SECOND REQUEST: When is it appropriate to increase ratio of iron:copper:zinc?


I would really appreciate any help on my questions below please.  Dr. Kellon?  Am posting again.

I am rereading Dr. Kelon's article titled "Iron Overload in Horses" and she states, "The ratio of Iron:copper:zinc must be no higher than 4:1:3.  In some cases even higher copper and zinc intakes are needed."  I have had both Sadie and Chip's diets balanced by members of this group for years to these ratios,  but KSU testing in January 2018 showed both of them to have values outside the upper range limits.

Dr. Kellon has stated to me recently that "IR in other species is aggravated by iron overload and causes iron overabsorption.  Sadie shows evidence of high absorption but her ferritin is still normal."  Chip has similar results (see CH). 

Since iron overload is common in minis and it is apparent that both Sadie and Chip are iron overloaded as well as having IR/PPID, I was just wondering if increasing the copper and zinc intakes would be prudent for both of them as I have had a really hard time over the years managing their IR.

**Also, unfortunately, it seems as though Chip will now have to rely almost 100% on soaked pelleted feed, which I know has much higher iron values than my tested hay, due to inability to chew hay.  For that reason alone, should I be thinking about increasing his copper/zinc ratios?

If so, what would the ratios be and would I just have my balancer redo the formulas for the custom balancers? I will be reordering my custom balancers soon so would really appreciate feedback on this in case I need to have formulas tweaked.

***Also, to the extent possible, I have been trying to reduce iron in their diet by choosing seeds/herbs with the lowest iron content.  I am puzzled by the info I am getting when I query for the iron content in chia seeds and flax seeds.  I get conflicting answers.  I am feeding chia seeds (even though the omega 3:6 ratio is not perfect) because I was under the impression that it has less iron and manganese than flax seeds.  Can someone tell me if this is true and if there is a reliable website I can use to get accurate info on the mineral content of seeds and herbs? 

p.s.  Water has been tested and has low iron but we put in filter for iron and manganese anyway this year.

I have read many times here that the high iron can be balanced out with the copper and zinc but this alone does not guarantee that your horse will not be iron overloaded does it?  It certainly has not held true with my two.  I know they are a complicated pair though.  Thanks.
Oregon, USA
Oct 2012
Case Histories for Sadie and Chip
Sadie's Photos 
Chip's Photos 

Join to automatically receive all group messages.