What are your opinions on oat hay? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 07-31-2013, 10:19 PM Thread Starter
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What are your opinions on oat hay?

I am going to be moving my horses this weekend to my new place. Its not exactly ideal at this point in time. And they will be staying in a small paddock till I can get more land cleared and some pasture established.
So that being said.... where they are now... they get a pound of food a day, 12 hours of pasture (at nigt) and a flake of coastal when they come in the stalls for the day.
So when i move them I intend to keep hay out 24/7 since I wont have pasture. I found oat hay for $6 a bale. Which is about a dollar fifty cheaper than a bale of coastal.
I fed an oat hay mix one time.... but it wasnt really long emough to tel anything about it.
So what are your guys experience/ knowledge of it?
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post #2 of 13 Old 08-02-2013, 08:53 AM
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Oat hay isn't very nutritious in the form of hay... Oats in general is what you would feed a horse. I'm not sure where you live, but a bale of relatively good horse hay Bermuda/Prairie/Timothy, doesn't cost that much right because of all the rain.


Kinda wish I had my book that showed the nutrition facts of oat hay. Pretty much it is a filler
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post #3 of 13 Old 08-02-2013, 09:00 AM
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Found it!

Cereal grass hays, oats, barely, etc, are very palatable but only when cut early and still green, otherwise the stems and stalks with become coarse and unpalatable. Low in calcium. Well... stupid book doesn't tell me the digestible protein or anything on oat hay. Personally I would go with the coastal.... In the long run it will be better for your horses.
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post #4 of 13 Old 08-02-2013, 09:25 AM
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We class that as straw here and would not consider feeding except as a warmth food.
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post #5 of 13 Old 08-02-2013, 09:39 AM
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I was going to say that as well, its considered straw here as well. Not worth the dollar less...
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post #6 of 13 Old 08-02-2013, 10:06 AM
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There is a difference between oat hay and straw. Oat hay is made from cutting the oats before they are fully ripe, then letting it dry and bailing it, seed heads included. Straw obviously a by product after the oats have been harvested.

Would I feed it to horses? As a small part of their diet, not as a staple of it.
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post #7 of 13 Old 08-02-2013, 10:29 AM
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Oathay, and forage- or 3-way( oats, wheat, barley or rye) are a staple here.
It needs to be cut, as was mentioned, early enough, before the grain ripens, is then green and is then VERY palatable to horses. Mine leave the alfalfa to get the best( grainiest, I assume) bit first.
The later it's cut, the more straw like it will become, grains ripening and falling out.
nutrition wise it's not much different than grasshay, maybe slightly higher in phosphorus.

I WOULD NOT FEED IT TO AN IR OR OBESE EASY KEEPER HORSE! It is VERY high in nonstructural carbohydrates( sugars and starches).

It is a good winter forage, digestion of the stemmy material creates heat.

OP, unless the flake of hay your horse gets weighs about 10 lbs, it will not be enough. Maybe not in regards to condition of the horse, but certainly chewing time. Ulcers!
Either at least another flake at noon, and ideally given in a slowfeeder of any kind will avoid that.
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post #8 of 13 Old 08-02-2013, 11:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Golden Horse View Post
There is a difference between oat hay and straw. Oat hay is made from cutting the oats before they are fully ripe, then letting it dry and bailing it, seed heads included. Straw obviously a by product after the oats have been harvested.

Would I feed it to horses? As a small part of their diet, not as a staple of it.
Oat hay and oat straw are 2 different animals. Oat hay is nutritionally comparable to grass hay. It's moderate in protein, 9% vs 11%, the same in DM and DE, slightly lower in Ca but similar in all other minerals. It will be higher in NSC depending upon the amount of oats and the level of maturity. Oat hay will still have a green tint to the stalk and the oats are still tight and immature.

Last edited by Left Hand Percherons; 08-02-2013 at 11:44 AM.
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post #9 of 13 Old 08-02-2013, 12:04 PM Thread Starter
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I am in Florida. And all you alfalfa, timothy, orchard, mixes of the sort cost $20 a bale and up for a 30lb bale. Even coastal which doesnt have much in the way of nutrition is anywhere from $7.50-$8 a bale. I usually buy a 140# bale of timothy for $50 dollars and give a like a 1/4 flake to each horse a day. I am planning o. putting a roll out for them
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post #10 of 13 Old 08-02-2013, 12:07 PM Thread Starter
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stupid phone cut half my message off.
I am looking for something a little extra though to throw out at feed times for them.
So if its green and still has the oats and isnt like straw it would work?
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