Flaked Lupins are also called rolled or steam rolled lupins.
Lupins are grown extensively in Western Australia (WA is the largest producer in the world), probably why they have become more popular here in recent years as a food source for horses. Used extensively in other parts of the world as a forage and livestock feed, lupins also have been popular for farm animals in Australia for some time. Lupins are, however, a relatively new addition to the list of feeds deemed suitable for horses.
Lupins are also a good feed for ruminants, poultry and pigs.
What are Lupins
Lupins are a legume, similar to peas or beans. They have a hard, tough outer coating requiring soaking, rolling, crushing, or grinding to enable the horse to properly chew them. Pelleting or heat-treating lupins increases their palatability and probably their digestibility, although little is currently known of the effects of processing on lupin digestibility.
Two major varieties exist, the bitter and the sweet. Only sweet lupins are suitable for horse consumption. When crushed, sweet lupins have yellow flesh and may be mistaken for corn in a mixed feed. They are easily discernible by their speckled outer seed case.
Lupins are predominantly a source of protein (28-34% crude protein) but also contain some fat (around 5%) and digestible fibre. They have a lower lysine and methionine content than other protein supplements such as soybean meal, so more lupins would be required to supply the same amount of these essential amino acids. However, lupins are more palatable than soybean meal, and because they are a grain rather than a meal, it is easier to feed larger amounts.
Because of their low starch and high fibre content, lupins are digested efficiently in the hindgut of the horse through fermentation. Similar high-fibre feeds used in other areas of the world include beet pulp and soy hulls, although these do not have the high protein or fat content of lupins and are not as energy-dense. These characteristics make lupins particularly suitable for horses that have a low tolerance for starch-rich grains, such as oats or corn, which are digested predominantly in the small intestine.
Horses with a predisposition to tying-up or laminitis, or those horses that get excitable on typical cereal grains, may benefit from the addition of lupins to the diet. Because lupins contain very little starch, they are often considered as an ideal “cool” feed, but their high protein content and the presence of alkaloids means that their inclusion should be limited to 2 kg (4.4 lb) for a 500-kg (1,100-lb) horse.
Lupins are therefore suitable as an energy and a protein supplement. As a protein supplement, lupins can be quite cost-effective and are usually considered good value compared to other commercial or synthetic protein supplements.
The low starch and moderate oil content of lupins makes them a good choice for leisure and show horses, reducing the chances of nutrition-related behavioural problems and boosting coat condition. As a high-energy supplement, lupins are excellent for performance horses, racehorses, and endurance horses needing a palatable, energy-dense feed. Lupins are also a good source of energy for growing and breeding horses.
Digestible Energy (MJ/kg) 11.39
Crude Protein (%) 30
Calcium (%) 0.22
Fibre (%) 23.5
- Lupins are a good energy and protein source. Lupins are very palatable and can be fed as part of a balanced diet to all animals
- Because of their low starch and high fibre content, lupins are digested in the hindgut of the horse through fermentation. These make lupins particularly suitable for horses that have a low tolerance for starch-rich grains such as oats or corn
- Thompson and Redwood believe the best way to receive the vital nutrients and energy needed is through a natural product. Minimal processing ensures our ingredients keep their natural goodness
- Thompson and Redwood source the best natural ingredients from farmers in Western Australia
- Keeping the grain whole prevents nutrition being lost and increases shelf life.
- It is not advisable to use lupins as the sole dietary concentrate component. The grain should be viewed as a protein or energy supplement in commercial concentrates or pellets, or as a supplementary grain in home-mixed diets.
- Breaking the grain decreases shelf life and reduces nutritional value
- Not enough research has been done to know the exact amount of digestible nutrition that is available to the horse.
For more lupin products https://www.backyardstobarnyards.com.au/product/whole-lupins/
Guide to Feeding Horses in Australia