Hoof Nutrition Intelligence 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.

This edition is sponsored by the W.F. Young Co. (Absorbine) of East Longmeadow, Mass.

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 Frank Gravlee, DVM, MS, CNS

Bran and other grain byproducts that contain phytates should not be fed to horses with hoof problems. Phytates are high in phosphorus and can block the absorption of calcium in the small intestine, which can create a calcium deficiency and will also undermine good hoof health.

If bran is being fed to regulate a horse’s stool consistency, replace it with soaked beet pulp. If bran is being fed to prevent sand colic, many reports suggest bran isn’t effective and that feeding ingredients containing high levels of psyllium fiber is a better scientifically-proven solution.

Frank Gravlee is an equine veterinarian and the founder of Life Data Labs, Inc., in Cherokee, Ala.

Click here to read Part 2 of the February 15, 2018 installment: While this is not a hoof-related question, several clients are wondering whether hay or grain should be fed first to their horses.

Click here to read more installments of Hoof Nutrition Intelligence.