Bran question.

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Well-Known Member
May 26, 2005
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When I went last week to get more feed for Sky the lady at the feed store suggested that I give him bran to flush out his system. I am in the process of switching his food and she recommended I do this when he is completely switched over. She said it would also help with any sand he may have eaten if any at all. If I understand correctly it works like a laxative but does not cause diarrhea. She said to give him 1/2 cup in the morning and 1/2 cup in the evening. I value everyones opinion in this forum and would really like to know what you all think.


Sounds like your feed lady is from the "old school" like me. But keeping an open mind to new research over these last few years I have found that bran is not the way to go anymore.

Beings from Florida, we had so much sand colic there, the horses used to drop like flies.

There is nothing in bran that is going to cause your horse to "flush out" his system and it certainly cannot break down sand particles and expell them. It is not a colic preventive either and has nothing to do with the way you switch over from one grain to another.

In the olden days, we oldies also thought these things. I fed bran, hot, cold, dry, all the time thinking the same thing. But now research has shown it's not true.

Bran will cause more harm than good. It's hard on the intestines and has been known to act "like sandpaper" according to some studies I have read. Sometimes after a foaling or a colic episode, a vet will suggest to feed a little bit of bran possibly.

To switch over feeds, remove some of the grain he is on and replace it with the new stuff. Decrease the old, increase the new. And do is slowly over the course of a week.

To remove sand, use SANDBLAST or SANDCLEAR or someother product that is designed to remove it.

I hope this helps you out.

Disclaimer: this is just my humble opinion.
Thanks Marty! No bran for Sky. The reason I asked this question in the first place is because this really didn't make sense to me. I am so glad I asked. I am gradually switching him over as you suggested.
Must be I'm from the "old school" too because when we first started in minis in 1986, we had several colics and some of the horses ended up at Tufts University Equine Hospital. When the 3rd one came home from there, we were told to feed one warm bran mash weekly (Bran mixed with hot water and mineral oil), let it cool enough to eat and then feed weekly to each horse instead of their grain meal.

Never had another colic and I better knock on wood now that I've written this.

We still do it, several years later and have great faith in it.

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