Bran - Who Feeds It?

Discussion in 'Feeding Horses' started by Little Bean, Sep 17, 2013.

  1. Little Bean

    Little Bean Well-known Member

    Bit of an old school feed I suppose but just wondered who feeds it, how much, why and what results you've had?

  2. NaeNae87

    NaeNae87 Well-known Member

    Right, looks like I am first cab off the rank...

    I feed Bran to both GK and Bo. Bo gets 2 cups and GK gets 1 1/2 cups (yes for anyone who wants to add that feed should be weighed out... all feed has been weighed to work out amounts, but I use cups and scoops and bucket as my measurements and know pretty accurately what each measurement weighs :) )

    I feed it because Bran contains fibre, iron, magnesium, potassium and lignans which have anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. I also feed it in a ratio of 1:10 bran to lucerne chaff as excessive amounts of bran will inhibit calcium absorption and lucerne being high in calcium helps to balance out the Cal:phos ratio.

    Both my two have had their diet changed completely in the last 2 months. I am not feeding any processed feeds or oils and have definitely noticed an improvement in their condition and coats.
  3. finding_nemo

    finding_nemo Active Member

    I feed Millmix (pollard/bran mix). I feed all my horses 2 cups each and find it is a great non heating conditioner.
  4. Elanda

    Elanda Gold Member

    No...I never feed wheat bran and definitely not wheat. pollard. I have used rice bran for weight gain.

    Feeding Bran
  5. NaeNae87

    NaeNae87 Well-known Member

    Taken directly from the article - Horses, people discovered, liked the taste of bran. And millers were more than delighted to sell bran cheaply to local farmers who fed it to their horses. There was only one problem with this turn-of-the-century feeding practice. Horses fed large amounts of bran over long periods of time developed a serious skeletal problem known as "big head."

    Bran has an extremely lopsided calcium-to-phosphorous ratio of 1-to-12. The ideal ratio of calcium to phosphorous in a horse's diet is 1-to-1 or 1-to-2. With the ratio so badly out of balance, horses fed large quantities of bran stole calcium from their bones to achieve the right metabolic balance between the two minerals. Soft connective tissue replaced bone and created the enlarged, lumpish skulls that gave the nutritional disease its name.

    Modern nutritionists eventually unlocked the secrets about mineral interactions and explained the cause of big head. Now, however, nutritional science is questioning the practice of occasional mashes for reasons that have nothing to do with mineral imbalances. Like those farmers who inadvertently overfed bran and caused big-head disease, modern horsemen may unknowingly be causing their horses distress when they feed bran sporadically as a weekly mash or as a constipation preventative just prior to traveling.

    It can cause problems when over fed and if you don't take the time to properly balance the vitamin and mineral requirements for your horse. I stated in my reasoning that they are not over fed it and also lucerne is fed to balance out the cal : phos ratio to avoid problems such as Big Head and Shin Soreness.

    It's like anything. Overfeeding any one thing is not good. Those that feed oil only feed a small amount, if they fed their horse a diet of mostly oil it would not benefit their horses at all. Carrots are good as a treat, as are apples but you can't feed a couple of kilos per day and expect a horse to thrive on that and not much else.
  6. Remaani

    Remaani Guest

    I wouldn't even feed (wheat) Bran, Pollard, Millmix to my sheep. ;)
  7. wattle6180

    wattle6180 Gold Member

    I feed my big horses two cups a day and the ponies one cup. If the weather is miserable they get an extra cup as they don't graze so well, or move around so much. I feed it for fibre and also truly hope that it does act as a mild intestinal irritant. *Touch wood* have never had a colic and it's hardly breaking the bank to feed it, so I'll continue :) I only use flaky bran.

    ETA: the last paragraph of Elanda's link about sums up my thoughts
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2013
  8. horsescomefirst

    horsescomefirst Well-known Member

    i find it funny that people that some people wont ever feed wheat and wheat products, but feed pellets, ie studmaster etc.

    look at the ingredients :}
  9. wattle6180

    wattle6180 Gold Member

    Maybe it's better if you pay more for it :p :lol:
  10. NaeNae87

    NaeNae87 Well-known Member

    Expensive wheat? :) better be gold plated ;)
  11. wattle6180

    wattle6180 Gold Member

    Designer packaging? :p
  12. Remaani

    Remaani Guest

    Thank god i don't feed pellets no more. ;)
  13. Little Bean

    Little Bean Well-known Member

    Cheers NaeNae87 for your honesty :)

    Elanda I will read the link a little later but the brief skim I had looks interesting.

    Remaani can I ask why? And what do you feed your guys always look great!

    horsescomefirst I agree ;) I read the ingredients for wheat and barley not for my horses but because my little doggie is allergic so I know I have to watch her around the pellets... I just generally don't let her near feed but sometimes she's too quick :(

    So from my side of the question... I introduced it into my horses feed a few months ago and I've noticed an improvement in both weight, coat and appetite. That said I overhauled their diets completely so it may not all be the bran. My feeds are run through feedxl so I do feel confident in the ratio I'm feeding. The most that goes to one horse is 300g and the least is 100g and by comparison to their other feed stuffs it's a tiny amount. I don't and can't feed a few of mine lucerne as it sends them round the twist although I am aware of the positives I just can't afford to have an already hot TB any hotter *#)
  14. Remaani

    Remaani Guest

    Thanks Little Bean. :)
    I just don't find it a quality feed, although as a teen i fed it to my Andy x but no real reason why except it was cheap. :eek:
    Dad (use to breed many moons ago) finds it a poor "filler". But that is just our experiences. :)

    This is my filly just on Oats, Full Fat Soy (not much), Lucerne Chaff, Vit/Min, ACV & hay.
    Her hardfeed fills a 5 lt bucket & she gets it once a day. Hay twice daily.

    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2013
  15. ClubIgnite

    ClubIgnite Well-known Member

    Nope don't feed bran, but do feed weetbix, highly digestible feed that everything, from foals to 33yo retiree are fed, as a part of their diet, including our competition horses one of which is 20yo and still going strong, often competing every weekend or fortnight. They all look great. I would also feed pollard if I needed to add weight to a particular horse and I thought they could use it. Bran is probably less valuable but has its place I suppose, not a lot of nutritional value though.
  16. Little Bean

    Little Bean Well-known Member

    Having run it through feedxl it doesn't offer much nutritional value as you say ClubIgnite but I am finding my guys are liking their food more... maybe the bran... maybe not ';'

    Remaani don't post photos of her you just tempt me to come steal her :stir: really though she is amazing ;) you're lucky with ponies that the oats, FFS and lucerne don't go to their heads, my TB mare would be in orbit on those feeds *#)

    Can I ask what ACV is? (probably something really obvious and I'm just having a dumb moment)
  17. Noelle

    Noelle Gold Member

    Apple cider vinegar
  18. Little Bean

    Little Bean Well-known Member

    lol! Yup was in stockfeeders yesterday and saw it marked as A/C Vin... had a little light bulb moment :lol:

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