Hot bran mash is a great natural horse care product and will be welcomed by your horse on a chilly day. It can be a nice once a month treats but should not take the place of the horse’s daily feed. But what is a bran mash from a nutritional standpoint?
Wheat bran is expensive for the nutrients it provides and it is delicious for horses.
It is comparatively high in riboflavin, thiamin, folate, and niacin in contrast to other feeds, however, it has less vitamin B than other feeds.
Wheat bran is a low density, fluffy feed that is similar in nutrient content to oats. The same volume of wheat bran, when compared to other foods, has a density one half that of whole oats and one fourth that of corn or wheat. It contains three to four times more phosphorus and has slightly more protein than oats. But it provides less digestible energy for the horse than these other foods.
Bran is a great natural horse care product and is an excellent form of roughage for horses. Using bran will increase roughage in the horse’s diet, which may enhance bowel motility. This could be the most significant advantage of bran.
Horses that have no opportunity to graze or limited opportunity may profit from being fed bran once a week, because it may be necessary for them to acquire more roughage in their diet. This can be helpful for older horses that are having trouble chewing hay.
Even though wheat bran is a great natural horse care product, there is a potential drawback. If you over feed wheat bran, there is the possibility that it could decrease calcium absorption. The problem is the phosphorus in bran is in the form of phytate, which could have unfavorable results. When bran is fed on a regular basis the calcium may need to be adjusted in the horse’s diet. The ratio that calcium and phosphorus are to be fed in your horse’s diet is 2:1. If you use more or less of either element, it can cause an imbalance in your horse’s diet. So if you are feeding your horse bran on a weekly basis, you should consult your veterinarian about supplementing your horse’s diet with calcium.
If a horse is suffering from a calcium deficiency, then calcium can be metabolized from the bones. The calcium can be taken from the legs, ribs, or face, which causes the bones to become less dense as calcium is removed. This can result in the disease known as Big Head, which is caused by fibrous developments causing swelling of the facial bones of the affected horse. Fibrin will replace the area where the bone is becoming less dense.
Another advantage of using bran mash as a natural horse care product is that it is a great way to get more water into your horse during the winter months. When the weather is cold, horses do not drink as much water. A bran mash must not be used as an only source of water, but it can be used to supplement water intake.
Horses like bran mash. On a cold day, the warmth of the mash and the taste appeal to the horse. Here is a recipe for bran mash:
3 cups hot water
3 cups wheat bran
1-2 cups sweet grain or molasses (only if your horse is not glucose intolerant)
Chopped carrots, apples, and pears
Combine these ingredients in a feed bucket and mix together and make sure it is not too hot for your horse. If you have a horse that has difficulty chewing, you may want to add more water to make it easier to chew.
This is a great natural horse care treat and is something special that your horse will enjoy on a cold day. There are many benefits to a warm bran mash, but it should not be fed too often. Just remember, too much of a good thing can be bad for you, and your horse.
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