Hoof Nutrition Intelligence is a twice-a-month web segment that is designed to add to the education of footcare professionals when it comes to effectively feeding the hoof. The goal of this web-exclusive feature is to zero in on specific areas of hoof nutrition and avoid broad-based articles that simply look at the overall equine feeding situation.
Below you will find the latest question and answer installment that you can share with your footcare clients.
Q: Is my farrier correct when he asks me to stop feeding bran since one of my mares has major hoof problems?
By J. Frank Gravlee, DVM, MS, CNS, and Scott Gravlee, DVM, CNS, Life Data Labs
A: Your farrier is correct, as bran should not be fed to horses having hoof concerns. Bran contains phytate, which is high in phosphorous. Phosphorous blocks the absorption of calcium in the small intestine, creating a systemic calcium deficiency and undermining hoof health.
If bran is being fed to regulate stool consistency, try feeding soaked sugar beet pulp instead. If bran is being fed to prevent sand colic (many reports suggest that bran isn’t effective for this), psyllium is a better-proven solution.
Frank Gravlee and Scott Gravlee are veterinarians and equine nutritionists at Life Data Labs, Inc.in Cherokee, Ala.
Hoof Nutrition Intelligence is brought to you by W.F. Young Co. (Absorbine).
Like many significant achievements, Absorbine® grew out of humble beginnings—and through the tenacity of someone willing to question the status quo. In this case, it was a young woman in late 19th-century Massachusetts: Mary Ida Young. Her husband, Wilbur Fenelon Young, was an enterprising piano deliveryman who relied on the couple’s team of horses to make deliveries throughout the Northeast. Inspired by Mary Ida and Wilbur’s vision, Absorbine® has continued to add innovative products throughout the years — products used every day by horse owners around the world. Which is why, since 1892, we’ve been The Horse World’s Most Trusted Name®.