I am moving to a boarding facility where as part of the deal, I pay for my own feed. Currently she is eating a oat/wheat/barley/alf mix which I am taking her off of because she wastes most of it. She doesnt like the stalky stuff. I plan on feeding 1 or 2 flakes of alfalfa am + pm, and then free feeding something else to keep feed in her tummy. I have the option of orchard grass, timothy, or buy the teff hay from the barn owner for much cheaper. $15 a bale as opposed to $20 for the other two.
Has anyone had experience with teff? I would really like to try it but until now I have never heard of it. The hay is fine stemmed but bright green. Is this how teff is supposed to look? My mare likes to eat but it has to taste good too. Is it pretty easy on stomachs?
As for my other choices, if I go with orchard which is a mainstay around here I might as well free feed her the alf/grass mix my feed store stocks. I have feed orchard forever, never been disappointed but I want to explore my options.
I haven't had much experience with timothy. It is normally more expensive and never kept in stock. Now they are stocking it regularly, and since all hay prices are insanely high, everything is fair game.
Oh and the mare is a 15 yr old, TB mare that I event at training/prelim.
If the teff is good hay - fresh, smells good, you know - then got for it. It's most likely, though not guaranteed, of all those hays to be the lowest in sugar, and many horses LOVE it. Being the least $$ is an added bonus, and the #1 reason to give it a try if it's comparable in quality to the rest of the choices
Before you start comparing cost of bale to bale, make sure you're also looking at comparable bale weights.
______________________________ The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET
Penn State did some research with teff in the last 2-3 years. Check their Equine Science Department website to see if the results are posted there. I have heard really great things about it, it's just not common to see it hear in the East.
My horses are currently eating Teff, they love the taste and I love the nutritional profile. While general statements should never be made about hays, over the past few years I've put up teff its always been fairly high protein, fairly high rfv and fairly low nsc. Can be high iron though for some reason, though likely just my neck of the woods.
Teff should be bright green, fine and soft, and very fragrant, like sunshine and honeysuckle. If you have a first cutting, seedheads are abundant and miniscule. I've only had second cutting once (its a warm season grass that has a short growing period), and it looked virtually the same as first cutting minus the seedheads.
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