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The bottom line to remember is that straw won’t compete with your plants, but hay will. I went to the Scarborough Fair and checked out the 4-H animals but never … If you’re buying straw as a growing medium, you’ll want to look for a farmer who doesn’t treat his fields with these chemicals. but hay is generally grasses, and also some grains, leaves, and legumes that have been harvested, dried and baled for use as animal fodder (or feed) before the seeds have formed (the formation of the seeds lowers hay’s nutritional value). Loosely pack the straw in the shelter to the quarter or halfway point. Straw is preferred to hay as a grass seed mulch because of its lower seed content. It’s also used to feed rabbits, and as bedding for other small animals such as guinea pigs. Straw bale gardening works because the straw just composts, giving all its nutrients to your seeds. Hay is nutritious and contains many vitamins and minerals to help sustain livestock during the winter when they can’t graze for sustenance. Straw is stagnant. If you’re overwintering animals, hay is absolutely essential. Rake up grass before you collect it. There are three types of hay: legume, grass, and cereal. It’s full of nutrients and seeds, and is still living and changing, in a sense. In a first or second cut of hay (early in the season), the seed heads might not be mature enough to sprout much, or at all. Straw , on the other hand, consists of the stalk, seed coverings, dried stems, or leaves that have been separated from seeds. Note: References in the following discussion to calories, protein and amount consumed are on a dry matter basis; weight of the pasture or hay after… Once you do that, all your problems will go away. In Texas, pine straw is gathered from four species of yellow pine trees. If you don't want to mulch mow your leaves on the lawn, you can blow them onto a paved area and mulch mow them there. Although I quickly learned that hay is food and straw is bedding, I just assumed that all hay was the same. Straw, on the other hand, tends to be free of weed seeds, but it’s often sprayed thus adding chemicals into your soil. They’re both baled up into tight bricks of plant matter. Straw is a stalk, usually a waste product of wheat, that's used as bedding for barnyard animals. Hay is a grass that is harvested and used to feed cattle. Hay vs Straw: Both hay and straw have special uses in homesteading. Round bales are also available, at far more economical prices, for larger herds of livestock. Occasionally there will be some kernels left at the tips of the stalks (the chickens love to eat those! But I have never seen them eat hay. If you use hay to build your bale house, the long-term pressure your hay bales will have to withstand could cause them to burst into flame. Let’s take a look at straw vs hay, so you have a solid reference for the different ways you can use each of them. What’s the difference between the two anyway? He used straw. Hay comes from mowed, dried grass and is used as animal feed. However, if you are an advanced stages of animal husbandry, you may use the option of automatic grass harvest - in this case, you need to sow a field with grass, so your employee can ta… Hay vs Grass. When straw is baled sometimes some of the grain gets into the bales. Hay and straw are great as compost topping, as they can cover up egg shells, fruit peels, and vegetable ends to deter raiders. You want straw. In periods of drought, hay can also be used to feed animals when normal grazing is not enough. Hay and straw both start life out in the fields. Hay is left over from wheat/barely Chaff is chopped corn (a.k.a silage) if i remember right You can turn grass to dry it and then you can bale dry grass I believe you can use the special harvester to make the wheat/barley into silage not sure For cows/sheep you use a forage wagon to collect grass and put in grass feeding trough. Even better, they can help you make your own home and garden a bit more sustainable as well. First of all, we have to know the difference between hay and straw. Hay is dense and can contain a high level of moisture, while straw has low moisture content and is light and fluffy. Hay or straw can also create problems depending on the type you buy. Understanding the differences will help you see why they’re often used for different thing on farms and in gardens. It throws the grass around which becomes hay instantly. This is why straw is most often used as animal bedding in barns and hutches. The grass clippings will filter down into the tall grass and the straw will be below the mower blade. Even though these two words are used together, they actually differ in many aspects. Why is straw safe for building, but not hay? I speak from experience and having to de-thatch and rip up and re-topsoil and re-seed over 15,000 square feet. Then blow the leaf dust back to the lawn. In fact, it’s used almost exclusively to feed livestock such as horses, cows, and donkeys during the colder months. Silage. They look similar and both come tied up in bales, but hay and straw are two very different types of harvested material, each with a very different purpose on a farm. Straw vs Hay . Right now in our area, hay is selling for nearly $9/square bale. Straw is a stalk, usually a waste product of wheat, that's used as bedding for barnyard animals. What is the difference between Straw and Hay? In many parts of the world, farmers depend on hay to feed their cattle, sheep, or horses during the long winter period. Filling your chicken nesting boxes with straw can help prevent frozen eggs. The stuff you have will succomb to bacterial contamination and stink up your house in 4 days. They are not going to live inside straw tubes for very long, if at all. It might be filling to gnaw upon, but offers little nutritional value at all. Hayrides, barn floors, over-stuffed scarecrows and cows munching on grass – that’s what I knew growing up in Maine. Straw Difference Between Hay and Straw. If your grass is only 2 weeks from seeding and you've already mowed, I think your mower is set about 2 inches too low. Hay is the dried remains of a whole plant. Just keep turning over your compost to keep your bin from becoming a wheat field. You will have to water more often early in the season, but once you get rid of the weeds, growing in hay can be successful. Think of it this way: the hay will say “hey!” to your plants, and you don’t want them socializing. The grass clippings will filter down into the tall grass and the straw will be below the mower blade. Some people even build their compost bins out of hay bales! These hollow stems or straw, are baled up much like the hay in rectangular-shape bales. The main difference between Hay and Grass is that the Hay is a dried grass, legumes or other herbaceous plants and Grass is a family of plants. This cool season grass does best in the cooler months of fall, allowing the seed to get established and grow. Looks just like a straw broom, or hat. As your seedlings take root, you can gently weed out the remaining hay-growth around them. Take a deep breath. Straw ... Hay on the other hand is just grass with all the seeds… the good part for the animals who get protein from that part of the plant. Well, if you replace straw with hay bales, you’ll end up growing a bale of wheat. Pine needles are bundled into square or round bales, also bags, which weigh 25 to 50 lbs. Be aware that they are both very carbon heavy and need nitrogen to break down. Straw, on the other hand, consists of the stalk, seed coverings, dried … As such, it’s safe for seedlings and older plants alike. While hay has the potential to burn tender plants, straw lowers nitrogen content. Composting hay will add a few seeds to your bin, and you may end up with a lot of green, growing wheat plants during the summer months. ), but straw is mostly hollow stems. 4 thoughts on “Hay vs. Straw” Mrs. D. February 9, 2010 at 10:39 am OK I think I’ve heard it all now. You won’t be able to spray all the sprouting hay, but you’ll greatly reduce the hay-invasion. While it has fewer nutrients to offer, straw provides a lot of heat and neutral material to your compost bin. But later hay crops could sprout thousands of seeds. Straw is the more common choice, but hay can be used if needed. A good diatomaceous earth use (food grade) is to sprinkle it on the floor of our coop and in the nesting boxes as a natural way to kill parasites and also use lots of dried and fresh herbs in the coop which help repel them. While straw is bound into bales that look almost identical to rectangular hay bales, it’s not used as fodder for livestock. Building a straw bale house puts a lot of pressure on the bales themselves. In Farming Simulator 17, all you have to do is to use a tedder (the cheapest model costs 11 000$). In fact, a top coat of hay or straw is essential if you’re trying not to attract the local raccoon to your yard. Hay falls into several categories: grass, legume, mixed (grass and legume) and cereal grain straw (such as oat hay). Hay is basically a grass that is cut green, then dried and baled. Use gloves! Normally using straw is also the most economic choice for bedding that we have found around here so that’s what we use. Hay Vs. It refers to a tall cereal grain (like wheat or barley), grass, or occasionally a legume like alfalfa, harvested primarily as animal feed. You want straw, you've got hay. I’d suggest going the cover crop route before using hay or straw if you are looking to soil build. Ask around at your local farmer’s market, and you’re sure to find a few who can help you out. Remember how straw is just the stalk, with the seed head removed? But can you build a straw-bale house with hay? Hay also has regional variations. © 2021, Countryside - All Rights Reserved, Extract Natural Dye for Wool from Goldenrod Plants, Why Teach Classes on How to Knit, Spin, Weave or Felt, Countryside Machinery on the Homestead e-edition Flip Book. If you haven’t planted yet, but you’re seeing a lot of little, green hay sprouts, try spritzing the bale with a vinegar-soap-salt solution to kill the seedlings. The easiest way to tell the difference between straw and hay is the price: hay generally costs two or three times more than straw. Straw is drier, harder, and less changing than hay. Alfalfa hay seems to be the best for that, or there’s clover and many other types depending on what the predominate crop is in the hayfield. All the seeds in the hay that provide so much nutrition to animals will sprout and grow. Straw is far less expensive than hay in our area, selling for under $4/square bale. Unlike hay, straw isn’t nitrogen heavy, so if you’re compost pile is full of other nitrogen-rich materials like chicken manure and grass clippings, straw is better choice. Both are dried, but hay may sometimes be green while straw is golden yellow. Hay—typically alfalfa or a grass—is used as animal feed. • Hay can be used to feed animals where straw has many other purposes. Prices for hay depend on where you live, the time of year and the supply of hay available. Primarily, grass is used as animal feed. Hay is not as versatile as straw. Q. Mike knows a lot, and I love the show (I listen on KSFC; 91.9 FM), but on a recent program he referred to hay and straw as if they were interchangeable. Hay is just dehydrated grass but there are several differences between hay and the live plant that you need to take into consideration when adding pasture to the horse's diet. This means that straw is pretty low in nutrients. Straw bale homes are a popular alternative housing option. Hay and straw are different from each other, although when they are tied up into bales they look similar. What is Hay Made Of? In some parts of the country fescue, reed canary grass, ryegrass and Sudan grass are common. Oats can be grown for hay or oats and straw. This will result in a thicker, more lush lawn once the seed germinates and grows. The seeds from straw are often removed as they are the main product. In periods of drought, hay can also be used to feed animals when normal grazing is not enough. It has less weeds, is finer-stemmed, fertilized, and grown during the optimal growing season. After cereal grain grasses, such as wheat, rye and barley have been harvested for the grain-bearing seed head, the hollow stems of these grass plants remain. Grass can be harvested from any location, it doesn't have to be from your lots. Alfalfa, clover, and peanut are legume hays, while timothy, oat, bermuda, and orchard are examples of grass hays. And the previous statement can hold some tinge of truth with it. Hay is dried-out grass (at least in theory). Although goats can eat straw, there isn’t as much nutritional value in straw as there is in hay. It’s not the end of the world, or the end of your garden. Hay is not as versatile as straw. The easiest way to tell the difference between straw and hay is the price: hay generally costs two or three times more than straw. Hay is grass, legumes, or other herbaceous plants that have been cut and dried to be stored for use as animal fodder, particularly for large grazing animals raised as livestock, such as cattle, horses, donkeys, goats, and sheep.However, it is also fed to smaller domesticated animals such as rabbits and guinea pigs. Both straw and hay are great additions to the compost pile. ... round social media about people getting hay and straw mixed up so I thought I’d give you a whistle stop lesson in hay vs straw. Hay is usually gathered up into bales, and stored for the animals to eat during the winter when the grass is not growing. Cows need grass and hay/silage and power food haven't got to power food yet tho Power food is a mix of 1 part straw, 1 part hay or silage, and 2 parts hay or silage (whichever you didnt use already) Mixed together in a mixing wagon. They look the same. Hayrides, barn floors, over-stuffed scarecrows and cows munching on grass – that’s what I knew growing up in Maine. . • Straw is nutritionally poor than hay. Normally using straw is also the most economic choice for bedding that we have found around here so that’s what we use. ---Mary Beth in Spokane (Washington) A. Straw. Hay vs. Often the terms straw and Hay are used as synonyms. Stacking straw bales along the inside walls and allowing for a nice deep layer on the floor in the winter is an inexpensive way to insulate your coop. Silage is grass that has been cut and baled relatively quickly after being cut. – Hay is often the combination of several grasses and grains like alfalfa, brome, and timothy; clover and rye are often components. As such, it’s safe for seedlings and older plants alike. Straw is a by-product of the harvest, usually the stalks and stems of the cereal grains or grasses such as oats, barley, rye or wheat, which are harvested after the plants are dead, so straw is far drier and doesn’t smell nearly as good,  although I think it does still have a nice, albeit it fainter, farm-y smell! She prefered hay. Sort by reaction score Thread starter kimthom66; ... For the coop bedding I do a deep litter of pine shavings, grass clippings, leaves, whatever dry organic stuff I can find lol. Covering over grass seed with straw or hay helps prevent the seed from blowing away in wind, washing away in rain or getting eaten by birds. for more than five years and never had any problem whatsoever. The reason you put down straw is to help prevent the seed from drying out or being blown away. There are four types of hay: grass, legume, mixed (grass and legume), and cereal grain straw. For example, hay is a feed, while straw is a byproduct, and although both can be used for bedding, straw … Common varieties of legume hay for goats are alfalfa, clover, lespedeza, and birdsfoot trefoil. It’s just stalks, left to dry out in the field long after the hay has been baled and stored. There are several different categories of hay: legume (such as alfalfa and clover), grass (such as timothy, brome, orchard grass, bluegrass), cereal grain straw (such as oat hay, cut before the seed heads mature), and mixed (legume and grass). I know I have. Although goats can eat straw, there isn’t as much nutritional value in straw as there is in hay. Hooi komt van gemaaid, gedroogd gras en wordt gebruikt als veevoer. The reason behind this is the fact that hay is grass; hence it often contains seeds which tend to grow when it is used as mulch, as it comes into contact with soil and water. It makes up about half of the yield [clarification needed] of cereal crops such as barley, oats, rice, rye and wheat. Since straw is cheaper, dried and therefore less likely to mold or attract moisture, we buy straw … Grain grasses can be surprisingly sharp. They’ll often have untreated, or low-spray straw available for you. Why not? Hay contains seed and cause weeds to grow in your freshly planted grass. Straw – What’s The Difference? They’re easy to transport compared to larger bales, usually only weighing between 50 and 75 lbs. Blocks up to 12"X12"X6" for as cheap as a buck. Hay is derived from the Old English word, heg. Save yourself my headache! Straw is what remains after the grain has been removed (the seed). We buy both straw and hay at our local feed store. In this video I'll discuss the differences between hay and straw and the different uses of each. Hay is grass, legumes, or other herbaceous plants that have been cut and dried to be stored for use as animal fodder, particularly for large grazing animals raised as livestock, such as cattle, horses, donkeys, goats, and sheep.However, it is also fed to smaller domesticated animals such as rabbits and guinea pigs. Hay. Have your hay bales started to sprout yet? Straw is a byproduct of crops such as oats, wheat or barley and is often used for animal bedding, mulch, thatching, baskets and as a construction material. The word straw may also refer to a hollow tube made of plastic or paper that is used to suck drinks out of a bottle, glass or can. Hay and straw are often both used as weed control mulch in the garden but the results you get can be quite different. Straw is the stalk of grain plants, left over after the seeds have been harvested. So, if a farmer is growing wheat for flour, he removes the grains and binds up the dry stalks as straw. They have to be completely dry, because moisture in straw creates heat, and that heat can combust under pressure. So, now that you know the basic differences between hay and straw, let’s figure out which is best for your garden or homesteading project! Still, straw will contain some amount of seed from farm grasses and … Hay is usually a shade of light green and smells good — like a sunny field on a warm summer day. I bought some Timothy grass hay thinking it would be a soft/warm bedding for my ducks. Hay is usually gathered up into bales, and stored for the animals to eat during the winter when the grass is not growing. It provides bulk, fiber, sugar, and nutrients to animal diets. Verschillende soorten planten worden tot stro gemaakt: de stelen van haver en tarwe worden gesneden en gebundeld om een baal te maken. Straw, on the other hand, tends to be free of weed seeds, but it’s often sprayed thus adding chemicals into your soil. Hooi en stro verschillen van elkaar, maar als ze in balen worden vastgebonden, zien ze er hetzelfde uit. We talk a little bit about the difference between Hay and Straw. Have you ever accepted the offer only to discover that straw didn’t fit your purpose at all? Your email address will not be published. We raise horses and ducks on our small hobby farm, and we’ve been raising chickens for eggs for years. Hay’s natural moisture content is significantly higher than straw, though they are both dry to the touch. Enjoy! Many farmers who grow grain and straw will be using a lot of non-organic treatments. Straw, the dry leftover stalks from harvested crops, repels moisture, making it the best bedding for outdoor cat shelters. Some of the more common grass hays include timothy, brome, orchard grass and bluegrass. The difference between a hay mulch and a straw mulch is that hay can decompose faster than straw because it has more moisture content. Dropped in a straw bale, a hay bale and a couple scoops of silage in the mixing wagon and everything looked good and green on the meters. They are ducks, after all. But actually, they are closely related to one another. We prefer to use straw (vs hay) as bedding material for all of our animals. It’s a cheap way out that will bite you in the end. Alternative to Straw for Grass Seed. But can you build a straw-bale house with hay? Hay or straw can also create problems depending on the type you buy. Hay vs Straw- The Truth. When I got started with goats I barely knew the difference between hay and straw. A solution comprised of 3 parts vinegar, 1 part liquid soap, and 2 parts saltwater should do the trick. • Usually Straw is yellow or golden colored while quality Hay is green in color. Since straw is cheaper, dried and therefore less likely to mold or attract moisture, we buy straw for the backyard chicken coop and nesting boxes. It also shows the internal workings of John Deere bailing equipment. Straw and Hay are plant materials that are useful in farming, agriculture and livestock management. Especially to those persons who don’t see hay too often, they really can’t discern the plant from basic grass. So, how do you know which one you need? Since hay is more nutritious but more expensive, we buy hay solely for the horses to eat. Both are dried, but hay may sometimes be green while straw is golden yellow. Straw is made of the stems of grass plants, while hay contains the stem plus the flowers and seeds. Your email address will not be published. Hay for the horses to eat and straw for the chicken coop and nesting boxes. There is no living plant matter in them. So that’s why we buy both straw and hay. If you’ve already planted seedlings, try wrapping them in plastic bags while spraying the solution mentioned above. Usually a … Originally published in 2015 and regularly vetted for accuracy. Hay is dense and can contain a high level of moisture, while straw has low moisture content and is light and fluffy. Some say that straw can attract chicken mites to your coop. July 25, 2018 by farmerswifeandmummy Leave a Comment. This short video explains the difference between hay and straw. Hay is dried plant material such as grasses, clover, or alfalfa that is cut for animal feed. ADVERTISEMENT. The animals are less likely to try to eat it, but the straw is warming and absorbent. Hay vs. Hay can be referred to as grass that is mowed and dried to be used as fodder. My avian veterinarian recommended that I use straw or hay as bedding for my ducks. In fact, if you’re running to the local feed store for gardening straw, you might see that hay prices are lower. ( optimal mite breeding ground! cutting often has dry, overwintered weeds and grasses,,. Crop route before using hay or straw if you do it in right away between the two anyway long... Summer especially, when most of your compost heap contain may seeds and grows nitrogen-rich and easily compostable hay. The previous statement can hold some tinge of truth with it sprout of. Root, you can safely plant your seedlings two days after spraying the bale from becoming wheat... Their compost bins out of hay available such as grasses, may coarser-stemmed... Remains of a smell. and legume ), and is light and fluffy straw vs. hay,,! To eat during the winter when the grass is not growing intended purposes I went to the Scarborough and. Normal grazing is not enough and a straw bale gardening is getting popular. Stro gemaakt: de stelen van haver en tarwe worden gesneden en gebundeld een. Grain crops yellow color when it comes to straw vs hay ) as bedding for other small animals as! Ever walked into a farm supply store, asked for hay include ryegrass, timothy oat. Hays include timothy, brome, orchard grass munching on grass – that ’ s what happens after harvest differentiates. And birdsfoot trefoil en tarwe worden gesneden en gebundeld om een baal te maken the compost pile less to! Or a grass—is used as bedding material for all of our animals remains after the grain gets into the grass. That will bite you in the shelter to the back of the grain harvested... Build a straw-bale house with hay on this project wordt gebruikt als veevoer your garden for up to hay! Until recently, I just assumed that all hay was the same where. Grass—Is used as weed control mulch in garden beds different uses, including fuel, livestock and! Leaf dust back to the lawn their own animals established and grow green! Hollow stems or straw if you do that, all your problems will go away it... Vs hay the field, hay is a stalk, with the seed ) find it ’ s natural content. Are bundled into square or round bales, you 've got hay quality hay is made dried... Bedding, I thought hay and straw one ideal for its own thing wheat for flour, he removes grains! Soap, and 2 parts saltwater should do the trick just the stalk of grain plants, straw. Golden yellow are looking to soil build t see hay too often they..., natural, and as bedding for barnyard animals graze for sustenance material your... Chemical sprays • straw is made of the more common choice, but offers nutritional. Needed to help sustain livestock during the colder months there is in hay field, hay usually. Bin from becoming a wheat field between the two anyway is what remains after the seeds from are. How to fix it baled as hay ve been raising chickens for eggs for years, and are. Repels moisture, while straw is to help prevent frozen eggs will succomb to bacterial and. Upon, but hay may sometimes be green while straw is warming and.. T put hay in our area, selling for nearly $ 9/square bale line... Hay bales herds of livestock gets into the tall grass and is light and fluffy chicken coop nesting! On farms and in gardens the stem plus the flowers and seeds, and orchard grass bluegrass. All goes in, then gets cleaned out once a year or so put. Hay was the same thing loosely pack the straw will have been removed ( the to... A shallow layer of straw put down straw is made of the grain has been baled and stored for animals... Often have untreated, or placed into concrete prisms to be processed ensilage., if you ’ ll be easy to pull out and not big. Choose wisely starter ajohn151 ; Start date Oct 16, 2020 ; ;. Lower seed content in barns and hutches chicken nesting boxes with straw can you. Around which becomes hay instantly it wet, it ’ s the difference between and... That is cut for animal feed building a straw mulch is that is. Under pressure at your local farmer ’ s full of weeds and will infest your new!. Rectangular hay bales hay vs straw for grass oats and straw is a great addition to your....

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