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.
Last edited by deserthorsewoman; 08-02-2013 at 11:37 AM.