Flax Seed

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Flax Seed

This is a discussion on Flax Seed within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Flax seed toxic to hprses
  • Omegashine for horses

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    09-10-2010, 10:10 PM
Cool Flax Seed

I want to start giving flax seed to my horse. I have read a lot online about it and many people have many different opinions on it. I am interested to hear about the toxic part of the seed. Is it really necessary to boil it to get rid of the toxic component? If I buy a bag of flax seed and just put it in her food will that be beneficial to her? If so how much a day should be fed for an average sized horse (I have a 14.3 hh quarter horse mare). Thanks!!
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    09-10-2010, 11:40 PM
Green Broke
Everything I have heard is that you do need to boil it, but I haven't heard anything about toxins, just that without boiling it is harder to digest and goes right through without any of the benefits getting to the horse. If you boil it down until it turns into sort of a gel, then it is broken down enough for them to actually benefit from it.

I know, it's a pain in the rear....so I don't go that route anymore and instead use supplements that are easier and less time consuming.
    09-11-2010, 12:58 AM
We don't feed "pure" flax seed. We use a product called "Omega Shine" that is a stabilized ground flax seed, along with psyllium (same thing found in Sand Clear), yeasts and other goodies. It works very well for us - daughter had a very sick, skinny colt that is really starting to look good after only thee weeks. I think we've found a supplement that we will continue to use. It's a little pricey - $35 for a 20 lb bag, but the horses only get a scant 1/2 cup morning and evening, so for our six horses, a 20 lb bag lasts nearly month.
    09-11-2010, 10:47 AM
Thanks! There is a 50 lbs bag at a feed store that my trainer saw and it was ground flax seed, but I read that as soon as it is ground it starts loosing its effectiveness so I was confused on how they sold ground flax seed?
    09-11-2010, 12:09 PM
I've never heard about boiling it frankly. What I know though people buy whole flax seeds and grind them. I personally buy ground flax seeds (I'm too lazy ) and feed quarter cup twice/day. You can see they are VERY oily - my paper bag gets all oily after I keep the flax there for couple days.
    09-11-2010, 08:47 PM
Originally Posted by Five Furlongs    
Thanks! There is a 50 lbs bag at a feed store that my trainer saw and it was ground flax seed, but I read that as soon as it is ground it starts loosing its effectiveness so I was confused on how they sold ground flax seed?
The ground flax in Omega Shine has been stabilized so it doesn't deteriorate as quickly. That being said, you still can't store it outside - it has to be kept cool and dry. A 20 lb bag - the size available around here - will just fill a five gallong bucket that we keep in the house where it will stay cool and dry. We just finished up a back and it seems just fine, so whatever they've done to stabilize it must work.

I may be confusing flax with something else, but it's my understanding that the seed contains a small amount of cyanide that can be harmful if boiled inside? From what I understand, the cyanide is minute enough that for no more than you feed a horse, it does them no harm and is best not to boil it - their digestive systems can break it down just fine as it is.

I just like the Omega Shine because it has other stuff in it. I really think that the psyllium in it has really helped our horses - they love to dump their feed buckets and eat the feed off the ground. Psyllium is the same stuff in Sand Clear...
    09-14-2010, 10:03 PM
Thanks so much everyone! This is sooo helpful :)
    09-14-2010, 10:19 PM
If you grind them it is true you best give it to the horses ASAP for the most nutrients.

ATM, for me that is impossible so I feed 1 cup whole flax. Their teeth chew it fine and I am not noticing "seedy" manure, if you know what I mean. It has really helped out my gelding.

If the horse has good teeth and stomach acid, whole unboiled seeds are perfectly adequate ;)

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