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Discuss Are whole flaxseeds just as good as ground flaxseeds? at the Horse Health forum - Horse Forums.

I have always given my horses ground flaxseeds until I read on this forum that ...
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    Senior Member+ mygirl1197's Avatar
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    Are whole flaxseeds just as good as ground flaxseeds?

    I have always given my horses ground flaxseeds until I read on this forum that whole flaxseeds are just as good to feed. Since the price for whole flaxseeds is better then buying stabilized ground flaxseed, I switched my two horses to whole flaxseeds. Everything I read says to grind the flaxseeds right before they are fed, and I have noticed that since I started feeding whole flaxseeds, the birds are picking through my horses manure which I am assuming is to get the flaxseeds. The birds have never done this until I started feeding whole flaxseeds.

    If the flaxseeds are still whole, how does the horse get the nutritional value out of the seeds?

    Where did the information about feeding whole flaxseeds to horses come from?

    I would love to continue feeding whole flaxseeds but not if my horses aren't getting the same nutritional value from them.

    Can the people who believe whole flaxseeds are just as good as ground share where they got the information?

    Thanks!

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    I have also read that horses can masticate whole flax and get the entire nutritional benefit of it, but have yet to see the research supporting that position. I would be interested in reading it. Google scholar is pulling up nothing.

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    Whole flax is just fine
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    speaking of flax.... is stabalized ground flax anywhere near as good as fresh ground flax? im grinding it daily (my horses teeth suck so i want it ground) but was thinking about getting the preground stuff next time.

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    My nutrition professor made a big point in class about flax being only nutritionally beneficial when it has been pulverized/ground. All the good stuff is inside the seed so it needs to be crushed, if its not ground, the seeds just act as fiber and pass through...

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    No, the seeds don't just pass through. The stomach acid is quite good at breaking things open and getting to the good stuff inside.

    I feed whole flax. When I have seen the "seeds" in the manure, I have actually taken some of them to look at, and they are just the shells/coverings, no guts to them.

    If whole flax were not digested, then everyone would have lots of flax plants growing everywhere. Sure, SOME pass through whole, but the majority do not, unless a given horse has some issues.
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    Shoot....we digest whole flax seed and our gut is a lot shorter and not as plant oriented as a horse's.
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    I just added whole flax to one of my horse's diet - she had not been on any other form of flax. She is "blooming" and has hoof growth just like she did when she was on the pre-ground, stabilized version. That tells me that the whole seed is probably doing the same that the other did. Anecdotal of course, but still a little bit of argument in my mind that whole works.

    I also like to buy whole rather than pre-ground because then you see what you're feeding. I've heard stories of what can be found in ground coffee (from bugs to poo) and I buy whole bean of that so I can "inspect" the beans... same concept for any other ground up product IMO

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    Quote Originally Posted by JBandRio View Post
    No, the seeds don't just pass through. The stomach acid is quite good at breaking things open and getting to the good stuff inside.

    I feed whole flax. When I have seen the "seeds" in the manure, I have actually taken some of them to look at, and they are just the shells/coverings, no guts to them.

    If whole flax were not digested, then everyone would have lots of flax plants growing everywhere. Sure, SOME pass through whole, but the majority do not, unless a given horse has some issues.
    Yep, I've done the same. Just because it 'looks' whole, doesn't mean it is. It's been through a wash of very strong acid. The hulls are protective, they're not 'that' protective.

    If you want to grind them before feeding (immediately before), then that's fine of course.
    Quote Originally Posted by coloredcowhorse View Post
    Shoot....we digest whole flax seed and our gut is a lot shorter and not as plant oriented as a horse's.
    Yep to this too. I always eat whole flaxseed. I just don't like the texture of ground flax. I've never noticed any difference between eating one or the other, except that I enjoy one more.

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    I've also read something about the hull of the whole flax seed actually producing "slime" (mucilage) that is beneficial to the intestines... any one else heart this?

    I have also read that the digestibility of whole flax may not be 100% (for both horses and people) , so you can often feed less ground that you can whole for the same nutrients. However, the numbers for percent digestibility don't come close to agreeing, as some say 50% and others say closer to 100%. The problem may very well be that no real research has been done on horses (at least none I can find).

    I'd feed it whole if I could find it...where does everyone buy theirs?
    You can't fight irrationality with empirical evidence.

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