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More questions re: flax seed
After reading the sticky on feeding flax seed, I am more confused.

I bought some, ground it, and gave each horse 1/4 cup for start dose.
Now I am reading about cyanide, it can be unstable, best way to process and feed it, etc. No idea how seeds were processed, and keeping it in the pantry which is usually dark. It's a 20# bag, no way to airtight close it.

So, how do you store flax seed? Do you worry about cyanide? Should I be cooking it after grinding? Need the experts help!

My 2c only.

I feed it whole.

I used to own a health food store, so I know that as soon as the seeds are broken it starts to go rancid. Our ground flax was kept refrigerated. I know for people we eat flax seeds whole in a variety of different things, some baked, some boiled, some raw. We also eat ground flax seed - with no preservatives - cooked or raw on cereals etc.

I've read all the articles concerning horses, and I started by grinding it then switched to feeding it whole. I have only fed about 1/2 a cup a day, split between two feedings, and I have never had any kind of problem. I probably have eaten that much raw, myself a day. Old timers say you need to boil it first, but I never have.

Flax seeds that are whole can be stored like any other whole grain/seed, just need to be kept out of the sun and at room temperature. They only start to break down when ground.

So, with all the conflicting info out there I think you just have to make a decision what you want to do. I have a feeling that the tests and statistics were done using a huge amount of seed a day vs 1/2 to a cup. That is how they usually conduct the studies.

Bones, off the flax subject but about your old mare. You may want to look into feeding her Chaste Tree Berry. (I feed it to my two little old guys. The cheapest place I have found is I haven't bought from them yet, but am going to when I need more.) That is a hormone adjusting plant you feed to older horses - and older people sometimes. Also, you may want to look into feeding a sea weed supplement like Source. That would supply her with a bunch of mico nutrients that may need.
Hi there, I also feed flax seed whole. I did a bunch of research on it and decided to feed it whole. I was very confused at first as well and didn't know what to believe but went with feeding it whole. 3 of the horses at the barn are on it and have been for 2 years with no issues. We store it in the barn with the rest of the feed. We feed 1/2 cup broken into 2 feedings. Hope this helps a little.
I buy flax already prepared - Omega-3 Horseshine. Tractor Supply sells it.

It has gotten expensive for a 20 lb bag. I pay $2/lb plus tax at TSC.

But, the bag lasts around six weeks, feeding three horses. The Walking Horses get 1/2 measuring cup daily, the little Arab gets 3/8ths measuring cup daily.

My fourth horse doesn't get flax because I am highly suspicious he is flax intolerant. That is not common but I'm not about to experiment since the intolerance settles in the hooves and the horse can mildy founder.

I also keep stuff like that in the house - that's what my "spare" bedroom is for[Smile]

I have four horses, two of which have serious metabolic issues. That means I already have a ton of extra supplement preparations.

For the little amount of Omega-3 Horseshine that I need to feed daily, the price of a known healthy equine product far outweighs the "one more thing" to prepare when buying plain old flax seed[Smile]
Thank you all for the advice. I've had them on Horse Shine 6 months, gets expensive for 3 horses. My TB has a shinier coat but not helping the mane or skin, the others are still wooly so hard to tell what it's done.

Whole flax seed was half the cost and was hoping more beneficial and not losing nutrients since not pre ground. The horses seem to like the flax better. We'll see. The cyanide thing scared me.

Mrs. HOok, my mare is 17. Boy, there were a lot of herbs on that page! It gets confusing...I may give the Chaste Tree Berry a try though...and sounds like a good thing for the almost 23 y/o pony.
Hey Mrs. Hook, I have another question for you. Do you have any herbs you can recommend that stops itching? Specifically, for my TB who has ventral dermatitis, she's allergic to midges. She'll mow you down to get a scratch on her belly and teats, improved with winter but it's starting to warm up. I expect will worsen when everything hatches in spring.
I'd be interested in knowing as well. Mannie is allergic to midges too however he isn't as bad as fractured bones mare. He gets lots of bites on his stomach in the summer and does love a good scratch. Any advise would be great.

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