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Ask the Nutritionist: Dr. Getty's Forum for Equine Nutrition

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 Dr. Getty 


Ask the Nutritionist: Dr. Getty's Forum for Equine Nutrition
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Wheat Mids vs Wheat Bran

Have read recommendations to use wheat bran mash for a mare after foaling to help her digestion start back and help her system get moving again. Also, have heard of using wheat bran to help prevent sand colic.

So, are wheat middlings of any value for something like that? Do they have enough fiber to help with digestion, etc.? Or are they totally different from wheat bran? Are they similar in texture, food value, usefulness, etc? Are they a good option for a horse for preventing sand colic? Just wondering....


Where are you from? TN

How did you locate this forum? searching Google

Re: Wheat Mids vs Wheat Bran

Hi Nancy,

Wheat bran and wheat middlings are two different things. The bran is high in fiber, several minerals, a few vitamins, and is very low in starch. Wheat midlings contain approximately 25% of the starchy portion of the grain (the endosperm). And there is no bran component, making it low in fiber and moderately high in starch.

But, providing a bran mash is not something I recommend for several reasons. First, wheat bran is very high in phosphorus and a mare that has just foaled has a very high need for calcium. It is important that her calcium to phosphorus ratio be at least 2:1, and higher is preferable.

Second, her need for calories is much higher than when she was pregnant, and wheat bran is not very high in calories. She requires more concentrated feed.

Third, giving her roughage in the form of hay, hay cubes, hay pellets, and even beet pulp, is perfect for her digestive tract. Constipation is not an issue after pregnancy. And, to prevent sand colic, it is best to provide forage 24/7 along with access to clean, temperature controlled water.

And finally, consistency is very important to prevent colic. A bran mash, given once in a while, puts a strain on the bacterial flora in the hind gut. If it were to be part of a diet, it would need to be provided every day (though I would not recommend it for the reasons mentioned earlier).

Wheat midlings are higher in calories but are not a good source of fiber, and I believe that was what you're trying to achieve.

Thanks for writing!

All the best,

Dr. Getty

Where are you from? Bayfield, CO