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Can easy keepers benefit from Flax? Or will it make them fat(ter)?

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  • Can easy keepers benefit from Flax? Or will it make them fat(ter)?

    I've fed my TB gelding one cup of Omega Horseshine for years, and it's been very beneficial for him... hooves, skin, arthritis. I was thinking of putting the other two on this but I'm worried about adding extra fat/calories and doing more harm than good for these extremely easy keepers. They are currently only on hay/grass, and a handfull of beet pulp with a RB. These guys are draft X, so I mean EASY keepers! Any thoughts?

  • #2
    My fat easy keepers get Smart Omega 3. It doesn't increase their weight, but it does give them really nice coats.

    Comment


    • #3
      Any product that has fat or nutrients of any type in it will have calories in it, but flaxseed is only about 20% fat (the rest is like any other grain, a mixture of starch and protein and indigestible stuff) so a cup should not send a chubby horses over the edge, calorically speaking.

      I had it somewhere, but not on this PC . . . the calorie count in flaxseed is not much higher than most other grains, IIRC.

      I would wager that a cup of whatever "shine" supplement you choose has as many as or more calories than a cup of flaxseed.
      Click here before you buy.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by deltawave View Post
        I would wager that a cup of whatever "shine" supplement you choose has as many as or more calories than a cup of flaxseed.
        SmartOmega3 is not fed by the cup. It is maybe 2 tablespoons, and works MUCH better at putting a freaky shine and gorgeous dapples on a horse, than a cup or two of flax seed per day. I used to feed flax and black oil sunflower, about 1 cup each, but seriously the tiny smartpak well of SmartOmega3 does a much better job.

        Comment


        • #5
          I've got no problem with the stuff. Currently I use Uckele's Equi-Omega because it's palatable and I can get it at the tack store and not pay shipping. I'm an equal-opportunity fat-supplement supporter . . . no favorites here.

          However, 2 ounces of something that is pure fat stacked up against 8 ounces of something that is only 20% fat . . . proably the calories are about the same. Not a problem for most horses, as the OVERALL calorie count (in the grand scheme of things) is trivial.
          Click here before you buy.

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          • #6
            Flax, like Nutriflax, makes my easy keepers fat.

            But they are truely easy keepers.
            The one eats the proper portion of a pelleted multivitiam (Manno Pro Sho Glo) which is like 1/3 - 1/2 cup.
            I give him a handful (bout 1/2 cup) of TC Senior just because I feel bad.

            He gets lots of alfalfa and costal hay.

            I event and do jumpers with him so I kinda work his butt off.
            Just from not working he gained 10cm on his belly over the course of 45 days.

            he's the epitome of an easy keeper!!
            http://kaboomeventing.com/
            http://kaboomeventing.blogspot.com/
            Horses are amazing athletes and make no mistake -- they are the stars of the show!

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            • #7
              All my horses, easy keepin' draft crosses included, are on flax. Three get whole flax seed and the fourth (who has some problems with his stomach) gets NutraFlax.

              I didn't like Omegashine because of all the additional ingredients...you may want to stick with pure flax (whole seed) or a stabilized product (NutraFlax) to avoid all the fillers.
              JB-Infinity Farm
              www.infinitehorses.com

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              • #8
                I have got two truly easy keepers, and yes, flax adds to the fatness with mine. Surprising, as it really doesn't take much, but the few times I've allowed the flax products to run out just to see what would happen... they did slim down (slightly but noticeably) over the course of a week or two. Put the flax back in the feed pail and they plump back up again.

                I do continue to feed flax products though, not so much for coats (though they are incredibly silky and shiny), but I see benefits in hoof and joint health.

                My boys are currently getting HorseTech BioFlax Ultra and 1/4c of whole flax seeds daily.

                I did however notice a weight drop when I switched them from a RB+beet pulp to a vit/min suppy + alf cubes. Their hay is exceedingly high in protein as it is, they didn't need the extra protein of an RB. So, it balanced when I put the flax back in.
                Being terrible at something is the first step to being truly great at it. Struggle is the evidence of progress.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by spotmenow View Post
                  All my horses, easy keepin' draft crosses included, are on flax. Three get whole flax seed and the fourth (who has some problems with his stomach) gets NutraFlax.
                  not to hijack the OP's thread, but spotmeknow could you please elaborate on how you discovered the one horse reacted poorly with whole flax?

                  whole flax is relatively recent to my horses' diets as its only recently available in my area. I have noticed a change in my senior citizen's manure, and not for the better, since starting whole flax (but also since the start of cooler weather, so perhaps coincidence). He has a long history of really bad ulcers, so your comment really has piqued my interest. Thanks.
                  Being terrible at something is the first step to being truly great at it. Struggle is the evidence of progress.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    4 oz of Flax/day for my easy keepers without noticeable increase in bw. The potential benefits outweigh the calories.
                    Redbud Ranch
                    Check us out on FB

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by buck22 View Post
                      not to hijack the OP's thread, but spotmeknow could you please elaborate on how you discovered the one horse reacted poorly with whole flax?
                      My gelding has a history of irritable bowel...firm manure in the summer on the grass, diarrhea in the winter on hay. We've tried it all...Biosponge, ulcer treatment (even though scoping showed nothing), pre/probiotics, aloe vera juice, beet pulp, psyllium...I can't even remember all the things we've done. Some winters are better than others (we've had him eight years) but the bottom line is that the hay, for some reason, irritates his stomach. Some believe that seeds (flax, BOSS) can get "caught" in the stomach lining (think diverticulitis in humans) so I never even tried the whole flax with him...he gets a handful of alfalfa pellets, 2 oz NutraFlax in the winter (1 oz in the summer), and his supplements.

                      The reason flax is ground in the first place is for better absorption...my 30-year-old boarder gets the NutraFlax instead of the whole. However, my young healthy horses (ages 7, 9, and 13) get the whole and look just fine on it. Hope this helps...
                      JB-Infinity Farm
                      www.infinitehorses.com

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Thanks guys. Seems like it could go either way depending on the individual. I think I'll look into some more simple products you mentioned without all the extra stuff and try a min/vit supp instead of the RB. I doubt we need the extra protein, we aren't working very hard.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Flax seed is not 20% fat. It is 41-42% fat, according to these sources:

                          http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/pubs/yf/foods/fn596w.htm
                          http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/...roducts/3163/2

                          I feed ground flax to all of my horses during winter, including the easy keepers, and I provide free choice mineral/vitamin mix by Progressive.

                          As for Smart Omega3, I don't know that I would want to spend the money. It sounds like one of those designer supplements...
                          Last edited by LarkspurCO; Dec. 22, 2011, 11:07 PM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I use black sunflower seeds for shiny coats. My horses are on a very simple diet.

                            Hay/grass and one scoop of a ration balancer with a cup of BOSS tossed in for the shine.
                            My herd for life:
                            King: 21 year old Foxtrotter gelding
                            Ruais: 8 year old Friesian/Arabian mare
                            http://imgur.com/a/LSPiJ#0

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Dr. Kellon recommends flax seed for IR horses.
                              I have a Fjord! Life With Oden

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                My IR horse is the ultimate easy keeper and he gets 1/2 cup ground flax every day. I haven't had an issue with it adding too much fat for him, but he's on a controlled diet, with everything measured or weighed. All mine get flax. I fed whole before then started grinding only because I was tired of the seeds sticking everywhere (feed pans, bucket where I mixed grain, spoon, etc.). All have nice shiny costs and dapples in summer.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Both of mine are pretty easy keepers, I've never noticed flax making a difference in their weight...Whether I peel the round bale or let em have it when it's netted, now THERE I notice a difference ;-)
                                  Kerri

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    'Horsepoor' - love the name btw haha Do you give 1/2 per day or 1/2 C per feeding?
                                    Originally posted by horsepoor View Post
                                    My IR horse is the ultimate easy keeper and he gets 1/2 cup ground flax every day. I haven't had an issue with it adding too much fat for him, but he's on a controlled diet, with everything measured or weighed. All mine get flax. I fed whole before then started grinding only because I was tired of the seeds sticking everywhere (feed pans, bucket where I mixed grain, spoon, etc.). All have nice shiny costs and dapples in summer.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I'm surprised no one mentioned the Triple Crown product that is simply ground flax, no fillers. I've been feeding a heaping cup of that to a few EASY keepers w/o any extra body weight issues. I fed the Smartpak Omega 3 product for awhile too, but I didn't see the benefits that were promised and this is less expensive per serving. JMO fwiw.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by zpiper View Post
                                        'Horsepoor' - love the name btw haha Do you give 1/2 per day or 1/2 C per feeding?
                                        Both. He gets 1/2 cup with his only "grain" feeding each day. No grain, really, even though we call it that. Just soaked and rinsed beet pulp, flax, and supplements. The beet pulp helps everything stick together. Being IR, he lives for that one special meal, and licks the feeder clean.

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