Ok, I know a lot of people use straw as filler. I never personally have. However, we're running into the same issue we always do in winter - trying to find enough hay to feed 7 horses. We spent $2,000 at the beginning of fall which equals pretty much enough hay to get us into March, which isn't enough. The trouble being, actually trying to find hay IN March is like pulling teeth. We have an enormous cattle community, and they all just ASSUME that we should own a tractor to pull rounds off a flat deck when we don't.
So we've been discussing throwing some straw bales into the pasture for them to chomp on and being able to reduce the amount of hay. They're all ridiculously fat and don't need as much hay as we give them, but due to our cold winter, forage 24/7 is almost a must.
Now the problem I'm having is I know that oat straw is most palpatable for them - and in all my searching, apparantly nobody here even knows what it is and they certainly don't seem to farm it. The only thing available is wheat straw.
Will they even EAT it? The only time I've ever seen a horse eat wheat straw was when I brought home Zena as a starved pregnant mare and she'd routinely clean up her entire portion of hay and eat half her bedding in a night as well. A lot of barns use straw around here, and I would assume that if horses actually ate it, they'd eat their bedding, no?
Anyone have any experience feeding wheat straw? Or are we just wasting our money by buying it?