Comparison of Copra meal and Rice bran

Comparison of Copra meal and rRce bran

Copra meal and Rice bran are both high energy horse feeds.  Both are used as ?cool and safe' sources of concentrated energy and are fed for conditioning and weight gain, or to supply extra energy in the diets of hard-working horses.  Their similarities and differences are described below:

CoolStance copra meal

CoolStance is a by-product of coconut oil production and consists of the white fleshy part of the coconut after it has been heated and pressed to extract the oil. The oil in CoolStance (coconut oil) is a highly stable tropical oil, meaning that CoolStance is not prone to rancidity and maintains its nutrient status over long periods.

Popularised as a horse feed over 20 years ago, CoolStance contains 8-10% oil and 20% crude protein.  It is extremely low in starch (1.3% starch, <12% NSC) meaning it is a ?cool and safe feed'.  It contains approx. 15MJ Digestible Energy/kg DM (or 1.63 Mcal/lb DM) and high levels of trace-minerals that are commonly deficient in other feeds including rice bran.

CoolStance contains mainly saturated fatty acids of short and medium chain length.  Short and medium chain fatty acids are absorbed directly into the portal blood, are rapidly metabolised and are available for use as ready energy for high intensity work. Lauric and caprylic acids (the main fatty acids in coconut oil) are are also associated with having antiviral, antibacterial and immune-boosting properties for promoting gut and animal health.

Rice Bran

Also a by-product feed, Rice Bran is the outer layer of the brown rice grain and is produced by milling brown rice into white rice.  Rice bran contains both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids and is rich in long chain fatty acids.  The oil in rice bran will become rancid in the raw state, and must be stabilised eg by heating under pressure and Vitamin E added.

Rice bran is now a popular horse feed and contains approx 15-20% oil, 20% starch and useful levels of  amino acids.  It contains around 14.9MJ Digestible Energy/kg DM (or 1.62 MCal/lb DM).

At a Practical Level.

Both feeds can be and are fed for similar purposes.  Both are often used to maintain condition, encourage weight gain and improve coat condition.  Rice bran can be used in some instances to replace grain without making horses ?hot' (in temperament).

However, CoolStance contains much less starch than rice bran (1.3% in CoolStance vs 20% in Rice Bran) meaning it is can be used more widely and with greater safety to maintain insulin sensitivity in all horses, and will be less likely to make horses ?hot' or cause starch overload into the hindgut. CoolStance is also totally chemical free, mechanically extracted rather than solvent extracted and is guaranteed GMO free.

The oils contained in CoolStance are also very different to those in Rice Bran.  Where CoolStance is rich in saturated, short and medium chain fatty acids (which are stable and can be rapidly metabolised), Rice Bran contains higher levels of polyunsaturated and monosaturated, long chain fatty acids (which are less stable and more slowly metabolised).

Rice Bran and CoolStance can be fed together.  Both can also be fed with other hard feeds (ie grains).  However, they should also always be fed in conjunction with ample fibre/roughage feeds (ie. at least 1% of bodyweight/day of hay, chaff, or pasture), abundant clean water and a good-quality vitamin and mineral  supplement.


Rice Bran

Digestible Energy

15MJ/kgDM = 1.63Mcal/lbDM

14.9MJ/kgDM = 1.62Mcal/lbDM




Crude Protein









Fatty Acids

Short and Medium Chain

Long Chain



Polyunsaturated and Monounsaturated


Stable and wont become rancid

Unstable and will become rancid unless stabilised

Medium Chain Triglycerides

Rich in Lauric and caprylic acids for gut health


Available energy

Absorbed directly into the portal blood

Absorbed slowly via the lymphatics


  • Promotes body condition and coat shine
  • Suitable for insulin resistant and EMS horses


  • Promotes body condition and coat shine
  • Unsuitable for EMS horses