Long before the invention of compound meals - oats, corn and barley have been the main diets fed to horses. Grass and hay were also added to the diet in different portions depending on various reasons such as the level of activity the horse would be involved in during the day. Feeding oats to horses used to be an ideal diet since oats was cheap and readily available in addition to it being ideal for the digestive system of horses.
Should You Feed Oats To Horses?
Oats is and ideal component to include in the diet of your horse since they have low levels of energy with a high fibre content as compared to other types of grains. They are therefore known as the safest and most suitable for the horse digestive system. The size of the oat grains allows them to be properly chewed which allows the horse to ultimately enjoy the goodness of the grain. Feeding oats to horses is cost effective since it doesn't require any cooking, rolling or crushing prior to feeding them to the horses. Compared to other cereals and grains oats are the cheapest.
Oats Nutritional Value
Oats have several valuable nutrients in them but feeding oats to horses does not give them a balanced diet. Oats are rich in phosphorous but their calcium levels are extremely low. The high levels of phosphorous most of the time hinder the little calcium available from being readily absorbed in the body. Macronutrients such as copper and zinc are also very little in oats and they are important for the proper formation and development of bones. Oats are also lacking in proteins since they do not have amino acids.
Today there are many oat balancers created to be used in feeding your horses with the compound diets. There are various types of oats to feed to horses such as: bruised oats, crimped oats, whole oats and rolled oats. The whole oats are the oats grains immediately from the field with everything including husks. Their fibre level is extremely high which is why they might not be ideal for old or young horses with teeth issues. The bruised oats are oats whose husk has been broken allowing the nutrients to be easily accessed. The rolled oats have been rolled in order to increase their life span on the shelf. They are more like the bruised oats since the husks have been broken hence the nutrients are easily accessed.