Exploring Feed Grains for Horses: Barley
While oat is the most popular are most common grain fed to horses, barley is also a good option for horse owners to feed to their horse for added energy. Similar in appearance to oat grain, barley is somewhat harder, but typically less palatable to horses when compared to oat or even corn.
Preparing Barley for Feeding
In order to achieve the greatest health benefits and digestibility, barley should be crimped or rolled before it is fed to horses. It should be noted, however, that this process the does increase the feeding value for horses with good teeth.
Health Benefits of Barley
Barley offers a number of health benefits for horses. First, it actually has a higher fiber content than many other grains, including corn, wheat, milo, rye and rice. Generally speaking, it is considered to be an intermediate between oats and corn in terms of fiber level and energy as well as safety and heat produced. While it is more similar to corn in terms of density, slightly less of its starch can be digested by the small intestine when compared to corn. Due to its high quality, barley is a very desirable grain for horses and can be fed as the only grain in the diet with no adverse effects.