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By Kentucky Equine Research Staff · January 21, 2010
Teff hay is a warm-season grass that thrives in a variety of climates and soil types. Despite low resistance to frost and pests, researchers have recently tested teff to see how the grass stacks up against cool-season standbys, timothy and orchardgrass.
Using mature Quarter Horse mares, researchers at Pennsylvania State University evaluated the nutrient composition, voluntary dry matter intake (DMI), and apparent digestibility of teff hay cut at three different stages of maturity to determine its usefulness as hay. The hay was harvested at the boot, early-head, and late-head stages of maturity throughout the summer.
Nutrient composition revealed nonstructural carbohydrates (NSC) increased from 5.4% in the boot stage to 8.4% in the late-head stage, while concentrations of crude protein, potassium, iron, and manganese decreased. The calcium-to-phosphorus ratio was approximately 2:1 for all maturities. According to the researchers, the nutrient content of the boot and early-head maturities was sufficient to nearly meet (90-95%) average energy requirements...
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