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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan. 22, 2000
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    Coastal South Carolina :-)
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    Default The good 'ol fashioned bran mash~ who still does it?

    Just curious, with so many new things on the market these days~ is it one of those old time things that has fallen by the wayside, or do you still feed it? If you do, is it an occasional treat or do you do the once a week feeding?
    This just popped into my head last nite, as I was thinking about some of the tried & true things I've used over the years, that have been forgotten or replaced, like Calf Manna (which I recently rediscovered with my 18.2 boarder & his recent growth spurt). He's been on it for 2 weeks and I can see a difference already.
    What other old reliable "remedies" and such can you remember, that have been either forgotten or that you still use?
    Crayola posse~ orange yellow, official pilot
    Proud owner of "High Flight" & "Shorty"



  2. #2
    Join Date
    May. 6, 2007
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    1,064

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    My vet tells her clients to feed bran mashes once weekly during the winter months. Plain old soupy bran mash. The ponies dive in and don't surface until their buckets are licked clean. They are fully behind this particular prescription.
    Don't wrassle with a hog. You just get dirty, and the hog likes it.

    Collecting Thoroughbreds - tales of a re-rider and some TBs



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan. 22, 2000
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    Coastal South Carolina :-)
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    Default

    That's the same protocol I used to follow back when I had a barn full. Seriously thinking about starting it back up again this fall & winter~ it certainly can't hurt, and I always like to add a few goodies to mine.
    Crayola posse~ orange yellow, official pilot
    Proud owner of "High Flight" & "Shorty"



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov. 6, 2009
    Location
    Silvana, WA
    Posts
    1,289

    Default

    I'd never done it until last weekend when my gelding had a gas colic. Vet came out Sunday morning and did benamine, oil, etc. His follow-up protocol was a bran mash with carrots and apples plus 15 minutes hand grazing once I saw the oil at the other end. He certainly was thrilled to suck it down and it got things moving quite shortly.

    Since I couldn't figure out if wheat bran for horses was the same as the wheat bran I bake with (FTR yes it is), I now have a 50# sack of red wheat bran from the feed store.

    Contemplating a weekly bran mash for him this winter.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar. 9, 2006
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    300

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    My last barn did it when we had extreme weather changes. Sometimes here in N. Florida we can go from 80 to 40 or less in a day. My current barn does not but the vet practice they use does recommend it. My mare is not sensitive to stuff like that so I don't really worry about it.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec. 21, 2009
    Posts
    23

    Default

    Nope. I dislike bran mash with a passion. I soak every grain meal with warm water anyway.

    Long story short, my life experiences with bran mash coincide with
    http://www.goequine.com/article/the_...dvantages.html



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar. 14, 2010
    Location
    Earlysville, Virginia
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    3,337

    Default

    Just curious, what do you guys put in your bran mash?
    Charlie Brown (1994 bay TB X gelding)
    White Star (2004 grey TB gelding)

    Mystical Moment, 1977-2010.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct. 29, 2008
    Posts
    1,660

    Default

    Newer dietary research discourages use of bran mashes. They can cause a calcium/phosphorous imbalance (very high phosporous levels) and really aren't much of a digestive aid. They don't provide much extra liquid.
    Yes, they are tempting - so if a horse has lost appetite due to illness a mash composed primarily of his pellets, with a cup or so of bran, and some chopped carrots/apples plus hot water, may encourage him to eat, and kick-start the appetite. Also, molasses is never good in feed or mashers as the high carbs can cause insulin spikes.
    Yes, bran mashes make the owners feel great. They look and smell good, and we like to "treat" our horses .... but it is not a good practice.
    I use a bran mash once a year -- within seconds of my mares' foalings. It is comprised of 2/1 pellets/bran, lots of hot water, a tablespoon of salt (to encourage thirst, and increase water consumption as the milk comes in) and a big tablespoon of brown sugar, for quick energy. The delicious treat (served in a pan at the mare's head) keeps the mare lying down while the foal is still attached by the umbulicus, and gives her an energy boost after the hard labour.
    As a regular thing - no, not good.
    PS You can use bran from the feed store for baking too.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul. 24, 2004
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    3,066

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Kolsh View Post
    Nope. I dislike bran mash with a passion. I soak every grain meal with warm water anyway.
    Same here - I don't feed it ever. My two TB's get their morning and evening grain/hay stretcher/beet pulp soaked in hot water - it's literally soup and they just drink it right down without a problem. Makes me feel better seeing them get a lot of water into them especially when it's super cold out and I think they like it too .
    "When a horse greets you with a nicker & regards you with a large & liquid eye, the question of where you want to be & what you want to do has been answered." CANTER New England



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan. 16, 2002
    Location
    West Coast of Michigan
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    36,322

    Default

    I treat bran mashes like I treat Cap'N Crunch. Delicious, an old-fashioned treat that reminds me of my youth and does no harm as an "every now and then" thing, but not something I consider necessary, particularly healthy, or suitable for regular consumption.

    Do I think a half pound of bran is going to plunge the horse into a hyperphosphatemic crisis? No. Do I think it's going to purge their colon into a raging colic? No. Do I think it will cause massive fluid shifts? No. A single serving of ANYTHING once in a while is not going to wreck a healthy horse. Or human. But nor do I think it is really doing them any good, beyond making them love me.

    But if and when I make one, I chuck in some oatmeal, shredded carrots, molasses and whatever else I think will be yummy.
    Click here before you buy.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec. 13, 1999
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    Greensboro, NC
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    38,336

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Sunnydays View Post
    Newer dietary research discourages use of bran mashes. They can cause a calcium/phosphorous imbalance (very high phosporous levels) and really aren't much of a digestive aid. They don't provide much extra liquid.
    if you're feeding a lot of alfalfa, you WANT extra phosphorous

    That said, I'd much prefer unfortified rice bran over wheat bran any day.

    If you're feeding 1lb or so of even wheat bran, unless the diet was so close to being too unbalanced in the ca/phos department, it's really not going to hurt. If you were that close anyway, not only should you not feed something high in phos (that isn't also balanced with added calcium) you should be doing something to add more calcium.

    Yes, they are tempting - so if a horse has lost appetite due to illness a mash composed primarily of his pellets, with a cup or so of bran, and some chopped carrots/apples plus hot water, may encourage him to eat, and kick-start the appetite.
    Agree, horses DO seem to really, really love it

    Also, molasses is never good in feed or mashers as the high carbs can cause insulin spikes.
    Most horses can deal just find with some molasses, even on a regular basis. Even TC Sr, a whopping 11% NSC, has a little molasses in it it doesn't take much molasses, especially if you're using blackstrap, to flavor something without making it an ooey gooey sticky mess. I dilute it about 2:1 with water, and use maybe 1/2c, if I'm trying to make sure a portion of a meal (ie has meds or something) gets eaten. There's far more sugar in a few pounds of grass

    I use a bran mash once a year -- within seconds of my mares' foalings. It is comprised of 2/1 pellets/bran, lots of hot water, a tablespoon of salt (to encourage thirst, and increase water consumption as the milk comes in) and a big tablespoon of brown sugar, for quick energy.
    Uhhhh, brown sugar is sugar with *molasses* added


    Adding a cup or two to the regular meal, with hot water/whatever, is not going to hurt anyone. It's the stereotypical several pounds of wheat bran with several apples, several carrots, some molasses thrown in for good measure, served out of the blue, that's more likely to cause problems

    That sad, I don't do it. If I want a "mash", I add hot (not too hot, don't want it degrading ingredients) water to the regular meal, maybe add in a chopped apple, and that's that.
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET



  12. #12
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    Jan. 21, 2010
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    I still feed warm bran mash in the winter. I make it extra watery, and my boys all suck off the water on top first (apparently bran-flavored water is just as delicious).

    However, it does require some motivation on my part because it is messy.

    Quote Originally Posted by AliCat518 View Post
    Just curious, what do you guys put in your bran mash?
    I mix in molasses.
    Sometimes they get hunks of carrots/apples if I'm feeling particularly flush.

    ETA: Does anyone have any recommendations for storing it?? I can only find it in the huge bags and I can never get through it before the mealworms start popping up.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul. 3, 2011
    Location
    SoFla
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    409

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    My old barn feeds it with every meal. Some horses loved it, and the ones that didn't didn't get any. Everyone was fat and happy. Then again, I think it might have been beet pulp, not bran mash.



  14. #14
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    Nov. 4, 2003
    Location
    Dallas, Georgia
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    17,299

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    Never. Serves no purpose. My mares get warm beet bulp with their Equipride etc. every night during the cold temps. If I want something special for them, I'll chuck in a handful of sugar-free Herballs since they're minty
    <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.



  15. #15
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    Apr. 29, 2006
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    Evansville, Wisconsin
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by deltawave View Post
    I treat bran mashes like I treat Cap'N Crunch. Delicious, an old-fashioned treat that reminds me of my youth and does no harm as an "every now and then" thing, but not something I consider necessary, particularly healthy, or suitable for regular consumption.
    .
    Same here. I might make one up for the holidays, or on a particularly chilly morning, but it's more because they enjoy it, and because of the warm fuzzies it gives me than anything else.
    "In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn’t merely train him to be semi-human. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming part dog."
    -Edward Hoagland



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb. 11, 2011
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    1,395

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    Quote Originally Posted by morganpony86 View Post
    I still feed warm bran mash in the winter. I make it extra watery, and my boys all suck off the water on top first (apparently bran-flavored water is just as delicious).

    However, it does require some motivation on my part because it is messy.



    I mix in molasses.
    Sometimes they get hunks of carrots/apples if I'm feeling particularly flush.

    ETA: Does anyone have any recommendations for storing it?? I can only find it in the huge bags and I can never get through it before the mealworms start popping up.
    In the freezer if you can not feed it out fast enough. That is the only way I have ever stopped them.

    Wheat bran is an ingredient of small portion in my custom. So every horse gets a little every day. Very palatable even for the older horses with teeth issues and when I turn this ration into crockpot delight for the extremely old ones the bran really helps soak up the water.

    Phos imbalance is easy to correct within the total ration. NSC pretty high ...so something to think about....meaning use in moderation and not for metabolics.



  17. #17
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    May. 24, 2011
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    1,605

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    I do a small bit every night for my mare because she will leave her supplements otherwise. I just use enough to mix her supplements in, then mix her her normal ration balancer.



  18. #18
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    Jun. 16, 2008
    Location
    AB
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    I feed them when I have to disguise drugs such as bute or penicillin - it usually involves lots of molasses and carrots too! During those miserable cold winter months when it is -30 for weeks on end, I boil water and soak alfalfa cubes, then mix their grain in with it to make a very soupy warm mash. Warm up their little bellies and get some extra water into them at the same time.



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec. 20, 2006
    Location
    Western NY
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    559

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    Barn I work at, we feed it every Monday. No it doesn't serve any purpose but it doesn't hurt either. BO's rule, I just follow it. My horses at home never get it. Its an old school kind of thing, he's an old school kinda guy.
    R.I.P Vanny 26 yr QH Stallion 4/11/82 - 5/8/08, Scout 28 yr Paint Cross Gelding, Glistening 11 yr Arab/Saddlebred Mare



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar. 26, 2005
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    Back to Normal.. or as close as I'll ever get
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    10,832

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    I don't bother with wheat bran, but I do feed the occasional warm mash on subzero Winter nights.

    I have an old crockpot I keep in the barn.
    On cold mornings I fill with 1/2 their grain ration - 50/50 whole oats & 12% pellets -add water & let it cook all day on Low.
    Evening feeding I add the other half of the grain, enough cold water to make it edible, throw in some extras: carrots, apples, a glug of molasses, mints & watch them shlurp it down.

    Besides the added water, I believe the warmth stays with them a bit as they digest it.
    WTH: makes me feel good too
    *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
    Steppin' Out 1988-2004
    Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
    Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015



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