Linseed oil and/or soya oil for weight gain

lucymay9701

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Hello everyone

I wondered if you may be able to give me some help please with feeding oils to my horse to help increase her weight. I have a 22 year old 16hh full thoroughbred mare who has lost a bit of weight this winter. I have got some advice from Bailey’s horse feeds and she is now being fed on 4lb of the top line conditioning cubes per day (split into 2 feeds and mixed with alfalfa). The recommended amount for her is 6-8lb but she won’t eat more than about 4lb a day (she doesn’t have the best appetite) and also had a colic operation in the past so it is best to limit her concentrate feed if possible anyway. She also has an evening feed of sugarbeet and alfalfa and is fed a combination of ad lib hay and haylage at night and mollichaff veteran ad lib for 3 hours in the morning before she is turned out. She is putting a bit of weight back on and for her age and breed she does look pretty good but I’d like her to look a bit better. Baileys had recommended I feed 1-2lb of outshine per day because of her limited appetite and also if I needed her to put any more weight on. However I have just priced this and it is really expensive and a bit over budget for me on top of all the other food. The lady at the feed shop said that I could feed soya oil and/or linseed oil instead and that this would be as good as the outshine for increasing her weight, along with being much cheaper.

Please can anyone tell me-

1) How much oil I could feed her per day. (I can split it into 2 or 3 feeds.)

2) As she is a fussy feeder would one of the oils (soya or linseed) be more palatable or are they both pretty tasteless?

3) Which of the 2 would be better for her weight gain or does it not matter?

4) Is it more beneficial to feed a combination of the 2 oils?

If anyone has any advice they could give me I’d be really grateful.

Thanks very much

Lucyx
 

Maesfen

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Have you thought of changing to AlfaA Oil which would help a lot as many horses don't like too much oil in a feed? You could continue with the Bailey's TopLine cubes or I have always used their Stud Cubes for weight gain too. I would be inclined to NOT feed Outshine as it's so expensive for what you get and would be more inclined to feed a decent balancer instead as she's not getting the recommended weight of TopLine which will mean she is missing her right amount of vit's and minerals. Either Blue Chip, Top Spec or even Bailey's Stud Balancer would get my vote as you only feed cupfuls so they wouldn't be inclined to blow her up too much.
Of the oils, I would prefer Linseed I think but would be more inclined to feed Barley Rings which have that added to them and most horses like the taste; they are very good for weight gain.
Perhaps PM TGM, she's the forum guru on feeding and is always very helpful.
 

MegaBeast

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1) up to 1ml per 1kg of body weight - depends on how much the feed soaks up and how palatable the horse finds it. I feed my mare about 200ml

2) I feed Lidl own brand vegetable (rapeseed) oil, don't think it makes a huge amount of difference tbh. My mare is super fussy but will eat in so long as I don't add to much - it mixes well with alfa a by the way.

3) doesn't make a lot of difference imo

4) shouldn't think so!

One thing, if she's fussy it's very unlikely she'd eat outshine anyway - it tastes super greasy, even the mint one.

A lot of people will say when feeding oil you need to add a selenium/Vit E supplement but unless you're feeding huge quanitities I've been told by my vet that it's not necessary.
 

MegaBeast

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In my experience, Alfa Oil isn't as palatable as Alfa A with self added oil so my picky madam tells me. I believe Alfa A contains a molasses extract with AlfaA Oil doesn't. Personally like adding oil as can control the amount according to condition.

One scoop of AlfaA will easily soak up 200ml of oil without changing it's appearance or palatability
 

Blue-bear

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My boy who usually eats anything wont touch his feed with soya oil in it...eats veg oil etc tho. Have never tried linseed oil.
 

Puzzled

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I got told by a feed rep that soya oil was best. I used Equine America's vitamin B supplement to help stimulate my horses appetite (last winter he'd go all night without virtually eating anything) and this certainly did the trick. Not sure if it was him just being fussy but he wouldn't touch his feed with Blue Chip in it! Just a thought but have you had her teeth checked recently? May also be worth giving her a course of Echananicia (sp). Hope she continues to improve!
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deicinmerlyn

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My old boy wouldn't touch his feed if Soya Oil had been added, it was tainted as far as he was concerned. The TB I have now will happily have veg oil with his Alpha A
 

teddyt

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QR- at 22 it is likely that your horse will have some arthritis somewhere therefore i would choose linseed oil over soya oil. Thats because linseed oil is anti-inflammatory whilst soya oil is pro-inflammatory. You can feed linseed as a micronised meal every day or as oil 3x week.

However, for weight gain you will be feeding quite a large volume of oil, which will need balancing with vitamin e. Vitamin e requirements increase due to the increased free radicals that are produced from oil digestion, if the are not balanced with an anti-oxidant such as vitamin e they can enhance disease processes. Alfa a oil is ready balanced for you but some horses wont eat it as well as alfa a. There are other forms of high oil concentrate such as coolstance copra and triple crown triple top up that you could consider.

If you want to reduce costs look for a conditioning cube with a similar specification as baileys. E.g i feed badminton conditioning nuggets to my old horse, they are very similar to the baileys but £1.50 a bag cheaper and my horse loves them.
 

kezimac

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if you get soya oil from tesco it has added vitamin e. its good for weight gain - my vet suggested i feed my 450kg mare 1/2 pint a day. it really piled the weight onto her.
mine has arthirits and i was thinking of swopping to linseed oil for the anti inflammatory properties but if yours doesnt get soya as cheaper, as linseed oil is expensive
dont feed veg oil has too many additives thats not good for horses.
 

lucymay9701

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Hi, Thanks for your reply. Please can you tell me what is the make of the barley rings that have linseed added? Do they also have antioxidants in? She has a vitamin/mineral supplement but it doesn't have additional vit E in. Would the barley rings be suitable for a horse not in work?

I'm glad I didn't buy the outshine as sounds like she wouldn't have liked it! I don't think she'd like the dengie alfa a oil as she's not keen on the dengie chaffs. She wasn't keen on the dodson and horrell alfa a either but is eating the baileys alfalfa blend better, I think because its softer.

Thanks again

Lucyx
 

lucymay9701

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Hi, Thanks for your reply. If I add the oil I was thinking of adding 300-400ml as she's about 600kg but only eats 2 scoops alfa alfa blend per day. Someone said 1 scoop will absorb about 200ml. I assume 300-400ml is not a huge amount? Just thought I'd double check as I'm a bit worried about not adding any antioxidants now but your vet seems to think its OK?
Thanks again
Lucyx

PS Edited to say just noticed it was you who said re 1 scoop soaking up 200ml!
 

lucymay9701

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Hi, Thanks for you reply, I think if I put her on oil I'll choose the linseed then as it seems more palatable and better for her stiff joints! Lucyx
 

lucymay9701

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Hi, Thanks for your reply. Yes she had her teeth done about 2 months ago. Shes never been the best eater from when I bought her as a young girl so I knew her weight could be a problem as she got older but have been suprised that until this winter she's been fine maintained on just Baileys working cubes with ad lib/hay and haylage. I'll bear in mind the Vitamin B supplement for her appetite. Thanks!
Lucyx
 

Maesfen

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I'm pretty sure D & H make the barley rings but check their website for details; their helpline is very good too and they don't just push their own products! http://www.dodsonandhorrell.com/products/horse-ranges.html
I've used it a lot for horses not in work with no ill effects whatever but of course, all horses are different and what suits one won't suit another. They're something like £8 a bag, so not a fortune if she doesn't like them or they don't suit. You can either soak them (they smell wonderful and appetising!) or add them dry, whichever she'd prefer.

If she likes a soft chaff have you tried Graze On, made by Northern Crop Driers but available anywhere? It's lovely and clean, just dried grass and most horses love it; it's the only chaff I will feed now if I have to feed one. http://www.northerncropdriers.co.uk/graze-on.htm

As I said, TGM is the one you need to talk to, she has everything at her fingertips, a mine of information about feeds.
 

Rana

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QR

I'm also a fan of Graze On - my oldie loves it! I add Soya Oil (from Dodson and Horrel - about £8 for 5 litres). Currently on 1/2 mug per day, but working up to a mug full, as recommended by D+H nutritionist.

My mare is also very fussy, and I was worried she wouldn't eat the oil. She did turn her nose up at first, then ate it overnight (after she'd eaten everything else first!), and has now developed a taste for it - she licks the bowl clean!
 

lucymay9701

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Hi, Thanks for your reply. If I went for the oil option I was thinking of feeding the linseed oil at about 300-400ml per day, however I notice in your post you say that if you are feeding oil you should only feed it 3xweekly. I just wondered why this is? Also please can you tell me what the micronised meal is/who makes it and would this have anti-oxidants/vitamin E already in as I am a bit worried about making sure she has enough vitamin E. Also is micronised meal suitable for horses not in work?

Thanks for the tip about the linseed oil being anti-inflammatory. She does have a bit of arthritis I think and is on Feedmark extraflex but if I am feeding something else anyway that could help her even more that can only be good! I didn't realise the soya oil was pro-inflammatory so that woldn't be as suitable for her, from what other people have said I don't think she'd like the tase of the soya oil anyway!
Thanks
Lucyx
 

lucymay9701

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Hi, Thanks for your reply. She does have a bit of arthritis I think so it sounds like I shouldn't feed her the soya oil but if I could find linseed oil with vitamin E already added that could be an option. I don't know if you know whether you can buy linseed oil with vitamin E added from anywhere?
I'm trying to work out my maths (!) but from what you said about your vet telling you to feed half a pint to a 450kg mare I think about 300-400ml sounds about right for my mare. I think half a pint is 284 ml so she'd just be on a bit more.
Thanks again
Lucyx
 

lucymay9701

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Thanks for the websites. I've e-mailed dodson and horrell for more info on the barley rings. I read an article about the graze on a few weeks ago and then searchd on google but for some reason I couldn't find the website so its helpful to have that! Do you mix this with cubes? It seems strange to think of mixing grass with cubes, I don't know why probably just because it's not something I'm used to! Maybe you feed separately from the cubes?
Thanks Lucyx
 

lucymay9701

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Thanks for your reply. Please can you tell me what size your horse is that d+h recommended one mug full of oil for? Also did they recommend adding an anti-oxidant/vit E for this amount of oil? Thanks Lucyx
 

Maesfen

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Glad to help.
You can mix Graze On with anything TBH, I used to use it with cubes, mixes or oats with sugar beet to damp but you can just damp it with plain water if you want or use it as a forage replacer and leave a bucketful for them to nibble on but I'm always wary of short chop not soaked so have never fed it like that.
 

Rana

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Hiya, she's 16hh, approx 500kg. D+H didn't recommend any extra supplements, although I do feed a general purpose vit+min supplement anyway.
 

MegaBeast

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I would say 300-400ml isn't a huge amount. Endurance riders literally feed it by the pint.

Have been told that up to 1ml/1kg is "the norm" so you'd be okay feeding that sort of quantity but obviously build up to it gradually sp she gets used to the taste and the bacteria adapt accordingly so can digest it adequately.
 
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