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Snugs 04-01-2013 08:25 PM

Is it safe to feed bread to horses?
We are rehabbing a rescue mare who is in pretty bad shape. We have her on 1 big scoop of Life Design Senior + a large handful of shredded alfalfa + a bit of vegetable oil, 2x a day, because this is what the rescue I volunteer at uses for their emaciated horses and they've always had excellent results after 3-5 months. This mare also has a nice round bale of hay due to the fact that we have little grass. She also has a ~7-month-old colt on her side, and though he is on a good Mare&Foal feed, he occasionally will still try to nurse (I don't think the mare has much--if any-- milk, however). He is going to a new foster home this week, hopefully tomorrow, to be weaned so if he is pulling her down at all, that won't be an issue anymore.

Lately I have seen several people on my local horse/tack sale groups discussing adding a little bread to a horse's feed to help with weight gain. My question is, is bread safe for horses to consume daily? We can get about 25 loaves of day-old bread (as in, the nice brands like "bunny bread" or "nature's own") from the local bread factory/place for ~$3, so it's pretty convenient and cheap. I have researched this a bit but most of the threads I find on other sites are older.

If we started this mare on bread, we would likely only give her two slices per feeding and would definitely crumble it up into small pieces before adding it. I've heard choke is a concern, but with such little bread, would the chances of that be slim? What is the maximum amount of slices we should/could give her per feeding?

Has anyone else fed bread to help with weight gain?

spirit88 04-01-2013 08:37 PM

I wouldnt feed bread on a daily bases not good for them high starch and sugar there are better options then bread for weight gain.

Palomine 04-01-2013 08:40 PM

While I have not ever done it, it used to be very common for people to do this.

Some of the nicest horses I've ever seen were some TWH/Racking horses that the owner fed 10 loaves of day old bread soaked in bucket of water, 2x a day.

Said he'd been doing it for years.

That of course was when you could buy 10 loaves for 1 dollar though.

Feeds cheaper.

Snugs 04-01-2013 08:57 PM

Like I said, we can get around 25 loaves for $3 so yeah, it's pretty cheap and still pretty fresh. I wouldn't give 10 loaves a day but I guess 2 slices per feeding probably won't do a whole lot? So maybe, if we do feed her, give a couple slices? It would be mixed with the feed, alfalfa, and veg oil so she wouldn't just be eating it dry.

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