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 2 of the latest question and answer installment that you can share with your footcare clients.
Q: Are there any ingredients that should not be fed to horses with hoof concerns?
By Frank Gravlee, DVM, MS
A: Do not feed bran (wheat, rice, oats or other grain brans) if there are any problems with the quality of a horse’s hooves. Bran contains phytate, which contains a high level of phosphorus and will block the absorption of calcium in the small intestine and lead to a systemic calcium deficiency. Calcium is necessary for the strong bonding of keratinized cells that are needed to produce a strong hoof.
If bran is fed to regulate a horse’s stool consistency, switch instead to feeding beet pulp. If bran is used to prevent sand colic, use psyllium instead as several reports indicate that bran is not effective for this purpose.
Frank Gravlee is an equine veterinarian and the founder of 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®.
Click here to read Part 1 of the March 1, 2016 installment: Under extremely cold winter conditions, do we have to do anything special to keep our horses’ hooves healthy?