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       It's About The Horse Forum Index -> Medical and Nutrition Discussions
jokersmama

Feeding horses bread?

Friends of mine have been buying bakers racks of "feed bread" from the bakery outlet to feed their cows and chickens they have also been feeding it to their horses. They try and pick the whole grain loaves for the horses. I have never known anyone else to do this, is it common? What are the pros/cons of it?

I was thinking it could cause choke maybe or they could get a big dough ball in their gut and colic, am I just a worry wart or are these things that could happen from it?

If it is something reasonably safe to do it would help with one of my hard keepers and is fairly cheap compared to some products. They get a huge rack more than 100 loaves for $20, and it's nice expensive bread lots of organic and whole grain and it's all within days of being past date so they just freeze it. I also thought it would be neat to donate some to the local horse rescues if it is a safe thing for them to eat. That's a lot of feed for $20.

Thoughts....?
Nashama

If the flour used is not wheat flour then it's not so bad, but if it is you run the risk of triggering feed allergies and foundering the horse.

The short answer is wheat should not be fed to horses. The longer answer is on the list of allergen triggers, worst to best, the list is wheat, barley, oats, rice. Wheat hybrids such as triticale sit between wheat and barley. Hard keepers often have an underlying metabolic issue, triggered by their feed. We learned this off and equine vet when one of the horses that came home in very poor condition in 2005 just would not put topline back on her.
PasoBaby_CarolU

I agree with Jules.  Wheat is not a good feed grain for horses.  It's way too hot.  I've had wheat (instead of oat) hay delivered here and foundered a horse with it, even feeding just a tiny bit with their other hay.   I finally gave it to my neighbor for his cow.
fairhavenranch

I would say choke, and/or obstruction colic would be my first concern.  Not to mention the ingredients.  Plus the carbohydrates/sugars are going to be high.  Maybe even laminitis.  Hmmmm....

Make breadcrumbs, feed it to birds, etc. but feeding it to horses sounds too risky.
jokersmama

Interesting thoughts, Thank you! Most of the same concerns I had, looks like it might just be good for a treat once in a while for horses and is a better feed for cows.
bit

Eclipse will usually want to share my sandwich on a trail ride.  We picnic at the 1/2 way point.  I started making sure it was peanut butter and jelly and she'd get a bit of it.  She really held off for the cheese balls, and rice crispy treats.  sigh.  Are you guys cringing yet?  lol.  Only a few times over the summer and fall.
fairhavenranch

OMG!  Peanut butter.  As in stick to the roof of your mouth type peanut butter!    At least there was jelly!  
cheerios

bit wrote:
Eclipse will usually want to share my sandwich on a trail ride.  We picnic at the 1/2 way point.  I started making sure it was peanut butter and jelly and she'd get a bit of it.  She really held off for the cheese balls, and rice crispy treats.  sigh.  Are you guys cringing yet?  lol.  Only a few times over the summer and fall.



Nika, our arab mare, loves to help eat the last crumbs of my peanut butter sandwich.


I did know someone years ago who would ride their horse through the drive through at McDonalds. Would get a hamburger for themselves, and one for the horse.
Now that's wrong!  
new2thejourney

Not cringing bit....

My girlfriend has a QH who not only eats Hungry Jacks burger (I think you guys call it Burger King) but Freckles (horse) will also drink her Bundy Rum and Coke with her - of course, this is just special occassions silly's!!  Only when they are celebrating something!!  LOL

And me, um, er, well, I used to feed Rocky the crusts off the loaf every second day or so.  Mind you he was skinny, old and a TB and it was hard to get weight on him!  And he was good at eating slowly and gently by the time I started feeding it to him.  

I think you would have to use your discression.  I don't feed bread to Bundy because, well - he doesn't like it!!  So I figured he doesn't need it and I stopped trying.

He also wont eat lettuce, or cabbage or any of the good stuff like that.  Don't know why..
PasoBaby_CarolU

I'm not cringing either.  A friend makes two PB&J sandwiches for trail rides, one for her and one for her horse.  He LOVES them.  He'll also eat bologna sandwiches, but they don't pack as safely (mayonnaise in the heat).  I take granola bars and carrots for the horses for lunch.  They seem to enjoy the energy boost and I think the carrots also give them some moisture and a vitamin boost.   Zar loves CrackerJacks at lunch.

The only problem with PB&J is that they get really boring after 3-5 day trail rides.  I just can't think of a sandwich that is safe and still edible if slightly smooshed.
fairhavenranch

(((Shakes head. Slaps hand to forehead. Makes grunting noise.)))  
Clarissa

My horses all love bread of all types. All the horses I have ever had have loved bread. It's horse feed!!  

Mine also love most sweet biscuits, chips (potato crisps) & corn chips, beer & softdrink too!  

In 1994/5 we had a very bad drought where I lived & they got at least 1 large rubbish bag of bread & sweet stuff from a bakery every day. These days I would be much more inclined to feed hay, but back then I had no income at all due to my back injury & I was almost totally incapacitated so someone else had to deal with the horses, so they got whatever was available for free & easy to throw over the fences.

It never seemed to do them any harm. Mares were in foal & stallions were breeding but nothing bad came of it.

The way I see it, anyone who refuses a horse at least a slice of bread is cruel!  
       It's About The Horse Forum Index -> Medical and Nutrition Discussions
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