chincoteague pony foal aged 3 months who is eating pellets and hay very well. I, too, am concerned about proper diet, nutrition and prevention of leg problems.

PS I called you last year about a 30 yr old pony who was obstructed in his small bowel and we discussed a reduced dose daily of psyllium. We have done this for a year and the pony is still going strong, will be helping to babysit the new foal. Thanks again for your help.

Where are you from? Bayfield, CO