Bran...

scattynuttymare

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For what reasons would you feed bran? I was always told by my grandma when she was around it was for use as a hot bran mash if you had a sick horse.

I've a friend who feeds her horse a scoop of bran every day in her feed along with mix and chaff. Though when I asked her what the bran was for she didn't really know - apparently the previouse owner used to feed the mare bran so she carried it on.

I'd be interested if you guys could tell me what it does exactly.

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the watcher

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A mild laxative if fed as a mash, can strip nutrients from the system, can be binding if fed dry. OK as an occasional mash (ie once a week) after a heavy day of exercise but I wouldn't want to be feeding it daily unless there was a really good reason
 

MerryMaker

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As Mother Hen says, it can have a "clearing effect" on the system and can strip out some of the "good abcteria" from the hind gut. Also due to it's inverted calcium : phosphorous ratio it has been seen to cause problems with bones, and has also shown to cause metabolic problems too. I would never feed it on a daily basis, not a good plan.
 

zoeshiloh

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Dry bran, when fed with limestone powder, can benefit horses - people tend to think only of using bran as bran mash, which as people have said, has a laxative effect.

I was taught to feed dry bran, as long as accompanied by a calcium additive, to help horses with poor digestion. I primarily use it on my dressage horse in the summer, to bind up his cow pats. I also use it on show horses, as do many other producers.
 

scattynuttymare

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[ QUOTE ]
Dry bran, when fed with limestone powder, can benefit horses - people tend to think only of using bran as bran mash, which as people have said, has a laxative effect.

I was taught to feed dry bran, as long as accompanied by a calcium additive, to help horses with poor digestion. I primarily use it on my dressage horse in the summer, to bind up his cow pats. I also use it on show horses, as do many other producers.

[/ QUOTE ]

It is being fed dry. There's just a dash of water to dampen the feed but not enough to make it any where near like a mash.

I'm interested in the feeding dry to bind the cow pats. My old girl has started putting on weight now and I'm sure its since adding pink powder to her feed but she too does cow pats - only all year round. I know she's not got the best digestive system in the world and won't be around much longer but I'm still keeping her happy and comfy. How much do you feed to bind up the cow pats?
 

zoeshiloh

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I give my boy about one scoop each night, and one measure of naf limestone powder with it. You must feed bran with limestone flour if you are planning to feed it on a regular basis.

I have been feeding it for about 4 years, and had no negative effects on my horses.
 

scattynuttymare

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[ QUOTE ]
I give my boy about one scoop each night, and one measure of naf limestone powder with it. You must feed bran with limestone flour if you are planning to feed it on a regular basis.

I have been feeding it for about 4 years, and had no negative effects on my horses.

[/ QUOTE ]

Where can I buy limestone powder? Sorry if its a stupid question! And roughly how much does it cost? If the bran is working to bind my girl up a bit how long should it take to work? Sorry to bombard you with questions!
 

zoeshiloh

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Limestone powder can be picked up at most feed merchants, and a tub will cost around £5 (depending on brand etc). You can get 15kg sacks for about £3.75 from a farmers merchant, but they don't come with a measure - I bought a tub first to get the measure, then started buying the unbranded sacks. Should work within a week.
 

Tnavas

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Bran contains phytates that block the absorbtion of calcium even if you feed it with extra calcium.

It's a very risky food to feed, (any wheat product is unsuitable for horses) - its a left over from days gone by - they discovered then that it causes bone deformaties. The bran we get is nothing like the bran we got when I was a chid - then the flakes were big and it contained a good deal of flour.

The blood needs a certain amount of calcium in it at all times and if the horse is deficient the calcium will be leached from the bones. Bran when fed as a regular part of the diet can lead to massive loss of calcium and unsightly fragile bone being laid down over the head area - often termed 'Millars head', long bones suffer by losing density and strength leaving the horse open to such problems as navicular and pedalostitis.

A bran mash with tempting goodies in it is fine to get a tired or sick horse to eat but really shouldn't be fed as a daily food.
Yogurt is good for horses with soft droppings.
 

lily1

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Bran was more popular years ago when "straights" were fed. I always added 1/2 a scoop to my old boys feed in the winter it did help to keep his weight on in later years. Always used to give a hot bran mash after a days hunting.
 

angela_l_b

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I tend to feed bran if a horse has to go onto box rest, especially if it's a sudden switch from being out and in exercise to standing still all day. When this situation happens you don't have enough time to adjust the feed and get him used to smaller amounts gradually, and the lack of movement can cause them to get bunged up. A friend's horse got terrible colic when he went from living out 24/7 straight onto full box rest, and had to go in to the vet to get the impaction cleared (they described it as 'the size of an Alsatian'!). A few days of bran can keep the digestive process moving while they adjust to standing about all day and changes in feed.
 
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