I recently heard of someone feeding their horses black oil sunflower seeds along with their grain and she highly recommends it. I have never heard of this before. Does anyone else recommend it or advise not too? Thanks
This might be just superstition on my part, but I started feeding them a few years ago to help put weight on my skinny pony. At the time, said pony also had a long-term sinus infection that kept coming back. We pulled a rotten tooth, but the infection came back. We'd treat it, and it would come back. I started her on the BOSS in hopes of helping her weight, and the infection went away and has never come back. Never. I don't know if the infection just cleared up on its own, or if the natural vitamin E in the seeds helped, or what. But I still feed a cup a day to all my critters.
I've fed them off and on for 40 years now, but quit because they have tripled in price and the guys around here no longer grow them for some reason so I can't get them without going to the farm stores - much easier to grab a pailful at the neighbour's than to lug home a slick as snot plastic bag of the things.
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Thanks everybody! I didn't realize that it was common to feed it or how expensive it is. What do you recommend to add to the grain for a young TB gelding that will help maintain his weight or add a little bulk to him for winter without making him hot? I feed Agway Superior Emerald which is a 10-10-10 feed. I also add some oats plus supplement with a flake of second cutting hay at each feeding. What I am feeding him is really hitting my pocketbook hard so I would be interested in some cheaper ideas.
I fed them off and on for awhile but tired of them because the ones they dropped attracted rodents into my barn. Once I stopped feeding them, no more rats. While I was feeding them, which was strictly for coat and skin purposes, their coats were beautiful. I still have nice shiny coats but there's a gleam that it seems only black oil seeds and good care can put on them.
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My previous horse did really well on them - beautiful, shiny coat, good weight, etc. My new horse likes them just fine, but did not do so well on them. I don't think she chewed them well enough so she didn't get enough nutrition from them, but the birds loved her poop!! She is doing better on a rice bran based pellet.
I picked up some on Black Friday for about $10/50lb bag. There was a limit of course cuz that is about 1/2 the current price.
Made a slight adustment to the feed formulation. Dropped the cost of my feed slightly and increased calories 100cal/lb by a modest addition of BOSS. Still kept my ratios all in check including my Omegas
Works for now with the colder weather coming in with feed prices this winter I am always happy to save a few pennies here and there.
Here's praying for more feed ingredient specials thru the holidays. That would be a new holiday cheer for me....but one I will gladly accept.
Maybe it's because I'm only feeding 2, but I do not find the cost of BOSS prohibitive or that it has noticeably increased around here.
A 25# bag costs me ~ $15 and lasts me well over a month - I feed less than 1 cup 2X daily.
Also use it for chicken scratch/treats from the same bag used for the horses.
My vet always comments on how soft & shiny my horses' coats are and - believe me - that is not due to diligent grooming
As far as inflammatory issues, my 18yo WB was on monthly IV polyglycan for 5 months before I got him to correct a soundness problem.
I switched him to an oral - MSM - along with the BOSS.
That was 3 years ago and he has not taken a lame step since.
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I feed BOSS - about a cup a day per horse. It sure does make their coat and feet nice. I quit when my 50lb (?, I think) bag was up to about $28. It's about $24 now. Everytime I quit, I'm sorry. They just look nicer on it. (30 acres pasture, enrich 32, and msm otherwise) I also feed BOSS to the chickens and fill my bird feeder with it (because my birds are too picky for mixed seed, apparently).
I fed them for years - to only good effect - until the Sunflower Mafia started up their pricefixing scheme. I switched to a combination of canola oil and flax seed, and Mr Hard Keeper is still shiny and in good weight. Winter hits the boy harder, too, so this year I'm also going to add rice bran this year for the coldest months.
That said, I don't know how big your flakes are, but my first thought is that you need to feed more hay, and possibly - though you don't give an indication just plain more grain (but always start with hay). Nine times out of ten if you want to put weight on a horse, the solution isn't supplements or add-ons; it's simply to feed him more.
(And of course then there's the tenth one, like mine, who refuses to eat more than x amount per day, period, so I have to get creative and pack as many calories as possible into the amount he WILL eat!)