In recent years, owing to the relatively low price of much of the imported barley, and of home - grown barley unsuitable for malting purposes, barley has been used to a considerable extent as a horse food. It is used in the form of malt, boiled barley, clamped barley-meal, and in the dry, crushed state. For every-day use damped barley-meal and dry crushed barley are chiefly employed. In either way it answers very well. Many people who would not think of giving barley have been using it without realizing it. For years many samples of oats have contained a large percentage of barley. After feeding the Birmingham Corporation cart-stud with 8 lbs. barley per horse per day in place of 8 lbs. oats for a period of eighteen months, the conclusion arrived at was that, given in this amount, along with maize and beans, no real practical difference could be recognized between barley, when so used, and oats. It is frequently the most economical food on the market, the relative prices of maize and barley often alternating in this respect. Where much barley is given, the faeces of the horses fed upon it are generally rather softer in character than the faeces of those fed on oats, but the writer has failed to observe any itching condition of the skin, as is sometimes ascribed to its use.
Good feeding barley should be bright, sweet, clean, hard, and dry. Much of the imported barley contains a large proportion of dirt, and in that case it should be thoroughly cleaned before being used for horse food.