OATEN CHAFF - 25KG
Oaten Chaff is the chaffed stubble or hay portion of an oat crop.
Oaten Chaff is finely cut hay and used as a bulking roughage feed when mixed into the grain based feed of racing and working horses. When fed at a ratio of 2:1 with grains it can help to slow down the grain consumption in the large intestine. Oaten Chaff is a low energy roughage to feed to overweight horses.
Disadvantages are there is a large discrepancy in the amount of nutrient value depending on plant maturity and age of the chaff. The amount of dust etc can vary considerably depending on the time and condition of harvest. Large intakes of finely chopped dry chaff can lead to choke in horses and may compact in the large intestine.
Quality oaten chaff should have a higher leaf to stem ratio. A bleached leaf and stems may be a sign that the nutrients were leached out of the plant prior to harvesting. A high proportion of mature stems and a low leaf content in hay or chaff indicates the feed is less nutritious. It should have a low dust content and contain no mouldy or clumped pieces.
Making chaff from cereal grain crops before the seed heads are fully formed results in more nutrients being retained in the leaves and the chaff is softer and sweeter. Generally as the plant matures the stems retain less protein and digestible energy. Horses are best suited to hay and chaff cut at the mid bloom stage. This is when the protein levels are at 7 – 9% and the indigestible lignin fibre content is lower.
Chaffing hay increases the rate of consumption and speed of passage of the fibrous mass through the digestive tract. Studies have shown that a rougher cut is better to slow digestion and lessen the risk of compaction colic then a very fine cut.
Chaff can cost up to twice the amount compared to a similar weight in hay, however benefits are there is generally less wastage.