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Why is bread bad?

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  • Why is bread bad?

    I'm not talking about commercially available white bread, but rather organic whole grain breads. Please discuss why it is so very wrong to feed bread as an addition to forage rather than commercially available grain. I know someone who feeds all of their horses bread, around 25-30 horses of varying shapes, sizes, and ages, and they all do very well on it. So please, discuss and educate!

  • #2
    I know someone who feeds bread - the day-old, white type - to horses of all shapes and sizes, too. It SEEMS wrong to me, too but none of them seem to be damaged by it. I also know quite a few people who use bread slices for horse treats...

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    • #3
      The benefits are in the grains used to make the bread.

      For all intent and purposes wheat - main grain in all but a few breads - is not a good feed grain for horses.

      However, we have always fed bone dry bread of all kinds to our horses, but more on a treat basis.

      (and then there is the point that even 'whole grain' or 'multi grain' breads in the US are pretty bad, compared to what you can get, say, in Germany)
      Originally posted by BigMama1
      Facts don't have versions. If they do, they are opinions
      GNU Terry Prachett

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      • #4
        Who says it's "bad"? Bread is like any other food: it contains certain nutrients in varying amounts, which if required by the animal will be made use of. If not, they will be disposed of, or stored as fat.

        The body doesn't care what nutrients look like on the front side of the horse. It just cares what's in the stuff. If what's in the stuff is suitable, safe, non-toxic and the beast can make use of it, there's nothing "bad" about it.

        Cost-effective? Palatable? Better than other cereals? Appropriate for all animals? That's probably debatable. But "bad"? Not unless it's giving the animal something it can't handle, like a gut-load of sugar or unless it's taking the place of something the animal needs more, like protein or essential amino acids.
        Click here before you buy.

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        • #5
          As a treat, it's fine. As a feed? Seems like a really expensive way to feed horses.
          Horse Show Names Free name website with over 6200 names. Want to add? PM me!

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          • #6
            I have read many discussions about it both on this board and other places on the internet and people seem to be vehemently against it as a feed. The person who I referred to in my first post gets his bread for free from an organic bakery. The bread gets shipped back to the bakery when it doesn't get sold at the grocery store. They don't have to pay for waste removal and he doesn't have to pay for feed. So definitely cost effective.

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            • #7
              Before coming to the US I never realized some people never feed horses bread, and/or think it's bad for them, lol.

              I've given dry bread to horses for years, not as a feed but as regular treats. Only very dry, not moldy, bread such as baguette etc.

              Horses love the crunchiness and it was a nice way to get rid of the leftover bread.
              Ottbs - The finish line is only the beginning!

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              • #8
                Depends on why you'd be feeding grain in the first place. If the bread fits the profile of what's needed to supplement the hay, it's fne in moderation.

                But it is a highly fermentable high starch low fiber feedstuff, easy to run into problems with it if fed in quantity.
                "It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay

                ...just settin' on the Group W bench.

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                • #9
                  No squishy Wonder Bread for the Shetland pony, then?
                  Click here before you buy.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by AlternativeMeasures View Post
                    I have read many discussions about it both on this board and other places on the internet and people seem to be vehemently against it as a feed. The person who I referred to in my first post gets his bread for free from an organic bakery. The bread gets shipped back to the bakery when it doesn't get sold at the grocery store. They don't have to pay for waste removal and he doesn't have to pay for feed. So definitely cost effective.
                    LOL, there is no uniform opinion on most feeds, though I think horses and cattle are more researched than dogs or cats...

                    I can see feeding hogs with reject bread as sole source of feed (well, not sole...) but I'd hesitate with horses, organic or not.
                    Originally posted by BigMama1
                    Facts don't have versions. If they do, they are opinions
                    GNU Terry Prachett

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by deltawave View Post
                      Who says it's "bad"? Bread is like any other food: it contains certain nutrients in varying amounts, which if required by the animal will be made use of. If not, they will be disposed of, or stored as fat.

                      The body doesn't care what nutrients look like on the front side of the horse. It just cares what's in the stuff. If what's in the stuff is suitable, safe, non-toxic and the beast can make use of it, there's nothing "bad" about it.

                      Cost-effective? Palatable? Better than other cereals? Appropriate for all animals? That's probably debatable. But "bad"? Not unless it's giving the animal something it can't handle, like a gut-load of sugar or unless it's taking the place of something the animal needs more, like protein or essential amino acids.
                      I am leaving that to folks who study it. My literature indicates wheat is not a good grain for horses.
                      I suppose it has something to do with the gluten proteins.
                      Originally posted by BigMama1
                      Facts don't have versions. If they do, they are opinions
                      GNU Terry Prachett

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                      • #12
                        I suppose it has something to do with the gluten proteins.
                        Click here before you buy.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Ghazzu View Post
                          But it is a highly fermentable high starch low fiber feedstuff, easy to run into problems with it if fed in quantity.
                          THIS.

                          And it can send a laminitic or insulin resistant pony into very bad episodes. Ask me how I know. Wait, I'll tell you anyway!

                          About 24 years ago I use to rent a small facility tucked into the suburbs very close a smallish city. It was a simple place, but cheap and close for a young, up and coming single adult to keep her small herd. My poor old shetland pony suddenly was having some rapid weight gain and active bouts of founder, which he hadn't had in years. After some very scary episodes and some detective work I found out one of the neighbor boys (about 9 or 10 years old) was feeding the pony stale Wonder Bread from he dad's Wonder Bread delivery truck! Nice kid who just didn't know any better. And a greedy pony!

                          It came quite close to doing the little old dude in.

                          I suppose it could be fed safely if someone were to really work at it, but it is very, very high in starch - esp. as compared to the rest of its nutritional value. Horses need fiber carbs not starch carbs. Why else would they make low starch feeds? (Rhetorical!)

                          SCFarm
                          The above post is an opinion, just an opinion. If it were a real live fact it would include supporting links to websites full of people who already agreed with me.

                          www.southern-cross-farm.com

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                          • #14
                            I don't remember the details, but, I do recall a study on laminitis and they used bread to induce.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by deltawave View Post
                              No squishy Wonder Bread for the Shetland pony, then?
                              Just *one* slice and then only to see the faces he makes when it gets stuck to the roof of his mouth.

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                              • #16
                                Originally posted by citydog View Post
                                Just *one* slice and then only to see the faces he makes when it gets stuck to the roof of his mouth.

                                hehehehehehe, how was it with peanut butter added ? <angel smiley>
                                Originally posted by BigMama1
                                Facts don't have versions. If they do, they are opinions
                                GNU Terry Prachett

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                                • #17
                                  In the middle ages in parts of Europe, they used to make bread (or bread type things ) specifically for their horses. That was a major foodstuff for them. That's my useless trivia for the day.

                                  I too have heard that bread is really bad for laminitic or IR horses, I believe due to the high starch levels but that could be wrong. I've used it for treats for healthy horses with no ill effects, though. I don't think that it's terrible for a healthy animal.
                                  exploring the relationship between horse and human

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                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by CosMonster View Post
                                    In the middle ages in parts of Europe, they used to make bread (or bread type things ) specifically for their horses. That was a major foodstuff for them. That's my useless trivia for the day.
                                    I bet tho the bread was not of the same quality as what we have now.

                                    Here, bread = wheat, in other areas, other times that is not the case.
                                    Like Sweden has the specialty of 'Knacke' a crisp flat bread, made from rye (which btw is also not a great horse grain) In other areas the prevailing grain might have been oats or barley.
                                    Originally posted by BigMama1
                                    Facts don't have versions. If they do, they are opinions
                                    GNU Terry Prachett

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                                    • #19
                                      The person who I referred to in my first post gets his bread for free from an organic bakery. The bread gets shipped back to the bakery when it doesn't get sold at the grocery store.
                                      All things considered, maybe an arrangement with a local homeless shelter or soup kitchen might be a better alternative for everyone.
                                      Click here before you buy.

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                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Alagirl View Post
                                        I bet tho the bread was not of the same quality as what we have now.

                                        Here, bread = wheat, in other areas, other times that is not the case.
                                        Like Sweden has the specialty of 'Knacke' a crisp flat bread, made from rye (which btw is also not a great horse grain) In other areas the prevailing grain might have been oats or barley.
                                        No, it really wasn't the same at all. I've actually made it from a medieval recipe (yes, I am a nerd ) and it's very different. That's why I put "bread type things" in there, but I should have clarified.
                                        exploring the relationship between horse and human

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