Late-maturing Dark Horse, and early-maturing High Speed oat varieties were seeded on March 3, 2016 and harvested on three periods: May 31, June 10, and June 20 coded as early, mid, and late-harvest, respectively. Dried and ground samples were subjected to chemical analysis to determine nutritional values such as crude protein (CP), neutral detergent fiber (NDF), acid detergent fiber (ADF), ether extract (EE), organic matter (OM), and total digestible nutrient (TDN). Effective degradability (ED) of nutrients and fermentation characteristics including volatile fatty acid (VFA) composition, pH, gas production, and ammonia-N concentration were evaluated through an in vitro digestion method. Varieties of oat hays showed significant difference in terms of nutritional value, ED, and fermentation characteristics. Dark Horse showed higher CP and OM, and lower EE contents than High Speed. Dark Horse also showed higher EDDM (dry matter), NDF, ADF, and OM than High Speed, and although High Speed showed higher pH and ammonia-N, it had lower gas and total VFA production than Dark Horse. However, in terms of harvest period, significant difference was only observed in Dark Horse where early-harvest increased the CP, and late-harvest increased the NDF and OM contents. In addition, early-harvest of Dark Horse increased the EDDM and EDNDF of the forage. Therefore, early-harvest of late-maturing Dark Horse would give better nutrient efficiency than High Speed. Allowing Dark Horse to advance in maturity would decrease its nutrient productivity and efficiency.