I've tried and tried but I can't get oat straw anywhere. Barley straw seems a bit easier to find. Can horses eat it? I want to put a bale in Ziggy's micro paddock so he has something low sugar and low calorie to nom.
Pete eats it no problem - I personally don't want him eating oat straw as he turns loopy (well, loopier ...!).
@Trewsers I think some of the issues are because straw is coarser than hay, there are more risks of it causing blockages. My vet is always fairly happy to feed straw as part of their forage, as these days they always have access to water.
After Ben had colic I will never have him anywhere near straw again. It is too dry and not digestible. I don’t know the difference between barley and oat straw but to me it doesn’t matter. Soaked hay is all Ben Will ever have!
Barley straw is usually much softer than wheat so more digestable, not sure in comparison to oat straw though.
When we had the goats we would put barley straw it in the hay racks as part of there evening feed and they would go mad for it.
@Jane&Ziggy maybe phone your vet and ask them?
It was my vet who suggested straw as a partial forage for Belle, oat she said is best but barley if also ok if oat is difficult to get hold of.
As I said Belle has been eating it for six years with no issues at all.
As I understand it, there is two aspects, straw is much higher fiber content and coarser, so can cause impaction colic if they a) aren't used to eating lots of it and b) if they don't drink enough with it. From memory any straw should be mixed 50/50 with hay at the max to help prevent it. The other aspect is the seed heads, barley and wheat have spikey bits on the seed head and these can often end up in the straw after threshing, these are readily eaten and passed unless the stick into the lining of the throat or gut and can get infected etc. Oats don't have the same spikey bits the other do.
I fed Barley or oat straw for many years when I lived in the Uk if we couldnt get decent hay. Never, ever had a single problem with it and nor did my many associates in the horse world who also fed it in preference to mouldy and poor quality hay and as far back as my childhood it would be used when hay was scarce without any issues. I am not too sure where all this comes from about the danger of feeding straw to be honest? Or maybe myself and those I know off who do the same have just been incredibly lucky lol!