Black oil sunflower seeds - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 07-23-2011, 06:27 PM Thread Starter
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Black oil sunflower seeds

I just recently found out that black oil sunflower seeds are a great thing to supplement feed to your horses. It is a natural food that is packed full of vitamins, minerals
Nutritional Profile of Black Oil Sunflower Seeds

BOSS are packed full of vitamins and minerals. Here is a look at a nutritional profile for sunflower seeds for human consumption:General Nutrients:
NutrientAmount
(per 1 lb)NutrientAmount
(per 1 lb)Calories2588.40 Protein103.50 g Carbohydrates85.25 g Fiber
(dietary)47.74 g Sugars15.03 g Fat225.46 g Water24.38 g Omega-3
Fatty Acids0.25 g Omega-6
Fatty Acids148.40 g Lysine24.5 mg Vitamins:
VitaminAmount
(per 1 lb)VitaminAmount
(per 1 lb)Vitamin A222.48 IU Thiamin10.36 mg Riboflavin1.14 mg Niacin20.46 mg Vitamin B63.54 mg Vitamin C6.32 mg Vitamin E340.50 IUFolate1033.90 mcg Vitamin K12.25 mcg Pantothenic Acid30.69 mg Minerals:
MineralAmount
(per 1 lb)MineralAmount
(per 1 lb)Calcium527.43 mg Copper7.96 mg Iron30.82 mg Magnesium1609.57 mg Manganese9.22 mg Phosphorus3205.50 mg Potassium3132.75 mg Selenium270.53 mcg Sodium13.64 mg Zinc22.99 mg They are also high in amino acids...which are very important for muscle building and maintenance.
Why to feed Black Oil Sunflower Seeds

Black Oil Sunflower Seeds have two visible positive effects on horses:
  1. Great SHINY coats
  2. Weight gain
When fed in smaller amounts, they will give your horse a nice shiny coat (and improve hooves, according to some owners) without the weight gain.
However, at 2500 calories/lb. they can also be fed at higher levels to add some calories to your horse's diet and assist with weight gain. They are preferred by many owners over oil due to the fact that they provide fat along with other nutrients.
How to feed Black Oil Sunflower Seeds

BOSS can be fed as whole seeds right along with your horse's other feeds. For some picky eaters, you may have to start with very small amounts and gradually increase to the amount you want to feed. In my experience, most horses love the seeds once they get over the suspicion of it being a new feed.Sunflower seeds should never be fed at a rate higher than 2 pounds per day.
Usually, they are fed at a rate of 0.5-1.0 cup per day for shine without the weight gain. For weight gain, you usually want to feed at least 2 cups per day, if not more. Of course, you may have to adjust these amounts for individual horses.
The volume of BOSS varies due to seed variation so this is one feed that you should actually weigh out every time you feed. In some bags, the volume to weight ratio will be approximately 5 cups/pound, while other bags will be as low as 2 cups/pound!
So, definitely weigh this feed every time you feed it. You can get a cheap kitchen scale at Wal-Mart or Target and use it specifically for feed use.
Who Should NOT Have Them?

The only group of horses that absolutely cannot have BOSS is horses that are HYPP positive. These horses need to have very controlled amounts of potassium in their diets, and BOSS contain a large amount of this mineral. This also goes for horses that might have HYPP but have not been tested.Some people worry about the ability of horses with poor teeth to break down the shell. However, the BOSS shell is softer than the coating on an oat (try biting into each yourself if you don't believe me), so any horse that can handle oats should have no problem with BOSS.
There have been reports online of horses colicing when their diets contain BOSS, and having seed hulls show up in the impactions. However, all of these reports have been "unofficial" reports online, and none of them have been able to prove whether or not BOSS was the actual cause of the colic...its very possible those horses would have coliced regardless of whether or not there was BOSS in their diets.
just wanted to share I hope this was helpful. A lot of people don't know about this.

The horse is made ready for the day of battle,
but victory rests with the LORD. Proverbs 21:31
Be thankful for what God has given you

Last edited by sapphirain; 07-23-2011 at 06:32 PM.
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post #2 of 13 Old 07-24-2011, 12:45 PM
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Quote:
The only group of horses that absolutely cannot have BOSS is horses that are HYPP positive.


Need to add horses with cushings, insulin resistance, and equine metabolic syndrome.

BOSS is very high in Omega-6 which is know to aggravate inflammation. Doesn't matter if it's inflammation brough on by any of the above diseases or arthritic inflammation.

Here's the plus, Black Oil Sunflower Seeds for Horses

Here's the minus, BOSS: Black Oil Sunflower Seeds for Horses

If anyone does think they need to feed Black Oil Sunflower Seeds, a/k/a BOSS better look at the bag to be sure it does NOT say "with Bird Koting" on it.

Everyone needs to research and make their own decision.

I will stick with feeding Omega-3 Horseshine that has the appropriate balance of each and I only need to feed 1/2 cup daily to my big Walking Horses to get that slick/shiny coat and hooves that shine naturally
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post #3 of 13 Old 07-24-2011, 08:26 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info... It is hard sometimes to do research online cause you get so many different answers.. but I did just start feeding BOSS. so if does need to be changed no big deal. Thanks though!!

The horse is made ready for the day of battle,
but victory rests with the LORD. Proverbs 21:31
Be thankful for what God has given you
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post #4 of 13 Old 07-25-2011, 03:11 PM
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i like flaxseed. as said here. black oil sunflower sees (BOSS) are much higher in omega 6 fatty acids and lower in omega 3. horses are made to eat grass (which is usually 3x higher in omega 3 than 6's)

which i why i stick with flaxseed it is higher in omega 3's

i tired omega horseshine but it has oats and other grains in it. which increases the omega 6 ratio.

so i tend to buy whole bulk flaxseed and grind it before i feed it.
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post #5 of 13 Old 07-25-2011, 03:33 PM Thread Starter
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This is all good stuff to know. I mean Boss has a lot of other vitamins too, but if its a "if its not broke don't fix it" kinda thing, I would just go without. It seemed like a good thing cause of it being pretty much all natural. But if its not the best thing than I guess I will stop feeding it.

The horse is made ready for the day of battle,
but victory rests with the LORD. Proverbs 21:31
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post #6 of 13 Old 07-25-2011, 03:45 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by walkinthewalk View Post

Need to add horses with cushings, insulin resistance, and equine metabolic syndrome.

BOSS is very high in Omega-6 which is know to aggravate inflammation. Doesn't matter if it's inflammation brough on by any of the above diseases or arthritic inflammation.

Here's the plus, Black Oil Sunflower Seeds for Horses

Here's the minus, BOSS: Black Oil Sunflower Seeds for Horses

If anyone does think they need to feed Black Oil Sunflower Seeds, a/k/a BOSS better look at the bag to be sure it does NOT say "with Bird Koting" on it.

Everyone needs to research and make their own decision.

I will stick with feeding Omega-3 Horseshine that has the appropriate balance of each and I only need to feed 1/2 cup daily to my big Walking Horses to get that slick/shiny coat and hooves that shine naturally
after reading the minus... I think I do agree that it not such a good idea. not worth taking that risk when other diets do no harm. so let me get this right high omega 6 not good. more omega 3 good??? I was trying to understand that... lol

The horse is made ready for the day of battle,
but victory rests with the LORD. Proverbs 21:31
Be thankful for what God has given you
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post #7 of 13 Old 07-25-2011, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by sapphirain View Post
after reading the minus... I think I do agree that it not such a good idea. not worth taking that risk when other diets do no harm. so let me get this right high omega 6 not good. more omega 3 good??? I was trying to understand that... lol
you have to have SOME omega 6... but horses get plenty of it from the grains we feed (probably over the amount needed) so we should supplement omega 3 .


which is what they would get naturally more omega 3 than 6. you don't want to eliminate omega 6's all together. (which i think would be impossible) because you need inflammation in the body to help heal also. it draws blood and oxygen to the area and brings nutrients.

but generally adding more omega 3's it always a better idea.
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post #8 of 13 Old 07-25-2011, 03:55 PM
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Unfortunately BOSS is very high in Omega 6 and has no (or very limited) Omega 3. Given a fact horses already get quite a bit of Omega 6 I'd much rather go with the flax seeds/meal (or the oil high in Omega 3) then BOSS (and I do in fact, I supplement pellets with flax meal).

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post #9 of 13 Old 07-25-2011, 03:59 PM Thread Starter
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as of right now my 4 month old filly is not on any pasture. she has plenty of hay to eat and I was feeding her half scoop of grain and a cup of Boss twice a day. what would be your advice of any supplement to help ... cause I am trying to find out if this skin thing she has going on right now is not anything to worry about.. hoping its not a fungus

The horse is made ready for the day of battle,
but victory rests with the LORD. Proverbs 21:31
Be thankful for what God has given you
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post #10 of 13 Old 07-25-2011, 04:02 PM
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1/4 C of BOSS isn't going to throw your ratio off so much. Pound for pound, they have a great calorie content and provide lots of benefits to skin and coat. My boy gets 1/4 C a feeding or as a treat. They work great.

Also, as a side note, it is *THOUGHT* that Omega 6's cause inflammation in *humans* but hasn't been accurately studied in horses.
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