As part of a craft project, I bought a 50lb bag of feed-grade flax seed from my feed guy. Well, I have probably 25-30 lbs of that darn stuff left over. My question is, in what form is it used to feed horses? Do you feed it as whole seed or should it be ground? For those that use flax in your feeding program, what amount do you feed and what are the advantages you see in using it? I just don't see me using up what is left over and it seems wasteful to just get rid of it if it is something Aero could benefit from (even if only for the time it takes to get rid of what we have).
Right now she receives:
free choice hay
4 lbs alfalfa pellets
4 lbs beet pulp
1 lb rice bran
The alf, pulp and bran are split into two feedings.
We use milled flax for my son as part of his diet for a medical condition, but I don't think using feed grade for him would be such a great idea, lol.
Flax is good for their coat and skin. You can feed it to him raw, just a cup a day. You could throw it into his bran or beet pulp. Needless to say it will take you a while to get through 30lbs!
Be very careful how much you feed. Our vet had us feed flax seed to a cow that had gorged herself on oats to help clean her out. It cleaned her out so well she lost her calf.
You need to grind it or they wont get all the nutrients, etc.
Yep, grind it. I use an old coffee grinder that I keep in the barn. If you don't grind it, they won't get the omegga 3 or 6, can't remember which, out of it. Good for poor keepers!
Flax thins the blood, so don't feed more than a cup a day. I'll try to find where I read that to back up what I just wrote.
Also, if you live in very hot, humid area, Flax gets rancid very quickly.
It is very safe to feed whole. Horses can easily chew it in its whole foam and the stomach acids diegest the feed before it can turn toxic. Boiling it is toxic for humans, and grinding it will release toxins if you add water or oil when feeding it. So, the safest way to feed it is WHOLE!! ;-)
Flax has two elements that when combined, create cyanide. It only poses a very mild toxicity to horses if you grind it at home, then add water or oil to mix it with their feed. If it's milled (pre-ground) it is safe to add liquid to. If it is whole, it is safe to add liquid to. If you boil it, you release the toxins in your kitchen (for you to breathe) and you boil out much of the beneficial fatty acids and nutrients found in raw flax.
You can feed up to 1 lb of flax a day, by weight, with no problems. Though like everyone else mentioned, 1 cup a day (about 4-6 oz by weight) is the most common amount to feed.
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