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Sainfoin Basics:


Sainfoin is a highly palatable cool season legume that grows predominantly in Montana, Wyoming, Idaho and North Dakota.  We are currently the only company in the United States that has obtained approval to commercially sell sainfoin across the country. This ancient legume is well known and still favored in Europe, but fell out of favor in the United States because it requires very specific soil conditions in order to grow. 


Top benefits of Sainfoin in horses:


  1. The higher tannin level disrupts mechanisms that create gas during digestion so sainfoin is non-gas producing. Limiting gas production along the gastrointestinal tract is not simply a matter or comfort for the horse, but may reduce incidence of gas colic. 

  1. Longer chewing time. We have recorded the chewing time of horses who eat an alfalfa pellet vs those who eat the sainfoin pellet. The comparison is flawed because alfalfa pellets are soaked prior to feeding and our sainfoin pellet does not need to be soaked. Still; the horses observed spent an average of 30% more time chewing the sainfoin, salivated significantly more and drank up to twice the amount of water when they were eating sainfoin. Chewing for production of saliva and digestive enzymes and increased water consumption are all important for optimal gastrointestinal health in horses. 

  1. The higher condensed tannins in sainfoin bind to the proteins to protect them during the digestive process. This results in increased utilization of the protein throughout the body. In cattle this results in faster growth and better hides. In horses this results in better topline, more effective maintenance of topline/muscling when the horse is in hard work, and improved hoof horn. 

  1. Sainfoin is high in Omega-3 fatty acids.

  1. More palatable than alfalfa.  If you have a horse who is off their feed or refuses to eat a supplement, incorporating sainfoin often gets them going. 

  1. Sainfoin has anthelmintic properties and has been shown to help control strongyles in cattle, sheep and goats. It has been assumed that it will work the same in horses but this theory has not been tested so we are uncomfortable making this claim until we have had an opportunity to test sainfoins efficacy on a herd of heavy shedding horses in a controlled environment. 

We suggest the below article as an scientific overview of Sainfoin: 

Sainfoin (Onobrychis viciifolia Scop.): renewed interest as a forage legume for western Canada

Bhattarai, Surendra & Coulman, Bruce & Biligetu, Bill. (2016). Sainfoin (Onobrychis viciifolia Scop.): Renewed interest as a forage legume for Western Canada. Canadian Journal of Plant Science. 96. 10.1139/CJPS-2015-0378. 


Summary: Past studies have reported that sainfoin has a high nutritive value, and high voluntary intake and palatability to grazing animals.

 

 

*Available for sale in the US and Canada only at this time*