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Discussion on Teff Hay

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Nancy E. Hodges
Member
Username: kg6hdp

Post Number: 19
Registered: 8-2006
Posted on Sunday, Feb 24, 2008 - 6:44 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hay is hard to get this time of year, and I'm almost out of hay. When I went to my hay dealer, he had orchard grass hay and teff hay. I liked the looks of the teff over the orchard grass, and the teff was cheaper.

I have four donkeys. One has Cushings and is insulin resistant, but he has never foundered and is reasonably healthy. He's on Pergolide. Another donkey is prone to founder.

I picked up two bales of the teff to try out. The only thing they could tell me was that the protein content was 11%. They picked out two bales with courser stalks as I thought that would be safer (more fiber). Teff is a grain, but the hay looks similar to a ryegrass. Does anyone know the sugar content of teff hay? Teff is a grain, and I have been told to avoid cereal grain hays as they are too sweet for equines with Cushings and insulin resistance. One of the men that works at the hay barn actually tasted the hay. He said that it was somewhat sweet but not as sweet as the three-way (oat/wheat/barley).

If the teff is okay, I'll get more. If not, I'll shop around for some more hay. The orchard grass, though a grade 2, is a very dark green. The donkeys aren't too fond of orchard grass. My vet thinks something a little coarser than orchard grass would be better too.

Nancy
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: dro

Post Number: 20129
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Monday, Feb 25, 2008 - 6:13 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello Nancy,
Teff is an African import grain that can be cut early for a high protein forage that is well accepted by livestock. It is being used more and more around the country as a supplemental annual forage as it is easily overseeded and grows rapidly. The US reports I can find on the internet have been positive and a history of Teff usage says it has been used overseas for over 100 years as horse feed. I have not seen any work on sugar content but if grain is present on the stalks would expect it to be high.
DrO
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Angie J.
Member
Username: ajudson1

Post Number: 1616
Registered: 6-2003
Posted on Monday, Feb 25, 2008 - 8:26 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

DrO, Nancy,

I did some research on Teff and I am interested in it as a pasture grass. I don't own any farm equipment so I do frost seeding every other year, with a broadcast seeder, of a mix of clover, timothy, and others I can't think of right now. I get lots of clover growth, not much else.

I'd like to try Teff later in the season.

My question is:

It says it's similar to Timothy, do you know what the sugar content of Timothy is when grazed before seeds develope? Mine would be grazed before grains developed.

Thanks Nancy for bringing Teff to our attention. With the weather extremes we've been having I think our horses will be eating a real smorgasboard of new feeds.

I used to grow orchard grass and my horses didn't like it much either. And it stinks to mow as it is a clump grass.
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Nancy E. Hodges
Member
Username: kg6hdp

Post Number: 20
Registered: 8-2006
Posted on Tuesday, Feb 26, 2008 - 12:46 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Teff grain is VERY tiny, and the hay I have has little grain.

I found a lot of general information regarding teff when I googled it. It isn't good for pasture because it doesn't take hoof traffic. It requires much less water than most other hays, so, with drought and water restrictions, teff is attractive to hay farmers.

I found a mention of teff hay in a BAEN forum. One person said that he had his teff hay tested and the NSC (non-structural carbohydrate, I think) was only 8%. I sure hope this is true.

My donkeys all eat it. Two of the four eat it first before the "pasture grass" hay I've been feeding. It is a little high in protein for the donkeys, but it's still cold here (for California anyway..)

Nancy
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: dro

Post Number: 20132
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Tuesday, Feb 26, 2008 - 5:56 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Important is to be sure to buy a new hay well before you are out of the old so that they can be introduced to the new hay slowly.
DrO
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Angie J.
Member
Username: ajudson1

Post Number: 1617
Registered: 6-2003
Posted on Tuesday, Feb 26, 2008 - 9:03 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thanks Nancy,

When I googled it I did find it had a shallow root system but I am thinking that if I am only using it as over seeding, meaning seeding it in an existing pasture using no till method, I might still benefit from it. I'll ask at the local feed mill next time I visit if they can get it, if not I think I'll try ordering some online. Unless it's outrageously expensive, I won't be out much if it don't work out as I only have about 2 acres.

I found pictures at http://www.targetseed.com

If I do go with it, I'll report back at the end of the summer.
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Tonya Bauer
Member
Username: pbauer

Post Number: 399
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Tuesday, Feb 26, 2008 - 6:25 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dear Nancy,


Great information! Many thanks.



Dear Angie,


Thank you for the link. Target Seed, LLC. offers a "Military Discount" as follows:

Target Seed, LLC wishes to Thank those Brave Men and Women Serving in the Military and for the Many Sacrifices they and their families have endured in our behalf. In recognition of this service, Target Seed is offering a discount for seed purchased by anyone who has served in the military or has sons or daughters who have served.

"Thanks and may God Bless you"



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Brandi Reinert
Member
Username: brandi

Post Number: 112
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Saturday, Feb 21, 2009 - 8:10 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi all, kind of an old post, but I have been feeding Teff to my very easy-keeper Friesian with great results. It is talked about as a low-NSC feed from 2 of my feed suppliers, though I find only moderate documentation of that on-line. My Friesian does fantastic on it, and I'm having a hard time keeping the other horses away from it (the rest get Timothy), but most of them love it, 4 of the 6 prefer it over Timothy. My Friesian has lost 100 lbs in the past year, but he gets a grazing muzzle during all turnout, so that's the biggest reason for the weight loss. I have been reluctant to feed it to my older horses, because I want them to get the best nutrition, but it's hard to say "No" when they love the hay so much and I love the price (literally $7 cheaper per bale than timothy!). I'm going to continue looking for more analysis. Anyone who has any opinions or data please feel free to share! Thanks!
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