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 Part 1 of the latest question and answer installment that you can share with your footcare clients.
Q: Is it OK to feed bran to a mare with poor quality hooves?
By J. Frank Gravlee, DVM, MS, CNS, and Scott Gravlee, DVM, CNS, Life Data Labs
A: Bran should not be fed in the presence of hoof problems. Bran is the hull material of grains and is a by-product of the milling industry. Whether the by-product of wheat, rice, oats or other grain processing, bran contains phytate, which is high in phosphorus. This mineral blocks the absorption of calcium in the small intestine, possibly creating a systemic calcium deficiency and undermining hoof health.
If bran is being fed to regulate a horse’s stool consistency, instead use soaked beet pulp to prevent sand colic, as many research reports suggest bran isn’t effective for stool management. Feeding psyllium is another sand colic preventative measure.
Frank Gravlee and Scott Gravlee are veterinarians and equine nutrition consultants at Life Data Labs, Inc. in Cherokee, Ala.
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Click here to read part 2 of the Feb. 1, 2020 installment of Hoof Nutrition Intelligence: Is there any link between insulin and laminitis?