Bran Mash? Should I continue to feed? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 11-19-2012, 02:08 PM Thread Starter
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Bran Mash? Should I continue to feed?

Well, there are alot of contradictory things about bran mash online. I would like to know weather I am doing good or bad to my guy.

I got him last Tuesday from a barn about an hour away. He trailered like a champ and didnt even have a runny stool like most horses once we started going. Anyway, last month he has coliced which made me worry about the new transitions and such. The old owner gave me a little less then a weeks worth of his old grain and a good amount of mash for me to mix in his feed. I'm about to run out of mash so bought more today to add in atleast until everything is back to normal with the herd.

He has since been switched over to my feed and I've been adding about a cup or a cup and a half of mash to his grain morning and night along with probios morning and night.

Am I doing more harm then good or am I feeding too little of mash for it to cause any damage?

Thanks.
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post #2 of 15 Old 11-19-2012, 02:16 PM
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I wouldn't be adding mash to grain, but giving it separately. The structure of a mash is generally softer than of grain and, if these two are mixed together, then the horse gobbles up everything faster, not caring to chew the grain, thus it is harder for him to digest, thus can lead to colics.
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post #3 of 15 Old 11-19-2012, 02:50 PM
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Iv heared giving bran mashes throws off the calcium, phosphorus ratios dont know if its true but thats what i was told. Was also told bran mashes wont keep a horse from colicing either. I personally wouldnt bother with bran mashes but thats me.
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post #4 of 15 Old 11-19-2012, 02:59 PM
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Bran mash actually has the OPPOSITE affect on a horse than the Old Tymers have said it has.

Feed enough good hay so there is some in front of the horse all the time and have plenty of water conveniently located. That will do more to prevent colic than bran mash.
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post #5 of 15 Old 11-19-2012, 03:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saranda View Post
I wouldn't be adding mash to grain, but giving it separately. The structure of a mash is generally softer than of grain and, if these two are mixed together, then the horse gobbles up everything faster, not caring to chew the grain, thus it is harder for him to digest, thus can lead to colics.

Bran opens up the food mass and encourages the horse to chew better not less.
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Originally Posted by spirit88 View Post
Iv heared giving bran mashes throws off the calcium, phosphorus ratios dont know if its true but thats what i was told. Was also told bran mashes wont keep a horse from colicing either. I personally wouldnt bother with bran mashes but thats me.

If you feed too much bran over a long period Bran will upset the balance of Calcium to Phosphorous. Even with Calcium supplements bran contains phytates that block the absorption of Calcium. As spirit says feeding it won't stop him getting colic.
Ensure that his teeth are not sharp as this can upset digestion, if on a sandy soil give phsyllium husks regularly (talk to your vet as to how much and how often)
Also ensure that your worming program is up to date too as a mass of worms can also cause colic.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elana View Post
Bran mash actually has the OPPOSITE affect on a horse than the Old Tymers have said it has.
Feed enough good hay so there is some in front of the horse all the time and have plenty of water conveniently located. That will do more to prevent colic than bran mash.
Bran will open up the digestive system and when fed in a large quantity as in the 'bran mash on a sunday night' will encourage faster the movement of the digestive system.
OP You've done the right thing by changinf what you have been feeding over a period of time. Your horse colicking probably had nothing to do with what you were feeding.
Personally I don't feed bran because it is an expensive way to feed nothing to your horse - it contains very little goodness. I find chaff at leasts adds some nutrients to the food and slows the horse down considerably when eating.
I think you were just unlucky with the colic.

Last edited by Tnavas; 11-19-2012 at 03:31 PM.
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post #6 of 15 Old 11-19-2012, 03:38 PM
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Tnavas... read the post.. she got the horse last Tuesday... and he had colic last month.. and she was concerned that the trailering and transition would instigate a new episode.

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post #7 of 15 Old 11-19-2012, 03:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elana View Post
Tnavas... read the post.. she got the horse last Tuesday... and he had colic last month.. and she was concerned that the trailering and transition would instigate a new episode.
I missed the word Tuesday!

I think he would have had a bout by now if her were going to. Still she is doing the right thing it only takes a few days for the gut to deal with a new food and most likely what she is feeding now will actually contain most of the feed types that he was previosly getting.
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post #8 of 15 Old 11-19-2012, 05:19 PM
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Bran Mash does nothing for your horse but flush out their systems.
Its good to give a medium to heavy working horse bran mash once a week to flush out the bad.

Grain for any horse is just a supplement for what the horse is actually missing.
Good quality hay, cut as of the current year harvest.
Any hay 6 months old starts loosing nutritional value from there on. and becomes more of a filler. quality hay is a horses Safest best friend but still must be managed, weighted and measured to your horses specific needs.

Try beet pulp if your horse needs extra weight. SOAK your beet pulp 1/2hr before serving.

If no weight issues....
I would just feed his normal hay and grain without the mash or beet pulp.
If you want to add some vitamins and minerals offer a WHITE salt block, fresh water. Add Fresh daily ground Flax seeds into his feed, half of a shot glass.
And the probotics are always good for a horse.
I like to give my working horses a dose twice a day for a week, once a month.
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post #9 of 15 Old 11-19-2012, 05:30 PM
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There are two types of colic and neither are preventable because of the length of the horse's gut. Gas colic is often relieve by keeping the horse moving. As for feeding mash to prevent it, a wet mash helps when a horse hasn't been drinking enough. During very cold weather To an ice cream pail of bran, add boiling water and mix while pouring to it's wettish, not sloppy. Add a 1/4 c of salt and a good drizzle of molasses (1/4 cup), cover with a towel and let sit for 15 min. The molasses makes it more enticing and blackstrap is a good source of iron and calcium. The amount of salt usually gets them looking for water. Too much bran, fed this amount daily can cause a condition called Big Head.
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post #10 of 15 Old 11-19-2012, 06:09 PM
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Bran mash does not to anything good for a horse digestively. The horse's digestive system does not work the same way as a humans and feeding a poorly balanced feed sporadically (as has been suggested) will actually increase colic risk and stomach upset.
The horse should be on a well balanced ration fed daily. Beet pulp with a mineral supplement, a low NSC sugar free ration balancer or other will be the best for him. If he needs weight then grab a ration balancer high in rice bran, or add rice bran or beet pulp to a ration balancer. As well the horse should have access to good hay and clean, unfrozen water at all times. Horses prefer to drink water warmer than about 5 degrees in winter.

Good luck!
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