Oats

Another heating straight

Should be clean big and hard and free from dust.

Horse owners who prefer to feed whole grains have good reasons to make oats that grain. For starters, oats are considered the "safest" grain to feed horses. That is because their starch is more easily digested in the horse's small intestine than the starches in Maize or barley. This minimizes the potential for undigested starches to reach the horse's hind gut where they can cause colic.

Oat digestibility can be particularly critical for performance sport horses or racehorses in training whose daily grain ration may approach 50 percent (by weight) of their total diet.

Oats are also less susceptible to contamination by molds producing mycotoxins than other whole grains such as Maize or Barley This means horse owners can buy, feed, and store them with greater confidence. Compared to processed grains or processed mixed feeds, whole, unprocessed oats can maintain their nutritional value almost indefinitely when stored under proper conditions.

Horses like oats and oats are easier to chew than other grains and horses relish their taste. Their palatability makes oats the grain of choice for finicky eaters, hard keepers, and performance horses such as racehorses, eventers, or cutting horses.

Horses that chew well do not need them crushing etc but are still best fed with some mixer like chaff. The horse will also need a conditioner.

It's a commonly held belief that oats send all horses sky-high. In fact, as with any concentrates, if they are fed in proportion to the level of work actually being done, rather than anticipated, oats rarely cause a problem but a few who are sensitive will react.

Types

Whole oats: These are as they come from the field, complete with the husks (or outer casing). This means they have the highest fibre level of all oats and grains. However, very young horses or veterans with teeth problems may have difficulty chewing these, so will not get the full nutritional benefit.


Bruised oats: The husk of the oat is broken to allow access to the nutrients. Bear in mind that this process will shorten the shelf life of the oats to a few weeks.


Rolled oats: Rolling has a similar effect to bruising. Traditionally, horsemen would buy whole oats and roll them on an ad hoc basis to maximise storage time.


Crimped oats: This process damages the husk and increases the surface area, so the digestive juices can get to work more effectively.

Clipped oats: Oats are often clipped alongside bruising. The ends of the grain are trimmed to give a neater final product.

Feed boiled to a horse in poor condition.


Crushed oats: This is a rougher process, which involves breaking both the husk and the kernel of the oat. This makes them slightly more digestible, but they suffer from an even shorter shelf life.

 

The Equine

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