Top animal nutritionist baffled as to why are oats so underutilised in ruminant diets
Year-on-year I am baffled as to why oats are underutilised in ruminant diets, particularly in beef finishing, store and suckler cow diets.
Down through the years, oats, or corn as it is known in the northern part of the country, have largely only been grown for the breakfast cereal and horse feed markets.
In human nutrition, the benefits of oats are widely recognised, as those of us that have a daily bowl of porridge will recognise.
The same cannot be said in ruminant nutrition where they are constantly overlooked.
Looking at its analysis and nutritional benefits will give you an indication as to why oats should be used in greater quantities.
While it is lower in energy value than wheat or barley, it is significantly higher in unsaturated oil.
Although unsaturated oil levels are not the first thing you look at in a ration ingredient, they can play an important role and help produce good quality fat on finished animals.
Oats have a very husky seed with the fibrous husk weighing up to 25pc of the total seed weight.