I'm curious about rice bran, what is the purpose of feeding rice bran? What types of horses is it fed to? Thanks :)
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I feed rice bran to my 24 year old Quarter horse senior that I half own. And my friend gives it to her young Thoroughbred hard keeper. It helps them gain weight, and it gives them easy calories. It also helps in muscle building and muscle repair. I already see a difference in the 24 year old's top line! It contains vitamin E which is excellent for their coats, and it comes in ground and pelleted form. I feed the ground Rice bran.
It's primarily fed for the fat content for weight gain/maintenance of hard keepers- rice bran is about 22% fat.
Anything with a high fat content (rice bran, BOSS, flax, oil, etc.) will also help make the horse's coat shinier, but in that case it's usually fed in much smaller amounts to avoid the horse gaining too much weight.
Thanks for the replies! So if I have a hard keeper who gets really hot on too much grain, would rice bran be something to look into? Also, what's the different between the pellets and the oil?
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Rice bran oil is what you get when you press rice bran- it (like all oils) is almost 100% pure fat. Fat is high energy, but it's considered a cool energy because it doesn't cause spikes of energy like the sugar/starch (NSCs) in grains and sweet feeds. Swapping out some (or all) of the grain in your horse's diet for lower NSC products (like rice bran, beet pulp, or alfalfa) should help level out his energy, and is healthier anyway, as horses' digestive systems don't handle NSCs very well to begin with. (Though as a side note, if you cut out all the fortified grain you may need to supplement with a multi-vitamin or ration balancer)
The downside of rice bran is it's omega omega-3 (an anti-inflammatory) to omega-6 (an inflammatory) balance, which is heavily skewed towards omega-6. This might not be an issue if your horse is on pasture and getting plenty of fresh grass (their primary source of omega-3), but could be a very big issue if he's on grain & hay only, especially if he has arthritis or other condition caused by inflammation. Rice bran is also naturally very high in phosphorous and can upset the calcium:phosphorous balance in a horse's diet depending on what else they're being fed (not generally an issue for horses on a high-alfalfa diet, for example). "Fortified" rice bran has added calcium to balance out the excess phosphorous. Rice bran also goes rancid VERY quickly (sometimes before it even makes it to the shelves in the feed store) so always buy stabilized rice bran.
If you're interested in feeding oil, flaxseed/linseed oil is the healthiest; it is the only oil that has more omega-3 than omega-6 (well, after fish oil, but good luck getting your horse to eat that ;-)). The next best commonly found oil is canola oil, which has about 1/2 has much omega-3 as omega-6.
I also prefer feeding flaxseed over rice bran (in their non-oil forms). While rice bran is about 22% fat, as I mentioned before, flaxseed is ~40% fat. You'll get some differing opinions about how to feed flaxseed- the cheapest way to feed is to buy whole seeds and either feed them whole or freshly ground before each feeding. Some people will say they won't digest the whole seeds, while some studies have shown that even if the seed shows up whole in the manure the nutrients are still extracted through the hull. I feed whole seeds to my horse and never see them in his manure, but I only feed 2 oz per day (he's an easy keeper). There are several stabilized ground flax products out there which are good alternatives if you feel it must be ground but can't do it at each feeding, but they're generally much more expensive than whole flax.
Sorry that turned into a novel :-)
I feed rice bran and have had great results. I mix a half cup on thier feed and they have the shinest coats that feel like glass. the blacks also do not fade as much and the chestnuts are really red. Do not feed more than a pound and give them plenty of water. Shalom
Thank you so much Verona for your awesome answer! So he is getting grain and hay now....but in the summer, he is on awesome pasture up until around October/November. So, if I wanted to replace some of his grain with rice bran (pellets) would I have to wait until we have green grass (not for a while!)? Or is there something else I can do to even out the omega balance?
Also, does anyone have any experience with feeding the pellets to a picky eater? My gelding is extremely picky!
One more question: these are the two rice bran pellets carried at my local TSC. Do they look good? Which looks better do you think?
Max-E-Glo™ Pelleted Rice Bran, 40 lb. - 1079167 | Tractor Supply Company
Nutrena® Empower™ Boost High-Fat Rice Bran Horse Supplement, 40 lb. - 1125358 | Tractor Supply Company
Hmm....seriously thinkin' about this.
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look at this:
Omega Fields® Omega Horseshine®, 20 lb. - 5031852 | Tractor Supply Company
Way better in omega3:omega6 ratio, higher in fat, more other goodies. Or the Dumor equivalent, Ultra Shine, not much difference in ingredients.
Im feeding it and am super happy with the results.
What do you mean by grain?
You might do better feeding a complete balanced pelleted feed for weight gain - they are mostly beet pulp based with added extras and less likely to fizz a horse up You can then give the rice bran or oils if needed for extra shine
I feed rice bran and like how it adds fat. You do have to be careful buying to much at once. Some is stabilized but most brands are not. That means you need to use up what you buy in a month or it goes bad.
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