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Teff Grass Hay is becoming popular - What is it?

  • By: Farm Tender "Prime"
  • Jan 03, 2018

At Farm Tender we seem to be selling alot of Teff seed right now with the view of making hay. Here is a bit more about Teff Grass Hay.

The New Low Carbohydrate Hay for Horses Teff is considered a premium hay for a wide range of livestock including dairy, beef, sheep and horses. The “soft forage” is very palatable and readily consumed as dry hay, silage or pasture by livestock.

Teff is a premium hay alternative for a wide range of livestock including dairy, beef, sheep, and horses. Its quality comparison to timothy hay has made it a popular choice for horse owners. Recent horse feeding studies conducted by Pennsylvania State has demonstrated that Tiffany Teff would be a good choice for horse owners looking for relatively low non-structural carbohydrate hay (W.B.Staniar et al., Penn State Univ.)
Protein content of Teff hay ranges from 12 to17% depending on the growth stage or maturity.

Teff hay is high in calcium as well as phosphorus, iron, copper, aluminium, barium, and thiamine. Potassium levels have been reported in some hays in the 2.5 to 3.0% range. Nitrate and nitrite content is low under normal fertility conditions.

As with most forage crops, quality and digestibility decreases with maturity and fibre content increases. For optimal nutritional value, a crop cutting interval avoiding seed head formation is recommended. Teff also has higher ratings in several key forage quality factors when compared to other summer annual forage alternatives. If harvested at optimal maturity, Teff’s Relative Feed Value (RFV, a measure of the forage’s intake and energy value) has been reported to be as much as 15 percent greater; and crude protein, 9 percent greater.

Preliminary testing has indicated that Teff may also be an excellent choice for dairy and/or beef producers. One dairy producer in Idaho, Harmon Tobler, commented that he was very surprised by the apparent high palatability of Teff. The preference of his animals for Teff over other high quality hays including alfalfa was often dramatic.

“They will eat Teff whenever you put it in front of them even if they are full from their normal feed ration”. He commented that dairymen are missing the boat if they don’t try and utilize Teff in their feed ration.