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Are all oats the same?


If not, what are the differences?


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All oats are not created equal. There are different varieties of oats that are grown in different parts of Canada. Size, weight and yield differ as does the nutritional content which depends on the soil/fertiliser/weather and harvesting method/time and conditions. Storage conditions can affect the quality/quantity as well.
No, all oats are not the same....a lot of the answers below are good and explain well the difference between some of them. ;-) I usually use the rolled oats and some ''Fibre et Gras'' by Purina! Very good for my horses.
No, not all oats are the same.

Oats are different depending on the climate they have been grown it, heat and water play a big part in the size
and weight of the oat, also a crimped or rolled oat is much more digestable than a whole oat for a horse. A lot
of whole oats pass through the horse still in the whole state and just feed the birds in the muck heap.
No not all oats are the same. As other posters have said they are processed different (whole, crimped, crushed, cleaned, etc) Now your question comparing eastern and western oats... hmmm I have no idea. I suppose there must be different varieties of oats, with some better in some climates over others, but I really don't know.
I trust you'll enlighten us eventually :)
We will share our thoughts on this ingredient, however we want to see what your opinions are before we potentially influence your thoughts. :)
As far as my horses are concerned, there are 2 types of oats: The fresh smelling, clean oats that they love, and the damp, moldy, nasty smelling oats they'd rather leave for the chickens.
All oats are not the same.

Their are many different kinds of oats. They vary according to where they are grown. Here in Ontario we can purchase local Ontario or western (hard) oats.

They also vary in the way they are whole, crimped, crushed and shelled oats.
Easier to digest if they have been bruised rolled or crushed but should be fresh if they are processed.
Everyone is doing great answering these questions. Thank you very much for all your help. :)

We desire to know your personal opinion/perception on these questions...please don't directly quote books or websites because we are more interested in your personal views.

Please place the following in order based on how much is found in plain oats (no processing):
Fat, starch, sugar, fibre

Keep up the good work.
In order of highest to lowest concentration in oats:
Fibre, starch, sugars, fat.

However unprocessed oats are not highly digestible due to the tough seed coat.
Oats are a type of cereal - I would imagine that differences exist depending upon species variation, quality of soil, seasonal changes (rain, temperature, sun).

Carbohydrates (starch), then fiber, then fat...but again, I think storage (starch) would depend upon cultivation variations.
There is a wider variety of oats than many realize. Race horse oats, are an oat that is high in fiber, bulk and weight. It is a multi-head oat that is not as flowery as some, but substantial. The actual oat is often fatter and squater than other oats. Wild oats, surprisingly, highly undesirable as they are to the farmer in his crop, are actually higher in food value than regular oats. You can even buy them in the store...but they are a thinner oat, therefore...more oats to make a bushel,etc. To be honest, my husband seeds oats every few years, and uses it as a nurse crop when we re-seed hay. But I don't know what type he has actually bought. However, notice huge difference depending on moisture, etc through the growing time, when we go to combine. Milling oats were actually grown by us a few years ago...and they are awesome. Lighter shell it seemed, juicy fat in size and when rolled split out very nicely. Horses love oats, chuckle, but that year, it seemed like they liked them even more. Also nice when I did up some warm feed for the older horses a couple of times (just treat...change of taste) nicely the milling oats, rolled, took to the hot water.
Whole oats instead of rolled or crushed oats are being advocated by bare foots specialists as being the best cereal to give to horses because the fat in the oat kernel stays in tack. Once the kernel is crushed or split the oil oxidizes and the properties of the oats are greatly reduced. Some people think that it just goes right threw the horse but looking closer to the manure you will see it is just the husk. The insides are all gone. Also oats do not make a horse produce more acid than needed to digest unlike some of the so called complete feeds that tend to cause ulcers in horses. Also oats are cheaper. Of course you do not feed just oats alone. AND oats do not cause a horse to be hot or excited. Years ago horses as a work animal were given oats and hay with perhaps some minerals added. There were not any complete feeds.
Whole oats: These are as they come from the field, complete with the husks (or outer casing). This means they have the highest fibre level of all oats and grains. However, very young horses or veterans with teeth problems may have difficulty chewing these, so will not get the full nutritional benefit.

Here are the types of oats fed to our equine friends in past and present.
Bruised oats: The husk of the oat is broken to allow access to the nutrients. Bear in mind that this process will shorten the shelf life of the oats to a few weeks.

Rolled oats: Rolling has a similar effect to bruising. Traditionally, horsemen would buy whole oats and roll them on an ad hoc basis to maximise storage time.

Crimped oats: This process damages the husk and increases the surface area, so the digestive juices can get to work more effectively.

Clipped oats: Oats are often clipped alongside bruising. The ends of the grain are trimmed to give a neater final product.

Crushed oats: This is a rougher process, which involves breaking both the husk and the kernel of the oat. This makes them slightly more digestible, but they suffer from an even shorter shelf life.

Naked oats: These are not processed, but are grown to have loose husks that are shed when harvested. This lowers the fibre content and increases digestibility. In addition, they have a third more digestible energy and protein than a standard oat, plus they are high in oil. These elements are the 'rocket fuel' in oats.

As to the varieity of oats or species,oats are part of the grasses family, the Gramineae.(taken from Eat more oats web site)
Common Oat (Tree Oat), Avena sativa
This is the most important of the cultivated oats. In 1955, 146 varieties of common oats were listed, most of which were grown to some degree commercially somewhere in the United States. Many new winter and sprint varieties have been released since then, and many are no longer grown. These different varieties differ in vigor, height, grain shape and grain size.
Red Oat, Avena byzantina
A number of important cultivated of both winter and spring varieties are included in this species. Red oat varieties are the kinds generally grown in the southern half of the United States. Fifty varieties of red oats, many of which are still cultivated, have been identified..
Large Naked Oat (Hull-less Oat), Avena nuda
In this species the kernel is loose within the hull. The origin of this species is thought to have been Central and Eastern Asia. Only a fewl varieties of Avena nuda are grown
Side Oats (Common Side Oats), Avena sativa ssp orientalis
This sub-species is of much less economic importance in the United States than the common oat since varieties of it are generally of the spring type. Eighteen varieties of side oats have been identified, none of which are grown extensively.
Small Naked Oat, Avena nudibrevis
A small type of oat that is not grown commercially in the United States.
Wild Red Oat, Avena steriles
This species is believed to be that from which cultivated red oats developed. Three varieties are recognized. This species has become naturalized in some areas in this country but is not in cultivation.
Desert Oat, Avena wiestii
This species, introduced into this country for study, appears native to the Eastern Mediterranean Area. The species is also not in cultivation.
Slender Oat, Avena barbata
This species has small, weak stems, resulting in a ground-lying growth habit with seeds that fall to the ground at maturity. The species is now widely distributed throughout the world and its origin is believed to be Europe. The species is not grown as a grain crop but has become naturalized widely. In California it is a reseeding range grass.
Sand Oat, Avena strigosa
The species is widely distributed in Europe and bas become naturalized in California. It is not grown as a grain crop.
Abyssinian Oat, Avena abyssinica
This species is similar to the desert oat, Avena wiestii. This species is grown to some extent in Ethiopia (formerly Abyssinia) but not in the United States.
Wild Oat, Avena fatua
This species is now widely distributed throughout temperate regions and is a troublesome weed in Northern States and Canada. The plant resembles the common oat, Avena sativa, but is more vigorous. This species has some value as hay or pasturage but is not grown for grain.


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