There are a large number of raw materials that go into creating optimal diets for Sportsman customers, and each is carefully assessed for its suitability and benefit to the birds. One of the raw materials available for possible use in game feed is oats, as well as its processed form, oatfeed.

Oats
Porridge eaters will be aware of the benefits of oats in the human diet, being high in fibre and often promoted for their slow digestion and ability to provide a filling meal. The high fibre content (12% vs. 2% in wheat) helps to slow the passage of the feed, such that oats act more as a filler in the diet. This is similar in the case of animal feeds but there is little other nutritive value in oats, being low in protein (10 vs. wheat 10.7%) and energy (10.6 vs. wheat 13.1 MJ/kg). The low metabolisable energy content of oats is related to its high fibre level and the higher energy levels required in game feeds, particularly those designed for young birds and breeding birds, make oats less suitable for inclusion in these feeds. In addition, the higher fibre level of oats may make achieving good pellet quality of the feed more difficult.

Oatfeed
Oatfeed is the by-product of the processing of oats and consists of a mix of the oat hull and meal. It is generally lower in oil (4.4%), protein (6.8%), energy (3 MJ/kg) and minerals than whole oats (6.6%, 10% and 10.6 MJ/kg, respectively).  The very low energy level of oatfeed relates to its much higher fibre level (19%). This again makes oatfeed a less desirable raw material for use in game feeds. Further, analysis of oatfeed shows that it has a much higher risk than other raw materials for contamination with mycotoxins. Mycotoxins are toxic metabolites produced by fungi which are negative for bird performance.

Conclusion
Accordingly, Sportsman have made the decision that neither oats nor oatfeed will be used in Sportsman rations as other ingredient are more beneficial.
Sportsman customers can remain assured that a wide range of raw materials is considered and carefully assessed for their potential inclusion in game feeds, and that the final feed produced is of the best nutritional quality for their bird’s needs.