Oats for feed

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Jeanne - Simme Valley

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Hubby always had me add oats and less corn if one of our show animals was getting any fat on them. If they got a scoop of our show ration, I would change to 1/2 scoop show ration and 1/2 scoop whole oats. Worked great.
Now, I have a very respected cattle friend telling me that OATS will put fat on the cattle more than corn.
What do you guys say?
 
Oats have a higher fat content than corn, oats used to be a cheap but very good feed. I know several cattlemen that fatten steers on oats, they say it doesn't take as long and with better marbling.
Oats have tripled in price here, corn is our go to because of price
 
Oats have a higher protein than corn but I have not seen anywhere that it says oats have more fat. Oats also have more fiber, so "fill 'em up" more than corn. We always fed oats to cut down on the amount of corn and for the fiber .... seems to digest better in calves too and not the acidosis problem. Have to agree with your hubby.
 
Back when my land lord had cows he finished a hfr that didn't get bred. Strictly on oats and hay. Sent her on the kill to Tyson. She graded choice yg3. I was totally surprised. Oats are higher in fiber than corn and have less energy.
 
Corn is loaded with a lot more sugars, simple starches, etc than many other grains. This is doubly true for almost all livestock if it's cracked or split or milled way down for broken mouthed stock. There's nothing inherently wrong with this if you're trying to put fat/meat on a slaughter animal's bones, maintain a show weight, or have an animal like a good mule or horse that works like a Singer sewing machine. This is why I grimace when I see the sweet old ladies with just a few pasture ornaments leaving the feed store with bags and bags of corn. If they ever have to move those types of cows, they'll have to roll 'em to the ramp.
 
I have been feeding barley to a beef. She really filling out well. I don't really know the difference between oats and barley.
 
Lee, are you agreeing that oats do not put fat on like corn?
To a degree, Dad raised oats and we would start calves on it.. I don't recall being concerned with foundering as much as corn.
I know we fed oats and whey to the hogs (which I hated) Hogs that is, Probably the reason I turned Messianic, not really..
By the time I got on my own they were not economically viable although I like the smell of fresh oat straw and how the baby pigs
liked it, before they become hogs of course! You do realize that my agreeing with you could move the sun 15 degrees in the
wrong direction !?
 
To a degree, Dad raised oats and we would start calves on it.. I don't recall being concerned with foundering as much as corn.
I know we fed oats and whey to the hogs (which I hated) Hogs that is, Probably the reason I turned Messianic, not really..
By the time I got on my own they were not economically viable although I like the smell of fresh oat straw and how the baby pigs
liked it, before they become hogs of course! You do realize that my agreeing with you could move the sun 15 degrees in the
wrong direction !?
Hog mamas are cheap enough that if you sell them as sucklings she'll be paid for in her first generation of piglets. You only ever have to have two pigs on the property long term, her and dad. You don't even have to do that technically. Piglets can be bought on the cheap from home hobbyists and overstocked small farms and backgrounded for a short spell and flipped. Requires a dedicated space though.
"Yeah, well I may not be rich but I ain't never said a word to a pig" -Jake Spoon, Lonesome Dove
 
The quality of oats matter, but generally replacing up to 1/3 of the corn in a ration with oats = no significant difference in weight gain.

In 2020 Bill Couser of Couser Cattle Company in Iowa did a feed trial replacing 22% of corn with oats and found no significant difference in body weights, animal performance or carcass quality. However at 2020 prices he found using oats cost him double per pound of corn replaced.

Oats is graded on pounds per bushel
usda #1 oats 36+ lbs per bushel and 72% TDN
usda #2 oats 33-36 lbs and 69% TDN
light weight oats under 32 lbs 66% TDN

Historically oats averages 12.5% protein
but newer high yielding oat varieties have a hard time breaking 10% protein

Oats is a grain and all grains can cause acidosis.
Cattle under 10 months of age chew their food and perform well on whole oats.
But because of small kernel size, feeding whole oats after 10 months of age resulted in a 5% reduction in performance in feed trials.

So to answer your question Jeanne, unless you're feeding your cows whole oats instead of grinding or rolling it, there is no difference from corn.
 
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The quality of oats matter, but generally replacing up to 1/3 of the corn in a ration with oats = no significant difference in weight gain.

In 2020 Bill Couser of Couser Cattle Company in Iowa did a feed trial replacing 22% of corn with oats and found no significant difference in body weights, animal performance or carcass quality. However at 2020 prices he found using oats cost him double per pound of corn replaced.

Oats is graded on pounds per bushel
usda #1 oats 36+ lbs per bushel and 72% TDN
usda #2 oats 33-36 lbs and 69% TDN
light weight oats under 32 lbs 66% TDN

Historically oats averages 12.5% protein
but newer high yielding oat varieties have been having a hard time breaking 10% P

Oats is a grain and all grains can cause acidosis.
Cattle under 10 months of age chew their food and perform well on whole oats.
But feeding whole oats after 10 months of age resulted in a 5% reduction in performance in feed trials.

So to answer your question unless you're feeding your cows whole oats instead of grinding or rolling it, there is no difference from corn.
This is where it all comes into play. If you're finishing one for yourself or a freezer beef to sell it can work pretty good, but I wouldn't make it a growing ration for stockers or anything. Unless you're selling it to yourself or somebody's freezer then this is a numbers game and pounds on the scale matter more than process.
 
This is where it all comes into play. If you're finishing one for yourself or a freezer beef to sell it can work pretty good, but I wouldn't make it a growing ration for stockers or anything.
Feeding trials have shown that as long as the oats is processed (Grinding or Rolling) There is no statistical difference in performance by replacing up to 1/3 of the corn in a ration with oats. It all comes down to price of corn per lb vs price of oats per lb.
 
Feeding trials have shown that as long as the oats is processed (Grinding or Rolling) There is no statistical difference in performance by replacing up to 1/3 of the corn in a ration with oats. It all comes down to price of corn per lb vs price of oats per lb.
I'm only referring to whole oats. Sorry if I didn't clarify, I'm far from the best at clarifying.
 
Hog mamas are cheap enough that if you sell them as sucklings she'll be paid for in her first generation of piglets. You only ever have to have two pigs on the property long term, her and dad. You don't even have to do that technically. Piglets can be bought on the cheap from home hobbyists and overstocked small farms and backgrounded for a short spell and flipped. Requires a dedicated space though.
{"Yeah, well I may not be rich but I ain't never said a word to a pig" -Jake Spoon}, Lonesome Dove
Thank you for the information. I am sure what you say is true, albeit I would have hung Jake as well.
 
Lee - we can agree to some things pertaining to CATTLE!! LOL
Hubby also taught me that oats were "safe" to start calves. He said it was more like feeding good hay - as far as them getting sick on it vs a heavy corn ration.
Anyway, yes, I'm talking whole oats. I didn't look up the protein value vs corn (corn 9%).
I couldn't believe my "teachings" were so far off - since Kenny was a nutritionist for a good number of years out here. He would work out our grain ration for our show cattle.
Thanks.
 

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