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Discussion on Corn? Canola? Flax? Which is Best?

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morgan89
New Member
Username: morgan89

Post Number: 1
Registered: 6-2008
Posted on Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 - 12:58 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi,
Which type of oil is the best supplement for a 1,020-lb. horse in light to moderate work whose diet is otherwise very good and nutrient balanced? I'm currently feeding about 1/3 cup canola oil per day. --Thanks.
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Karen Trojnar
Member
Username: karent

Post Number: 143
Registered: 1-2005
Posted on Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 - 2:51 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Morgan,

Personally, I would never give my horse or myself canola oil. It isn't good for you or your horse... Why are you using oil as a supplement anyway? If your horse is underweight then corn oil mixed with other feed is an inexpensive way to put weight on your horse. Flax seeds (grinded) or flax oil are is good supplement if your looking for the omega fatty acids.

However, canola oil, in my opinion is not healthy. Here is some info on canola oil....Pretty scary stuff, IMO.

Here are just a few facts everyone should know before buying anything containing canola. Canola is not the name of a natural plant but a made-up word, from the words "Canada" and "oil". Canola is a genetically engineered plant developed in Canada from the Rapeseed Plant, which is part of the mustard family of plants.

According to AgriAlternatives, The Online Innovation, and Technology Magazine for Farmers, "By nature, these rapeseed oils, which have long been used to
produce oils for industrial purposes, are... toxic to humans and other animals".

Rapeseed oil is poisonous to living things and is an excellent insect repellent.
I have been using it (in very diluted form, as per instructions) to kill the
aphids on my roses for the last two years. It works very well; it suffocates
them. Ask for it at your nursery. Rape is an oil that is used as a lubricant,
fuel, soap and synthetic rubber base and as a illuminate for color pages in
magazines.
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morgan89
New Member
Username: morgan89

Post Number: 2
Registered: 6-2008
Posted on Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 - 3:54 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I originally asked what type of oil to feed because I've encountered such a vast range of differing opinions on the subject. So far, I've heard lots of opinions, but no one has been able to give me a very authoritative answer.

I started supplementing with a small amount of oil-- 1/4-1/3 cup per day-- in the winter to keep my horse's weight stable during the cold weather; he tends to drop a little weight when it's cold. This worked very well. It also added a nice sheen to his coat and helped bind together his feed and supplements, some of which are powdery and get left in the bottom of his feed bin if they aren't mixed in and stuck together. So I've continued to use it.

Which brings me back to my original question...
If I do feed oil, which ones are best?
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Andrea Duncan
Member
Username: babychop

Post Number: 68
Registered: 5-2008
Posted on Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 - 8:49 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I always had excellent results with either linseed (which is ground flax seed) or flax and soy bean meal added for weight gain. There used to be a mill near where I boarded and they sold it by the bag but since they've closed I haven't found it. The soy bean meal really put the weight on my horse and it didn't take much.
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Lori
Member
Username: maggienm

Post Number: 690
Registered: 6-2004
Posted on Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008 - 9:20 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I did a quick search on the internet and found several articles that denounced Canola. They were all founded on the same article.
I did a further search and found some other oils didn't fare well either. The following are two specifics I found.
Sunflower oil was lethal in rats when added to the animals diet in an amount corresponding to 45 percent of total diet calories for a period of 4.5 months [NLM 1995]. (most studies use incredible quantities that would not be duplicated in normal use)
Corn oil works as fuel for vehicles, (this sounds appetizing)

One thing held against Canola is its propensity to go rancid. Personally I don't want to eat food that doesn't 'go bad'. Too many preservatives.

So then I checked with 'Snopes", there was an article about Canola, it mentioned the hyperbole article and completely refuted it.

The following is an article published by a Dr. (non-Canadian) who investigated Canola on behalf of the cancer research he is doing.
Canola oil -good or bad?

BY DR CARL ALBRECHT
http://web.archive.org/web/20010809065733/www.cansa.co.za/facts_myths_diet_canol a.asp


Any heart health article will suggest reducing the amount of fat or oil in the diet so personally I have always been concerned about how much oil is safe. I believe 2 cups is considered the maximum amount allowed daily for a horse.
I use the oil as you do to help maintain weight, and bind those supplements so they don't get lost.

I have been using Canola daily for a number of years with several different horses. They are always praised as being the picture of health and vitality.

Vinegar is also used as a weed killer, so is boiling water.
Ask anyone who lives near a Canola field if insects eat from the plant, honey bees for one, absolutely love the Canola fields.

Truly if Canola were that poisonous deet would be out of business.

Lori
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Karen Trojnar
Member
Username: karent

Post Number: 144
Registered: 1-2005
Posted on Wednesday, Jun 18, 2008 - 12:25 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I just read the article on snopes. I usually check out these things and am not naive. The funny part is I got that information about canola oil from my OB/GYN, he gave me a paper on it(maybe he owns a safflower oil company). Guess you can't believe info given to you by anyone. I'll still cook with olive oil though.

Morgan,

If I need to put weight on my horses I use corn oil, as I mentioned in the first paragraph of my first post. It's inexpensive and does the job. I also give my horses ground flax seed for their coats.
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Muffi Delaney
Member
Username: muffi

Post Number: 262
Registered: 1-2006
Posted on Wednesday, Jun 18, 2008 - 3:13 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Morgan - I use Powered Rice Bran - its high in fat and I use it all year round with the horses. A lot more in the winter when they need more energy food to keep the weight on. the by product i believe for them is nice hooves and shiny coats. -
I buy Triple Crown - that is my favorite. but Powered rice bran - give it a try (its not cheap about $29 a bag)
they get about 1/2 cup a feed in the summer some times only 1/4 and a whole cup and some time 2 in the winter - they love the stuff.
I have tasted it it's kind of sweet.
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Muffi Delaney
Member
Username: muffi

Post Number: 263
Registered: 1-2006
Posted on Wednesday, Jun 18, 2008 - 3:14 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Oh and Welcome to HA - you will love this site! Answers to all your question and then more...
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: dro

Post Number: 20873
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Wednesday, Jun 18, 2008 - 6:32 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello morgan99,
From an equine nutritional stand point there are very few differences between the commonly available vegetable oils other than cost and palatability. So the decision of which oil to use depends on availability quality and does your horse eat it well. For our recommendations see the "How to Purchase" section of the "Fats and Oils in the Diet".

Concerning specific problems mentioned above: Karen is incorrect in her implication of feeding vegetable oil or canola oil in particular as a bad thing (again see the article concerning use). If canola is predisposed to rancidity I am unaware of it and since I see it all the time on stores shelves don't think this is a significant problem. Muffi is correct that Powdered Rice Bran is quite palatable and easy to feed and it is also quite expensive and provides no clear benefits over vegetable oil for energy supplementation.
DrO
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Gwen Robison
Member
Username: gwen

Post Number: 718
Registered: 6-2004
Posted on Wednesday, Jun 18, 2008 - 6:53 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I use corn oil. It was the first thing I tried, and have been using it since--three years. My horse is pretty picky, so I didn't bother with any of the less palatable kinds. He gets two cups a day.
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Sara Wolff
Member
Username: mrose

Post Number: 3625
Registered: 1-2000
Posted on Wednesday, Jun 18, 2008 - 9:55 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

If you have a Costco near you, you can get very large jugs of either soy or corn oil quite inexpensively. I keep mine in the tack room as it stays cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. I only use enough to mix the horses' supplements, except for one horse,who gets a cup morning and night. My horses eat either the soy or corn oil equally well.
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Andrea Duncan
Member
Username: babychop

Post Number: 69
Registered: 5-2008
Posted on Wednesday, Jun 18, 2008 - 10:16 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Ditto on the Costco Corn Oil (or soy bean oil, they have both in big giant boxes for about $15, lasts forever) and the Rice bran. My vet gives Rice Bran a big thumbs up for weight gain but I have a problem with bugs & that stuff, haven't found a clean bag yet and returned the last 3 I've tried for that very reason, full of bugs. Triple Crown is an excellent feed (I talked at length to the distributors before trying it and have been using it for years) but it's not a weight gain supplement. I do use Healthy Coat as an oil supplement and it gives a mirror shine and dapples to my dark bay. Dr. O states there isn't much to it worth the money but the results really speak for themselves in my humble opinion.

There are tons of products on the market and always an up & coming trendy feed so try some of the suggestions here & see what works best for you, sometimes simple does it. If it works for you, it works. Good luck!
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morgan89
New Member
Username: morgan89

Post Number: 3
Registered: 6-2008
Posted on Wednesday, Jun 18, 2008 - 12:38 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thank you, everyone, for you thoughtful responses. I think I now have enough info to go on. Thanks, too, for the tips on where to get inexpensive oil!
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Rodney D
Member
Username: parker66

Post Number: 34
Registered: 3-2008
Posted on Wednesday, Jun 18, 2008 - 2:28 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Try Cocosoya. It's very pallatable and it will make your horse's coat look better than anyone else in the barn (unless they are using it as well).
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Alicia Moore
Member
Username: aannk

Post Number: 833
Registered: 7-2003
Posted on Wednesday, Jun 18, 2008 - 3:29 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

You can also try peanut oil. They usually have a glut of it at costco around thanksgiving (turkey frying). My picky mare loved it.
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Kathy Hayden
Member
Username: kshayden

Post Number: 10
Registered: 6-2008
Posted on Wednesday, Jun 18, 2008 - 3:51 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi,

I do feed canola oil.
Last year I saw a 2 yo buckskin at a barn in for training that had the most gorgeous coat and was told he was on the cocosoya. The trainer complained about his coat because his skin ripped very easily from the girth and minor scratches seemed worse on him. I wonder if there is a correlation.

Dr. O. my question is: should a horses coat be glossy or is this a human additive for beauty?
Also, if we give oil to enhance coat and body weight, is the horse actually getting enough to eat - or should the calories come from food?

Thanks, Kathy
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Lee
Member
Username: paul303

Post Number: 1116
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Wednesday, Jun 18, 2008 - 9:26 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I have to agree with Rodney D. The only oil to use is Cocosoya. The smell is incredible! Heaven!! Really, who cares about how great it works ( it does ), when you can make your whole barn smell like movie theater popcorn? I used it for some over 30yr. olds and besides seeming very palatable, those finicky old eaters cleaned up ANYTHING with Cocosoya on it...meds, supplements and all. Unfortunately, I don't have thin old horses anymore, now it's the opposite problem, and I miss that smell terribly. Maybe I can order some and use it for barn potpourri...or aromatherapy at feeding time...for me..
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: dro

Post Number: 20880
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Wednesday, Jun 18, 2008 - 11:02 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Of course it should be Karen we all like beautiful horses but I suspect you are really asking, "what is the significance of a less than great appearing coat?". While such a coat can be a sign of ill health, it also occurs in healthy horses due to over shampooing, sun exposure, and horses exposed to dusty environments. For more on this see Horse Care » Routine Horse Care » Hair Coat Care.
DrO
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Fran C
Member
Username: canter

Post Number: 1529
Registered: 1-2000
Posted on Thursday, Jun 19, 2008 - 7:44 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Quick interruption of this discussion for a question regarding oil: Has anyone noticed oil additives adding shine to a gray?

thanks!
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Gwen Robison
Member
Username: gwen

Post Number: 719
Registered: 6-2004
Posted on Thursday, Jun 19, 2008 - 9:16 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Just throwing out there the discussion of inflammatory inducing facets to corn oil (omega 6). I know that there may be differing theories, but thought it noteworthy to mention.
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Sara Wolff
Member
Username: mrose

Post Number: 3633
Registered: 1-2000
Posted on Thursday, Jun 19, 2008 - 10:42 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Fran, we have grays and they all have a lot of shine, at least when they haven't been rolling in the dirt. They get a little corn oil to stick their Platinum Performance supplement to a handful of Eq. Senior. I don't know if oil is responsible for the shine or not, but think it probably helps.
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Fran C
Member
Username: canter

Post Number: 1530
Registered: 1-2000
Posted on Thursday, Jun 19, 2008 - 12:48 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thanks, Sara. I know I'll never have the glossy shine I had on my chestnut TB (could practically see my reflection in his coat), but was wondering if a gray coat could be enhanced as well, once the dirt and manure stains are removed. Probably worth a try, anyway, as long as I don't end up making her fat.
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Gwen Robison
Member
Username: gwen

Post Number: 720
Registered: 6-2004
Posted on Thursday, Jun 19, 2008 - 3:43 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Another side question: if I were to switch, how do I go about weaning him without causing tummy aches? I am thinking about ground flaxseed.
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Lori
Member
Username: maggienm

Post Number: 691
Registered: 6-2004
Posted on Thursday, Jun 19, 2008 - 4:39 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

My gray two yr old does have noticable shine, of course it is not as obvious as the bay's brilliant coat.

Gwen, start by reducing the one feed by a small amount and add the same amount of the new feed ever second feeding reduce one, increase the other until you are completely switched over.

Does ground flax have a laxative effect?

Lori
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Gwen Robison
Member
Username: gwen

Post Number: 722
Registered: 6-2004
Posted on Thursday, Jun 19, 2008 - 5:30 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Eesh. I am not sure about flax being a laxative, Lori. I am not switching feeds, just from corn oil to the ground flax. Probably the same philosophy though, huh?
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Diane E.
Member
Username: scooter

Post Number: 2262
Registered: 9-2000
Posted on Thursday, Jun 19, 2008 - 6:51 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I like the horsetech flax stuff, doesn't go rancid as fast as fresh ground flax and less work. I have Hank on the bio flax ultra and he really shines. I always get compliments on his coat.

http://www.horsetech.com/
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Geoff Stewart
Member
Username: redback

Post Number: 42
Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Friday, Jun 20, 2008 - 5:28 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi:
Just to add to the debate I'm a advocate of Rice Bran Oil. My research came up with some strong Vitamin E benefits and trocyphls (I didn't spell that right). The other oils tend to create margarine versus butter type debates. I also found that you need to keep in mind that heating any oil produces a new chemical composition this heating can kill the good guys and create many bad guys. Sounds very scientific doesn't it! Anyway I have had really good results with it. If you after a shiny coat some raw stock quality linseed oil works, but you need to be careful to not overdose your horse on this.

Regards
Geoff
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: dro

Post Number: 20888
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Friday, Jun 20, 2008 - 8:17 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Reading the above discussions I see a lot of confusion between human and equine nutrition and a lot of hypothetical conjecturing not currently supported by science. Many of the arguments in human medicine concerning saturated to unsaturated oils ratios and essential fatty acid profiles do not readily apply to equine nutrition, primarily because of the much lower total fat in the diet (even when supplemented) and the much lower requirement for essential fatty acids. Guys, fat is fat when concentrated energy is needed in the diet. When it isn't supplementation with fats and oils often results in other nutritional problems, chief of which is obesity. We should not be talking about the "benefits" of fats, as they are all pretty empty nutrition, but the "necessity" of fat supplementation in difficult keepers, those with carbohydrate storage diseases and heavily exercised horses. Having seen thousands of beautifully coated horses that have never had a drop of oil supplemented in their diet it seems self evident to me, it is not the type oil you feed, but the overall condition of your horse and the care you give the coat that is important.

Concerning the vitamin E argument, this should only be considered when horses are off good pasture or excellent hay and if so we recommend supplementing as in the article on Vitamin E.
DrO
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