seem Flax

Reta Heaslip

I seem to be having a problem with the flax I use in my horse's supplements. I buy non stablized flax from a local feed store. The flax is used for animal consumption and it has a coarse texture. I keep the flax refrigerated until I prepare the supplement mix. At the barn, the mix is transferred from a clean, sealed plastic container to a clean glass canister with a tight-fitting lid. The flax is exposed to light and air once daily when adding supplements to carrier for feeding. As well, the temperature in the barn is relatively cool - very little fluctuation in temperature.  The problem is the flax (in supplement mix) goes rancid within 2 weeks or less. I no longer have the original bag that it came in to check the date and do not know how long the flax may have been sitting around at the feed store. Has anyone else had this problem?  Could any of the other supplements including salt affect the flax? Should I be rethinking stabilized versus non stabilized flax? Any comments would be appreciated.
Sept 7, 2017
Gananoque, ON, CA .


Is the flax ground, Reta? I have always used whole flax, ground just before feeding, and it has always stayed fresh. I buy it at Bulk Barn or at a feed store.
Bonnie and Lad
North Ontario
Dec 2008

Reta Heaslip


I would definitely recommend stabilized if you are buying it ground. Non-stabilized ground flax has a very short shelf life. I personally buy whole seed and grind right before feeding. 


On May 12, 2020, at 5:55 AM, Reta Heaslip <reta.rh@...> wrote:

Joule Tallman
Barefoot Trimmer
Saskatchewan, Canada 🇨🇦 
Member since 2019

Lavinia Fiscaletti

Hi Reta,

You definitely should be using stabilized flax if it is being purchased already ground as that is the only way to know it won't be rancid at the time of purchase (or shortly thereafter). Once it's ground, it needs to be kept refrigerated and has a shelf life of approximately 2 weeks before it starts to turn bad (unless it is stabilized). Here's a message from Dr. Kellon regarding mineral  ixes:

Lavinia, George Too, Calvin (PPID) and Dinky (PPID/IR)
Nappi, George and Dante Over the Bridge
Jan 05, RI
Moderator ECIR

Reta Heaslip

Thank you for your feedback. It is interesting to learn about the many factors contributing to ground flax going "off". There is certainly a lot of misinformation and contradictory information provided online and by sales reps (i.e. magnesium causing flax to spoil, and storing ground flax in tightly sealed containers versus breathable containers. I am fortunate where I am boarding to have a seasoned coach on hand, Lorna, and the flexibility to figure out how to best feed flax to my horse before it goes rancid. Seems like buying whole flax and controlling when it is ground and added to the supplement mix is the way to go. 

Again, thank you ECIR for being a reliable resource.

Sept 7, 2017
Gananoque, ON, CA .

Lorna Cane

Reta said, "........storing ground flax in tightly sealed containers versus breathable containers. "

This was a surprise to me, too.
As Reta and I have been trying to go through all the possibilities of why her milled (so stabilized) flax in her mineral mix has been going off recently, one of the things we were confident about was the air tight, glass storage  container for  the mixture . It is out of the light,and I lift the lid once a day to scoop out the mixture.
But when the chap at Pestell ( supplier) was playing detective with me,he mentioned (without knowing my storage set up) that they put their milled flax in woven bags,so that it can breathe, going on to ask how it is stored here. He then suggested that that *could* be the issue.
And the feed store owner also, independantly, made that suggestion.
It's never happened over the last 2 1/2 years, so I'm still wondering.

Frustrating though is that everywhere we have searched has said it needs to be stored in air tight containers.

I did use to store this mix in a plastic sewing cabinet drawer, which wasn't air tight around the edges. I'm going to go back to that,to see what happens. Maybe.

Live and learn.(with any luck)

Lorna  in Eastern  Ontario