Feeding straight (whole) oats
I heard somewhere if you feed your horse 1 cup (or scoop, or whatever) of straight oats with their feed, they'll replant your field through their poo. I thought that was far-fetched, but it brought me to wondering what benefits feeding straight oats had.
I know there aren't many digestible nutrients in oats (if any), but would they serve as a good "filler"? Kind of the horse equivalent of celery? Maybe ration out the oats with their regular feed to "dilute" it, probably not the right word to use, but perhaps adding some regular oats will make the horse think it's getting a lot more than it actually is?
Does anyone feed straight oats?
This is what I'm talking about
I think the re-planting story is basicly nonsense.
On the subject of oats a livery yard i worked at fed oats, barley and chaff thats all they stocked if you wanted anything else you had to supply it. Not many people feed oats though because they have quick releasing energy and make alot of horses fizzy and highly strung so most horse just got barley and chaff as barley is a slower releasing energy and even then it still makes alot of horses a bit wild.
I personally think feeding a good quality chaff and a mix suited to your horse is probally better than feeding like that yard did but thats just my opinion, i most certianly couldn't feed Hugo oats, he has quite enough energy thank you.
I would think the replanting story could be true, because I have had other things pop up in my manure pile, such as watermelon plants and bermuda grass (after feeding the horses those things). So I don't see why oats wouldn't do the same thing.
It makes me question why I am buying oats though, if many aren't digested.
I have heard that they ARE digested, and what you are seeing in the manure is just the hull, but I have actually taken a few oats out of the manure(!) and peeled them open, to see if it was just the hull or if the seed was still inside. The seed was still inside. So while the horses enjoy oats and probably chew up some of them, I also think many of them are wasted.
I am going to switch to barely when I run out of the current batch of oats. I HOPE barely is more digestible, because it is rolled and doesn't have all the hulls oats do. In my case, I want my horses to get some energy from the grain, because one is a lactating mare and she needs the calories.
I have heard oats are a "safer" grain to feed because they do have the hulls.
Oats have decent protein and horses actually get some Vitamin C out of them. I use plain whole oats for extra energy in my lazy mare (oats are high in starch, which translates to energy). Whole oats and quality Timothy hay are actually a nearly "complete" feed for horses. Depending on how much of both you feed, you're only lacking in Vitamin E and a few trace minerals, depending on the mineral content of the soil used to grow the oats and timothy hay.
The "oats" you see in horse poo are actually just the outside hulls. As long as the horse has good teeth and doesn't gulp their food down whole, they will properly chew and digest about 95% of the oats that go in to their mouths. I read a couple of studies that showed that crimping or rolling oats only increases digestibility by about 3%, which is not worth the added cost.
If you have one lactating, you might consider adding alfalfa pellets to her diet for added protein and calcium. That's what I give my lay mare, 1 qt of alfalfa pellets and 2 qts of oats, with a vit/min supplement and 1/2 cup of flax meal. She's shiney, fat, and healthy! ;-)
If you feed to much oats you will overflow the stomach into the secum and end up imbalancing the horse's digestion process leading to colic, founder and if you're lucky, both. Be careful when feeding oats, or any other high starch/sugar feed.
Seed your resting pastures with grass and feed your horses hay and beet pulp if they need a concentrate. It is far healthier for the horses and the pastures.
I feed rolled oats, they like it, tend to chew a bit more and works good for young and old.
I don't think the replanting thing can happen - we fed our horses oaten hay which contained fully developed oats and no oats came up in out paddocks! maybe it happens more with older horses whose teeth aren't as good as they used to be!
Whole oats in moderation should be fine so long as they don't hype your horse up too much. Like somebody else was saying, it might be good to also feed some lucerne/alfalfa because oats have high phosphorus but low calcium.
We feed crimped oats. I don't know that they are really any easier to digest than regular whole oats, but I haven't found any in our horse's poo.
Then again, when we fed our own home grown whole oats, I never noticed any in their poo! Either I'm not very observant, or since that was all they got way back then, they digested all they could! :-)
I am feeding my lactating mare alfalfa (actually, about 60/40 alfalfa and bermuda hay) because it is the cheapest, most widely available hay here in Arizona. I give her about 2 lbs. of oats in the evening, with a little vegetable oil, as a treat. :-)
I really do think a lot of oats pass through whole. Maybe my mare is just a piggy and swallows them without chewing, but I can pull apart the "digested" oats and find the seed still inside. :shock: At least some of them are passing through whole.
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