What Are ‘Wheat Middlings’ in Horse Feed?

Your horse might be benefiting from wheat middlings in his feed, which can help lower starch levels while maintaining a considerable calorie content.

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What Are Wheat Middlings in Horse Feed
Wheat midds consist of fine particles of bran, shorts, germ, flour, and other fractions created during the wheat-milling process. | Photo: iStock

Q.I’ve been considering changing my horse’s feed ration, so I’ve read a lot of feed labels lately. I notice that many feeds include “wheat middlings.” What are wheat middlings? Are they just some kind of filler or cost-saving measure for the manufacturers?

—Via e-mail

A.It’s great you’re reading and paying attention to the tags on feeds you’re considering for your horse. Feed tags include a lot of useful information, including the ingredient list of everything in the product. And you’re right—wheat middlings (or “midds”) have become a very popular ingredient in horse feeds, especially pelleted ones

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Written by:

Clair Thunes, PhD, is an equine nutritionist who owns Clarity Equine Nutrition, based in Gilbert, Arizona. She works as a consultant with owners/trainers and veterinarians across the United States and globally to take the guesswork out of feeding horses and provides services to select companies. As a nutritionist she works with all equids, from WEG competitors to Miniature donkeys and everything in between. Born in England, she earned her undergraduate degree at Edinburgh University, in Scotland, and her master’s and doctorate in nutrition at the University of California, Davis. Growing up, she competed in a wide array of disciplines and was an active member of the U.K. Pony Club. Today, she serves as the district commissioner for the Salt River Pony Club.

One Response

  1. We have fed a custom feed mix for several years that is 40% pelleted wheat midds. It is an excellent feed and safe for insulin resistant horses. We buy it from a big feed mill and pick it up in 1 ton super sacks. We save over $100.00 per ton by doing this and have a better feed at the same time. One word of warning: they contain very little calcium and are quite high in Phosphorus. If you feed them with grass hay (as opposed to a legume like alfalfa) you must supply extra Calcium (Ca). We do that by having the mill add 50# of powdered Calcium Carbonate (CaC) per ton of feed ordered and add a Vitamin A-D premix. We have fed this mix to 80+ horses for many years and never have any foals with leg problems and never have any digestive or metabolic problems

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