Feed Materials In Focus – How much linseed meal or linseed oil should you feed and why?
Linseed meal is 35-40% linseed oil, around 4% starch and 22% protein. 150ml scoop = 80g.
Linseed oil is 100% oil – no protein or starch.
Micronised linseed is cooked linseed meal. It is also possible to source linseed meal which has been used for extraction of linseed oil. This will typically be around 4% oil and is good as a source of quality protein but with a much lower energy content.
Linseed is great for horses because:
1) It’s very low starch (4%)
2) It provides high quality protein
3) It’s easily digested so great so great for older horses, horses prone to colic, poor doers, horses with poor teeth
4) It’s highly palatable
5) It can help with poor coat and skin e.g. sweet itch
6) It’s very high in omega 3 and low in omega 6 – better than any other commonly fed oil
7) It’s great for horses with muscle issues e.g. RER, PSSM
Cyanide poisoning in horses is unheard of.
Questions I would ask:
- Why are you looking at feeding linseed?
- What is your horse’s current diet?
- Are you intending to use it to replace something or as an addition to the diet?
- What is your horse’s current health and activity?
- Does your horse need to gain weight?
- Does your horse have poor skin and coat?
If you feed 50g a day you are wasting your time whatever reason you are feeding it. On the other hand I have had many horses maintained in good health and performing well for years on 1-2kg a day and ad lib forage.
If you feed linseed meal you need to add 1IU Vitamin E per ml of oil = around 400IU per kg. You also need to add a source of calcium. If you feed linseed oil you need to add 1IU Vitamin E per ml of oil. No electrolytes (Ca:P) in oil.
Don’t purchase either product in white or clear containers – light degrades the oil.