Performance Horse Nutrition

Oats are about 12—13% protein, the quality of the protein is not excellent, and one should not be feeding oats alone to meet protein needs for growing animals. The non-structural carbohydrate and starch content of oats are 46% and 44% respectively which is much lower than both barley and corn. Oats have an outer seed hull that is made up of non- digestible fiber which is not broken down by the horse. Whole oats has been standard horse feed for decades. Oats can also be bought crimped, crushed, rolled, steamed or triple cleaned. Cleaning removes all dust and weed seeds. Oats are also relatively high in phosphorus. Oats are considered safer grains to feed and are less likely to cause digestive upsets than corn or barley. Like all grains, oats are low in calcium, but they do have a reasonably high level of phosphorus. They are a poor source of vitamins. The quality of the protein they contain is not good because they are deficient in some essential amino acids.

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