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. It is similar to Timothy hay, with a crude protein content of 9-14%, and total digestibility of 55 – 64%.
Teff is a preferred forage for horses, with relatively low non-structural carbohydrates as confirmed by University trials. Teff hay is high in calcium as well as phosphorous, iron, copper, aluminium, barium and thiamine, and adequate potassium levels. Like other grasses and legumes, teff’s forage quality decreases with maturity and should be harvested just before heading to maximise relative feed quality.
Horses are grazing animals. They need a high-fibre, low carbohydrate diet containing 8 percent to 10 percent protein to keep the gut working on a continuous basis. Horses that receive insufficient amounts of fibre are more likely to develop colic, due to obstructions not moving through the intestines properly.
For those of you who do not only consider their horses, but give attention to their own and their family’s nutrient requirement, it is interesting to learn that teff was a much sought after product by ancient Ethiopians and Abyssinians who made bread from teff seed. Two sub headings extracted from the article described in the link below may be of interest:
Ancient Grain Becomes a Modern Staple!
The Tiny Grain with Big Health Benefits
Some links with information about equine nutrition:
Discerning horse owners prefer teff hay for their animals and often pay a premium to their hay providers.