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Special Report on Diseases of the Horse
written by "Harbaugh, W. H. (William Heyser), 1856-1897"
...ts take precedence of all grains as a feed for horses, as the ingredients necessary for the complete nutrition of the body exist in them in the best proportions. Oats are, besides, more easily digested and a larger proportion absorbed and converted into the various tissues of the body. Care must be taken in selecting oats. According to Stewart, the best oats are one year old, plump, short, hard, clean, bright, and sweet. New oats are indigestible. Kiln-dried[Pg 55] oats are to be refused, as a rule, for even though originally good this drying process injures them. Oats that have sprouted or fermented are injurious and should never be fed. Oats are to be given either whole or crushed—whole in the majority of instances; crushed to old horses and those having defective teeth. Horses that bolt their feed are also best fed upon crushed oats and out of a manger large enough to permit of spreading the grain in a thin layer. In addition to the allowance of hay above mentioned, the average horse requires about 12 quarts of good oats daily. The best oats are those cut about one week before they are fully ripe. Not only is the grain richer in nutritive materials at this time, but there is also less waste from "scattering" than if left to become dead ripe. Moldy oats, like hay and straw, not only produce serious digestive disorders but have been the undoubted cause of outbreaks of that dread disease in horses, already referred to, characterized by inability to eat or drink, sudden paralysis, and death. Wheat and rye.—These grains are not to be used for horses except in small quantities, bruised or crushed, and fed mixed with other grains or hay. If fed alone, in any considerable quantities, they are almost certain to produce digestive disorders, laminitis (founder), and similar troubles. They should never constitute more than one-fourth the grain allowance, and should always be ground or crushed. Bran.—The bran of wheat is th...

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