December 21, 2022

Oats for animal feed

Canada, the USA, Russian Federation, China, Finland and Poland represent the top six countries for world oat production. Although demand has increased for oats as a human food, the largest portion of the United States oat crop is still used as livestock feed.

Oats have a unique nutritional value, particularly for animals which require feed having a relatively high level of good quality protein, but with lower energy content.

The level of protein in oats groats is higher than that in other cereals; moreover, the quality of oat protein, particularly the amino acid balance, surpasses that of the protein of other cereals.

Between 50% and 90% of the world oat production is used as animal feed for horses, cattle and sheep. Oats have been a preferred feed for animals such as horses and breeder show cattle which must be kept in good condition for a long period of time. Most horse owners prefer oats over other grains because their bulky hulls produce a loose mass that is easily digested.

For feeding to animals, oats are first ground or rolled. Rolled oats can provide 10% of the feed for calves, and is a good starter feed for pigs, although too expensive for other pigs.
Oats for animal feed

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