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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: Feeding Hay To Horse With No Teeth

Hello Diane,

I understand your concern. Feeding forage to an aging horse with poor teeth (or lack of teeth) can be challenging. But I'm glad you appreciate his need to have forage flowing through his digestive tract at all times -- day and night.

So, let's get creative. If you don't have to confine him to a stall at night, this would give him an opportunity to walk around and not stand in front of a feed bucket. Cold weather is a joy to horses and if he is on the thin side, you can blanket him. If you can provide the choice of going in or out of the barn, at will, he'll do better since the movement is also helpful toward keeping his digestive tract moving properly.

Hay pellets can be challenging because if eaten dry, or too quickly, horses may choke. How about hay cubes instead? Break them into small pieces and moisten them. They can be offered free-choice. You can even place them in a slow feeder -- there are many on the market -- The Natural Feeder, Freedom Feeder, Nibble Net, Work 4 Feeder, Texas Haynet, etc.

You can also mix moistened beet pulp in with the hay cubes as a way to provide water soluble fiber and some extra calories.

I hope these suggestions are helpful. Please keep me posted.

All the best,

Dr. Getty
Author of Feed Your Horse Like A Horse

I read your article on making sure your horse has enough hay to last through the night to prevent ulcers. My dilemma is that my 34 yr old QH gelding has no molars. He cannot chew hay at all. I feed him timothy pellets that have been soaked into a mush.

I continually worry about him not having anything to eat during the night, especially as the weather gets colder. He can manage to gum the pellets without soaking, but I know that if I put down a big tub of them, he will continue to eat till they are gone. Which makes me worry about colic and/or choke from not being able to chew mouthfuls of pellets correctly.

Is there anything I can do to keep his gut moving in the winter without having to go out all night long and feed him every two hours? I do feed him 3 meals a day in winter instead of 2.

Thanks for your help. I have had him since he was a yearling and would like to keep him going a few more years.

Where are you from? Bayfield, CO