Oat Hay? and other hay questions - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 05-09-2010, 11:40 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Northwest WA
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Oat Hay? and other hay questions

So I am running low on hay and have been looking around for hay for sale in my area and I have come across a few ads for oat hay. What is oat hay? I've never seen it for sale before.

My horses have had local (western washington) grass hay for the last year and timothy about 8 months before that, and before that they have always got the better quality eastern washington grass hay. They aren't doing so well on the local hay anymore (a little ribby) so I was thinking I should switch them back to eastern WA grass or timothy. Problem is I am having a hard time convincing my dad that the more expensive (250ish a ton) hay is a better deal then the cheaper (200ish a ton) hay because I have to feed less of the more expensive stuff. What is your opinion on this? Feed more of lower quality, cheaper hay, or feed less of higher quality, more expensive hay?
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post #2 of 4 Old 05-11-2010, 11:27 AM
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Hungary
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They might mean Oat Straw

Oat straw can be fed as a substitute for hay if there is nothing else - you do have to be careful to not feed too much and keep an eye out for colic as oat straw has more roughage. Probably better to mix it with regular hay to make your existing hay last longer.

As for which is better , it must be better to feed good quality hay that is a bit more expensive than be presented with a huge vet bill because your horse gets colic or gets a lung infection from dusty hay etc.

Last edited by Nutty Saddler; 05-11-2010 at 11:30 AM.
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post #3 of 4 Old 05-11-2010, 11:59 AM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Just south of sanity
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Oat hay is just oat straw with the grain heads still attached.

The few times I've fed it, my horses have found it tasty.

Just make sure there are still grains attached to the stalks, or the nutritional value goes down to zero. It won't hurt to feed it to them, but it'll just be giving them bulk with no real nutrition if the grain heads have fallen off.
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post #4 of 4 Old 05-11-2010, 09:13 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Northwest WA
Posts: 375
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Yeah, I realised how rediculous the second paragraphed sounded the next day. Its not that they hay is "bad" as in dusty, moldy etc. its that western washington hay tends to have a lower nutrient value then eastern washington hay (atleast this is what I have been told and what I have found).

Anyways, so I guess oat hay is a no-no... I'm going to keep looking for more hay... I have about 2 weeks left in my loft is what I guessed, and it might last a little longer if I can get them out in the pasture soon.
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