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Should I feed my horse a weekly bran mash?

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Question: Should I feed my horse a weekly bran mash?
Answer: Bran is largely fiber. Some owners believe the extra fiber helps with digestion. There is no proof that this is so. Some people feel that a weekly bran mash constitutes an abrupt change in the horse’s diet and feel it is unwise to feed. If your horse seems to have diarrhea after a bran mash it is more likely caused by the intestinal flora being thrown off balance than any effect of the fiber.

Horses already eat a large quantity of fiber if they are getting 60% of their diet in fodder such as hay or grass. The addition of bran whether wet or dry is not likely to be a benefit.

Daily feeding of large bran mashes is unwise as this may upset the mineral balance of the horse. A small weekly treat of a modest bran mash may not be harmful. But there are probably more beneficial ways to show your horse you love it—like a harmless but highly appreciated ear or belly scratch.

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