Omega 3 and Omega 6 are both essential fatty acids that support cellular health and overall health and well-being in horses. They are termed “essential” since they are compounds that can not be manufactured within the horse’s body. Therefore they must be included somewhere in the diet. Not only must they be included in the diet but they must also be included in the correct ratio. Though Omega 6 and Omega 3 are both required in the diet, they in effect work against each other. Omega 3, supports an anti-inflammatory response while omega 6 supports a more pro-inflammatory response. Too much Omega 6 can cause inflammation problems.
There are no studies that conclusively state the amount of Omega 3 and Omega 6 required in the equine diet. It stands to reason though that the amounts and ratios of Omega 3 and Omega 6 that naturally occurs in fresh pasture would be a safe feeding choice. Fresh pasture contains about 10mg of Omega 3 and about 2.5mg of Omega 6 per gram on a dry matter basis. Therefore a horse consuming 22 lbs. (on a dry matter basis) would get about 100 grams of Omega 3 and about 25 grams on Omega 6. This is a ratio of about 4:1. That same horse on the recommended feeding of Chaffhaye would receive 97 grams of Omega 3 and 45 grams of Omega 6 with a ratio of about 2:1. So a horse on Chaffhaye would not only receive Omega 3 and Omega 6 in adequate amounts, it would also receive them in a safe ratio.
Omega 3 and Omega 6 are oxidized and destroyed over time when exposed to air. Therefore any of these fatty acids that started out in baled hay or pellets are quickly lost. Baled hay contains virtually no Omega 3. Compounding this problem is the fact that fortified grains many times are fed with baled hay during the winter. Fortified grains can be very high in Omega 6. This imbalance can cause a variety of inflammation problems.
With Chaffhaye you can be assured your horse in receiving adequate amounts of Omega 3 and Omega 6 in a safe ratio similar to what they receive if grazing on fresh pasture. And unlike baled hay or pellets your horse gets these essential fatty acids even in the winter. Being fresh chopped and packed in air-tight bags, Chaffhaye preserves the Omega 3 and Omega 6 that naturally occurs in hay. That’s why we call Chaffhaye “Pasture-In-A-Bag”.