Last Updated on February 21, 2022 by Allison Price
Rice bran is a popular choice among horsemen for its multiple nutritional benefits. Why feed rice brän? There are two main benefits: energy density, skin and coat health, and a boost in energy density.
Energy density. The concentrated energy source in rice bran makes it a great choice for horses who need additional calories to keep them nourished. Rice bran’s primary energy source is fat. This is a cooler energy source than starch and has been known to make some horses very hot. Many horses do well on diets that contain normal amounts of starch. However, some horses are more successful when they are fed low-starch rations. Rice bran is an option.
How can rice bran increase the caloric content of the diet? Consider this: A mature gelding eats 12.5 lb (5.9 kg) of grasshay per day and 5 lb (2.3 kg) sweet feed every day. This gives him a daily energy intake of 16.86 megacalories (Mcal). Rice bran is 1.6 Mcal per pound. Rice bran adds 1.6 Mcal per pound fed.
Rice bran is a good source of protein. Rice bran is usually supplemented at a rate between 1-2 lb (0.45-1.9 kg) per day.
Rice bran naturally contains more phosphorus than calcium. Therefore, rice bran manufacturers will add calcium to their high-quality rice bran, which does not affect the calcium and phosphorus balances of the base ratio.
Health of the skin and coat. Rice bran is rich in essential amino acids, such as alpha-linolenic (omega-3 and linoleic (omega-6), which must be provided by the diet. Essential fatty acids are essential for the health and well-being of hair and skin in animals that have been fed low amounts. Rice bran’s high fat content makes it an excellent supplement for show horses and sales. They are expected to have healthy, well-blooming coats and dapples.
The ease of using rice bran is another benefit. Rice bran is cleaner than other high-fat supplements, particularly vegetable oils. It can be mixed into either textured concentrates or pelleted concentrates easily. Rice bran can be sold in a meal form or as pellets. Horses find it tasty.
When choosing rice bran, ensure that it has been stabilized. This is a process that activates an endogenous protein which oxidizes rice bran fat and causes rancidity.