Under this regime the hay is cut into chaff, all dust being removed during the process by appropriate machinery, and the grain, after all extraneous matters are removed, is cracked but not crushed. The chaff and cracked grain are then thoroughly mixed together, and the mixture is then ready for use. The chaff is better to be fairly long than too short. Long chaff retards the process of mastication and secures additional time for gastric digestion.
When grain is crushed too fine, a certain quantity of meal is made. This gives a dusty character to the mixed food, and many horses leave the finer portions in the mangers. By thoroughly cracking all grain its thorough mastication is facilitated, and by not grinding it too fine, waste is prevented.
One great advantage attendant upon the use of mixed food is the security it gives that the grain will be thoroughly masticated. A horse cannot swallow chaff without first masticating it, and during the mastication of the chaff he of necessity masticates the grain.