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Hay Costal Bermuda, Fescue, Orchard or Teff?

allen227

Member
Cavy Slave
Joined
Jan 2, 2010
Messages
9
I am going to buy a bale instead of small quantities and have located a supplier with Coastal Bermuda and Fescue, not sure if it is mixed or if he has two different types. Atother supplier has Orchard and Teff, not to sure what Teff is but they are two different types not a mix. Which of these 4 different types of bales would be best, this will be there staple for some time along with some pellets and occasional veggies. I will probably be going with the Bermuda he is close and it is available now. If this is not a good choice please let me know asap as I am picking it up soon today.
 
Bermuda is fine. There is controversy on the Fescue, so I personally would skip it just to be safe. Orchard is also fine. I am not sure about Teff.

When you go to get the hay - take a look at how coarse or soft it is. Depending on the cutting, you can get a great variation. Also be sure to know that it is pesticide free.

Right now, I have both orchard and timothy. The orchard is a softer grass (even through my timothy is second cut and also very soft), and it provides them lots of fun tunneling. My piggies seem to show no preference between the two, but I have noticed that their pee is stronger smelling when I am giving them the orchard. I have to say, I have a VERY sensitive nose, so perhaps the average person would not notice. I am not sure I will buy the orchard again when done with the current box.
 
There is controversy on the Fescue, so I personally would skip it just to be safe.

Could you elaborate? I have always read that fescue was a safe forage for pigs so this statement has me a little worried if it is true.
 
Thanks for the response I got a bale of coastal Bermuda for 5 bucks.
As far as the fescue controversy it is a safe grass. It is just that nationwide there has for several years been widespread contamination of fungus (endophytes) which I am not too sure exactly what effects it has on different animals but have read it is bad news.
 
Bermuda is fine. There is controversy on the Fescue, so I personally would skip it just to be safe. Orchard is also fine. I am not sure about Teff.

When you go to get the hay - take a look at how coarse or soft it is. Depending on the cutting, you can get a great variation. Also be sure to know that it is pesticide free.


Right now, I have both orchard and timothy. The orchard is a softer grass (even through my timothy is second cut and also very soft), and it provides them lots of fun tunneling. My piggies seem to show no preference between the two, but I have noticed that their pee is stronger smelling when I am giving them the orchard. I have to say, I have a VERY sensitive nose, so perhaps the average person would not notice. I am not sure I will buy the orchard again when done with the current box.


That's really interesting about your comment about the stronger smelling urine. Mine also seem to have strong smelling urine but never connected it with the orchard grass. I used to feed timothy and switched ti orchard grass due to allergies. At some point, their urine started to have a distinct odor to it and now I wonder if it is the orchard grass......
 
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The problem with fescue is that at one time, the vast majority of the fescue grown in the US was contaminated with endophytes that cause several severe problems in cattle, horses and goats. Studies on mice confirm problems with number of offspring in a litter and size of the offspring when they are fed fescue with endophytes.

Some fescue fields have been cleared of the endophytes, and the problem is not as widespread as it once was. However, you can't tell by looking at the fescue whether it's contaminated or not, so there's no way to know if you're feeding clean fescue or not.

Given that so many other animals have problems with the endophytes, I'd avoid fescue entirely unless there's some way of certifying that the source is free of them.

Teff is a grass hay, but is new to this country. It's been grown in north Africa for sometime. A few horse farmers have reported no problems with it when used as food but there's not a lot of information available on it.
 
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