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Alf, Orchard, Timothy, or... Teff????

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  • Alf, Orchard, Timothy, or... Teff????

    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.

  • #2
    We feed Teff to our pasture horses along with some alfalfa in the AM. Our horses love the Teff and eat every piece of it. Practically no Teff is wasted.


    • #3
      I have never fed teff, but am a huge fan of orchard hay. Mine is so nice and rich in protein (the later cuttings) that there is no need to add alfalfa.

      How big is a bale? An extra $5/bale is a lot if the bales are small, but if a bale will last you a long time it might not be that big a cost hike, particularly if the horse isn't wasting hay.
      Click here before you buy.


      • #4
        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


        • #5
          Thanks for posting this thread. My hay person just notified me they got in some Teff--will now give it a try.


          • Original Poster

            The bales are all about 100lbs, and im a college student so if my mare will do well on teff, thats the option i would like to go. I think I am going to give it a try.


            • #7
              Go with the Teff. My horses love it and it tests very well vs other grass hays. Like usual, make sure it was harvested in good shape.
              Comprehensive Equestrian Site Planning and Facility Design


              • #8
                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.
                "You can't fix stupid"- Ron White


                • #9
                  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.
                  Being terrible at something is the first step to being truly great at it. Struggle is the evidence of progress.


                  • #10
                    And you really can ignore the iron level from a test on hay. Sooooo much of that is inorganic, unavailable iron that is in the soil that is on the grass/hay
                    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


                    • #11
                      I got a few bales of Teff yesterday. Mine is not green, more of a straw color brown. Ponies ate every bit of it, although they did eat the orchard/fescue flake first.


                      • #12
                        I just got some teff from my regular hay suppliers as well. I have easy keepers and the low sugar is attractive to me from a management standpoint. My horses do NOT like it. I have one that eats it begrudgingly and two that are refusing to eat it at all, even after a gradual introduction/switchover from my orchard/timothy/bluegrass mix.

                        I'm sure they will come around . . .


                        • #13
                          Thread is over 6 years old, OP hasn't been on here since Dec 2012.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Suspiria View Post
                            I just got some teff from my regular hay suppliers as well. I have easy keepers and the low sugar is attractive to me from a management standpoint. My horses do NOT like it. I have one that eats it begrudgingly and two that are refusing to eat it at all, even after a gradual introduction/switchover from my orchard/timothy/bluegrass mix.

                            I'm sure they will come around . . .
                            They might not come around. I would give them a few days to stop pouting, but if they still refuse to eat it and are looking thinner, I would feed them what they like to eat. JMO.


                            • #15
                              Well excuse me, tazycat. I will ask your permission before I post ever again.