Feeding bread to horses? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 15 Old 08-31-2010, 12:44 AM Thread Starter
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Feeding bread to horses?

A friend of mine has 4 horses, all of them senior (17-25 yrs). A few of them tend to drop a fair bit of weight in the winter, but gain it back in the spring/summer. She started feeding beet pulp last year and had positive results, but they still dropped a bit. I don't know the amount/quality of hay that she feeds, but they are also on a senior feed.
She was talking to a horseman last year who said that he feeds bread to his hard keepers (in addition to regular feed) in the winter. He goes to bakeries/supermarkets and gets the 'old' bread cheap or free. So the horse gets ? Maybe 1 to 5 loaves a day?
Has anyone ever heard of or done this? Results, pros/ cons? Is it ok to do this?
Let's assume that the bread may be stale, but Not mouldy.
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post #2 of 15 Old 08-31-2010, 12:54 AM
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I had a guy suggest that to me, also. He has been keeping horses for years and years and swears by it. I only ever gave our horse 1 slice and while she was chewing it, the bread sort of balled up (I could see it while she was chewing on it) and I got really worried that she'd try and swallow it in it's balled up form and get choked, so I never gave it to her again. She did manage to eat it though, and did not get choked.
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post #3 of 15 Old 08-31-2010, 01:31 AM
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I have never heard of this but I can't imagine that it would be harmful to them. I mean, after all, bread is made of flour (ground wheat usually) and with that being a grain, they should be able to eat it. If you are unsure, you might put a call into your vet and just ask his/her opinion about it, whether it would be safe, what the chances of it working are, etc. If the vet says it's okay, I don't see why you shouldn't try it.

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post #4 of 15 Old 08-31-2010, 02:41 AM
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I know a lady who has had horses as long as I have been alive. She taught my mum to ride. She is a bit weird tho - she feeds her horses bread every day (morning and evening, 4 loaves per horse) and then once a week also dumps a load of vegetables in the paddock too (seasonal, depends on what is cheap at the markets lol). Her horses are all in amazing condition. The only ones she gives more to are her two stallions, and that is only in breeding season so they have a little bit extra energy. She gets her bread cheap from a big bakery. They usually buy back all the bread that goes over date from supermarkets, and then crumb it to resell as crumbs. So what she gets is the wholemeal, the seedy ones, the fruit ones, basically all that can't be crumbed lol.
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post #5 of 15 Old 08-31-2010, 04:09 AM
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Whilst I've never feed it regularly or for the reason the OP is asking about, I have fed bread to a very difficult horse to worm in the past. We'd just squirt the paste in and make it a sandwich. She was the type who'd put anything in her mouth once so it worked really well. She never had any adverse reactions to it and enjoyed the bread.
I personally wouldn't feed a huge amount daily, but if it helps then maybe its worth trying! I worried about the balling effect too, but the mare never choked etc.


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post #6 of 15 Old 08-31-2010, 05:29 AM
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Hi I live in spain and out here hard bread (that crumbles when bitten) is often used as a treat. Not as regular feed but I personally have given my 2 bread and they love it lol its never done mine any harm.
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post #7 of 15 Old 08-31-2010, 06:29 AM
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We used to feed bread to horses in lesson barn when I was a kid. I'd say quite a bit (the bag at once). They LOVE it and never had any health issues because of the bread.
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post #8 of 15 Old 08-31-2010, 06:51 AM
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Not really the most nutritionally complete meal for a horse. But they like it. Mine get it as a treat.


I think in this case the owner would be better off with a good senior feed over bread.
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post #9 of 15 Old 08-31-2010, 07:25 AM Thread Starter
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They are already on a senior feed, beet pulp, and hay. She's considering it for filler, calories.
Those empty delicious calories that will hopefully keep their weight up. Imagine how fat and happy we would be if we finished every meal with a nice warm loaf of bread? Lol
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post #10 of 15 Old 08-31-2010, 07:49 AM
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That sounds so yummy!!!!
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