Give to Teff Research Studies at Washington State University

give-to-wsu

Would you like to support Washington State University’s research of Teff – development, growing, managing, and improvement of its valuable properties? Please donate to WSU’s “Teff Hay for Horses Research” using this link.

Knowledge Is Power.

Power to Make the Right Choices &
Be An Informed Consumer.

LEARN

LCHH knows that the world wide web and the general equestrian community uses “low carb” much too loosely resulting in much confusion on the topic. That’s why LCHH has attempted to draw clear lines as to what is truly ‘low-carb’ and categorized three levels of low-carb forage, so you and your veterinarian can determine which is appropriate for your horses’ diet.

ben-and-fransen-coring-mieirs-field-july-28-smTeff hay has long been recognized as a potential hay source for horses at risk for laminitis due to its relatively low average non structural carbohydrates and moderate digestible energy values. However, sourcing great teff hay is a BIG challenge!

Did you know that Natalie Shaw, the entrepreneur behind LCHH, is leading the charge for low-carb teff hay research? Natalie started her Master’s degree at Washington State University with a singular mission:

Learn how to grow and harvest teff grass to be low in non-structural carbohydrates.

Here at LCHH’s website, hay growers will find resources for making low-carbohydrate teff hay for horses. Horse owners will find answers to their questions about feeding their sugar-sensitive equines. Veterinarians can stay up-to-date on the latest “low-carb” research to make the best feeding recommendations for diseased horses.

 

“Never take nutrition advise from someone who doesn’t ask about your horse’s primary forage first!”

– Natalie Shaw, BS PAS

Definitions

What do the “Low-Carb” Levels Mean? At LCHH we use the total non-structural carbohydrates percentage to describe the “low-carb” nature of forage and feed. LCHH draws clear lines as to what is truly ‘low-carb’ and categorized three levels of low-carb forage: <10%, <13%, and <16%. The decisions behind these levels stem from key research on laminitis, Polysaccharide Storage Myopathy (PSSM), and Equine Metabolic Syndrome (EMS). Forages less than 10% NSC are ideal for horses with the most severe metabolic diseases and at the highest risk for laminitis. Forages less than 13% may be easier to find and/or cost less for those horses with moderate sugar-starch sensitivities. The 16% or less NSC forages qualify for the LCHH certification due to a research study of PSSM by Dr. Stephanie Valberg. For more information about feeding PSSM horses click HERE.  

Forage Products = any grass or legume species grown for horse or livestock consumption. Forage products can be packaged in large or small bales, processed in cubes or pellets, and come in a variety of combinations (i.e. grass- alfalfa mixes).

Non-Structural Carbohydrates (NSC) % = Water Soluble Carbohydrates (WSC) % + Starch %: Carbohydrates represent an enormous category of molecules from very complex like celery sticks to very simple like table sugar. When a sample of feed or forage is sent to an analytical laboratory, a chemist is able to test for a multitude of plant carbohydrates. Standard laboratory practice is to report WSC, ESC and starch. However, due to equine nutrition research on the topic, we report NSC value to represent the major carbohydrates influencing the horse.

teff-two-feet-smTeff Hay = A warm season grass originating from Ethiopia. Teff hay is the perfect horse hay for metabolic horses, because ON AVERAGE is tests lower in NSC values than the average cool season grass hays like orchardgrass and timothy. In addition, it’s soft, thin stem makes it palatable to horses especially the easy keepers that need to be on low-carb hay.

Teff Hay = A warm season grass originating from Ethiopia. Teff hay is the perfect horse hay for metabolic horses, because ON AVERAGE is tests lower in NSC values than the average cool season grass hays like orchardgrass and timothy. In addition, it’s soft, thin stem makes it palatable to horses especially the easy keepers that need to be on low-carb hay.

Warm Season versus Cool Season Grasses = Warm and cool season grasses differ in the way that they metabolize carbohydrates for storage and energy production. Examples of warm season grasses include teff, sudan, canary grass, and bermuda grass. Cool season grasses include timothy, orchard grass, fescue, and bluegrass.

Learn How to Take a Representative Forage Sample

One of the primary goals of LCHH is to standardize the low carb forage testing process. The first step in that process is to make sure that all LCHH forages are sampled in an appropriate manner, and therefore, are representative of the entire lot. Proper sampling techniques ensure the safety and quality of the forages we feed our horses. The link below will take you to the National Forage Testing Association (NFTA) website where you can learn, test, and earn your certification.

Become a NFTA Certified Hay Sampler

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