Last Updated on April 9, 2022 by Allison Price
Many horse owners are afraid to feed wheat bran, according to our conversations. Horse wheat bran is no longer a popular horse food. It has been labeled ‘undesirable and old-fashioned’.
It has been widely criticised as a byproduct and ‘imbalanced’. We feel that claims it shouldn’t be fed are misleading. This is because it provides valuable horse phosphorous, which can be identified through forage analysis as being lacking in horse diets.Quick Navigation hide 1 Wheat Bran benefits for horses
What is Wheat Bran?
The hard outer layers of wheat grains are called wheat bran. It is rich in essential oils and has significant amounts of starch, protein as well as vitamins and dietary minerals. The bran in the grain is a significant loss of nutritional value, making this feed highly nutritious and useful for horses.
When is Wheat Bran best not to be used?
High starch levels of 13-18% in wheat bran make it unsuitable for horses and ponies with laminitis. Forageplus suggests that the combined ESC sugar and starch levels of an EMS or insulin-resistant horse or pony should not exceed 10%.Do I feed my horse wheat Bran? 4
To balance calcium, you can use wheat Bran
Bran may be an effective feed for your horse depending on the amount of calcium in his diet. Bran’s high level of phosphorous is often cited as a disadvantage. However, bran might be a good feed for horses if their diet is high in calcium and/or haylage that is high in alfalfa.
An average analysis of UK grass, Hay and Haylage has shown that calcium levels are high and highly imbalanced with regard to phosphorous. For adult horses who are in maintenance or light work, the ratio of calcium should be around 2:1.
With the current trend to feed alfalfa and beet pulp (both high-calcium), scientific analysis of the diet with forage consumed shows a huge shortage of phosphorous. The ratios of calcium and phosphorous can sometimes exceed 6:1. When you compare the overall profile of the diet with the forage, feeding wheat bran can be a great way to balance the total diet.
Wheat Bran is extremely palatable
Mineral phosphorous supplements can be difficult to swallow. This makes it difficult to provide sufficient phosphorous supplements to balance the many forage profiles found in Europe and the UK. Wheat bran is a great source of phosphorous for horses. It is high in phosphorous and the horses love its smell and taste.
Wheat Bran for young, breeding or hard working horses
Bran is not an imbalancer. It is a useful feed to control high calcium intakes, especially for horses who are young, pregnant, or lactating. Pay attention to the ratios of calcium and phosphorous, and all minerals, for these horse types. For young horses, the ratio should be around 1.7 to 1, while for hard-working horses it should be 1.2 to 1. Another reason to consider small amounts of it in your diet is its potential utility.
How to balance Wheat Bran in Horses’ Diet
Wheat bran has an average of 2.4g of phosphorous per 220kg of weight fed (min. Maximum 1.71 grams Maximum 1.71 grams The wheat bran can be balanced by feeding equal amounts of alfalfa and wheat bran. If your horse has too much calcium, you can reduce the amount of alfalfa or use only wheat bran. This intelligent targeted nutrition will save you money and be more cost-effective. To find out the calcium levels of your grass, hay, or haylage, you can do forage analysis.
Forageplus sees the bran’s high phosphorous content as a significant benefit. However, this is due to the fact that we have hundreds and hundreds of forage analyses. Wheat bran is used in a targeted manner to balance and control high calcium levels.To determine if the horse’s diet needs to be more phosphorous, analyze horse grass, hay, and haylage. The wheat bran is a valuable source of phosphorous.
High Protein Wheat Bran
Wheat bran has an average of 17% protein, so it can be useful if you are looking to increase your protein intake. It contains high levels of both methionine and lysine, which are essential amino acids that horses often lack in their daily diet. Many horses in the UK are deficient in protein, with hays and other haylage reporting a low of 6% protein. High protein feeds like alfalfa and beet pulp can give horses a boost of protein. And, of course, you know how to balance the wheat bran.
Calories in Wheat Bran are high
Wheat bran has a similar calorie content to oats, but whereas oats contain a starch level around 40%, wheat bran has fewer calories. A proportion of bran is a good strategy for horses that are starch sensitive or need to gain weight.
Wheat Bran Benefits
Wheat Bran is a good source of minerals and B vitamins. Bran is a rich source of phosphorous and has high levels of magnesium, copper, zinc and other minerals, compared to cereals or hay/haylage.
Wheat bran is often thought to have phytotates, which can block calcium. However, at the 700g per day that are usually fed to their animals, this is not a major problem. You can still balance it by giving them high-calcium feeds like alfalfa.
Wheat bran has a lower fibre content than haylage or haylage, but bran often has a higher lignin level than haylage or hay. Wheat bran is rich in fiber-bound antioxidants that are released during fermentation in both the colon and cecum. This can help to protect the gastrointestinal tract from disease.
Bran’s palatability is another benefit. The taste and smell of wheat bran is a favorite with horses. It’s also a great carrier for horses who are fussy and won’t eat any supplements. It can also be used to help horses with bad teeth due to age.
I’m Allison, born and raised in San Diego California, the earliest memory I have with horses was at my grandfather’s farm. I used to sit at the stable as a kid and hang out with my Papa while he was training the horses. When I was invited to watch a horse riding competition, I got so fascinated with riding!