Chemical analysis is the only way to determine straw vs. hay. Straw is what remains after the grain has been removed (the seed). Hay and straw do make nice mulches on top of the soil. There are various different types of hay available such as timothy, alfalfa, etc. Have your hay bales started to sprout yet? 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). ), but straw is mostly hollow stems. As such, it’s safe for seedlings and older plants alike. They’ll be easy to pull out and not a big problem if you do it in right away. Smaller animals such as rabbits and guinea pigs also eat hay. Notify me via e-mail if anyone answers my comment. Hay and straw both start life out in the fields. Normally using straw is also the most economic choice for bedding that we have found around here so that’s what we use. ... 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. Grain grasses can be surprisingly sharp. Mites and lice feast on blood and skin tissue, not straw. One 40-lb. Enjoy! Go. 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. Hay is usually a shade of light green and smells good — like a sunny field on a warm summer day. I know I have. Hay and straw is also commonly used as mulch, but straw is better suited for this task than hay. They’re not interchangeable, though. Hay. Sorry. In periods of drought, hay can also be used to feed animals when normal grazing is not enough. Silage is grass that has been cut and baled relatively quickly after being cut. Hay is the dried remains of a whole plant. I went to the Scarborough Fair and checked out the 4-H animals but never … In fact, a top coat of hay or straw is essential if you’re trying not to attract the local raccoon to your yard. This short video explains the difference between hay and straw. 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… Large, round bales can weigh over 2000 pounds! You might ask why we buy both — what’s the difference, after all, when it comes to straw vs hay? Your email address will not be published. That doesn't mean it can't happen. The grass clippings will filter down into the tall grass and the straw will be below the mower blade. 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). The bottom line to remember is that straw won’t compete with your plants, but hay will. 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. Straw, on the other hand, tends to be free of weed seeds, but it’s often sprayed thus adding chemicals into your soil. Hay has seed in it. You won’t be able to spray all the sprouting hay, but you’ll greatly reduce the hay-invasion. Different types of grass used for hay include ryegrass, timothy, brome, fescue, Bermuda, and orchard grass. Oct 16, 2020. What’s the difference between the two anyway? What is Hay Made Of? Straw. Sometimes, they just regard it as grass that seemed to have overgrown. ---Mary Beth in Spokane (Washington) A. Straw is a stalk, usually a waste product of wheat, that's used as bedding for barnyard animals. It also works well as a mulch in garden beds. ADVERTISEMENT. Now I have full bins lacking grass apparently and I'm not sure how to fix it. 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. So let’s figure out how to make those hay bales work in your garden so you don’t have to start again from scratch. Although I quickly learned that hay is food and straw is bedding, I just assumed that all hay was the same. We buy both straw and hay at our local feed store. Hooi komt van gemaaid, gedroogd gras en wordt gebruikt als veevoer. Take a deep breath. Although goats can eat straw, there isn’t as much nutritional value in straw as there is in hay. I do recommend using straw in your backyard chicken coop, but if you choose to use hay, for economical or logistic/convenience, just be sure to check it frequently and remove any wet or damp hay to prevent mold or mildew from building up in your coop litter. Hay is primarily a livestock feed. Sort by reaction score Thread starter ajohn151; Start date Oct 16, 2020; 1; 2; Next. This is ideal in the summer especially, when most of your compost heap will be green matter (nitrogen). It also shows the internal workings of John Deere bailing equipment. Both are dried, but hay may sometimes be green while straw is golden yellow. – Hay is often the combination of several grasses and grains like alfalfa, brome, and timothy; clover and rye are often components. (Straw has an almost exclusively yellow color when it is baled, and just a hint of a smell.) Straw is far less expensive than hay in our area, selling for under $4/square bale. Pine needles are bundled into square or round bales, also bags, which weigh 25 to 50 lbs. Hay’s natural moisture content is significantly higher than straw, though they are both dry to the touch. Since hay is more nutritious but more expensive, we buy hay solely for the horses to eat. While hay has the potential to burn tender plants, straw lowers nitrogen content. We raise horses and ducks on our small hobby farm, and we’ve been raising chickens for eggs for years. In some parts of the country fescue, reed canary grass, ryegrass and Sudan grass are common. It makes up about half of the yield [clarification needed] of cereal crops such as barley, oats, rice, rye and wheat. Straw bale builders are adamant on this one. Loosely pack the straw in the shelter to the quarter or halfway point. And the previous statement can hold some tinge of truth with it. While straw is bound into bales that look almost identical to rectangular hay bales, it’s not used as fodder for livestock. Plant materials are useful in many aspects. Hay and straw are often both used as weed control mulch in the garden but the results you get can be quite different. Now, in the craft section at walmart they may have mini-bales of straw. My avian veterinarian recommended that I use straw or hay as bedding for my ducks. Aug 18, 2020 72 124 86 Missouri. Hay is nutritious and contains many vitamins and minerals to help sustain livestock during the winter when they can’t graze for sustenance. Pigs may also be fed hay, but they do not digest it as efficiently as ruminants. Horses, cows,  sheep, and dairy goats all eat hay, especially in the winter months when there is no fresh grass available to graze. The only reason I know the difference between straw and hay is that we have almost every gardening book ever printed. • Straw is the dried stalks of cereals while hay is the dried grasses and legumes. I speak from experience and having to de-thatch and rip up and re-topsoil and re-seed over 15,000 square feet. Hay is dried plant material such as grasses, clover, or alfalfa that is cut for animal feed. Planting the grass seed under straw will take a … Required fields are marked *. Keep the plastic on only long enough to spray the hay, then let your plants breathe again. They’re easy to transport compared to larger bales, usually only weighing between 50 and 75 lbs. 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 is an agricultural byproduct consisting of the dry stalks of cereal plants after the grain and chaff have been removed. Blends into the soil and turf vs. unsightly straw; Decomposes faster; Retains moisture better; Fewer weed seeds than straw ; Acts as a soil conditioner; The fall is a great time to seed your lawn if you have fescue grass. You want straw. I also love how bright and clean the barn looks once the livestock pens have a new layer of straw put down. 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. This cool season grass does best in the cooler months of fall, allowing the seed to get established and grow. It’s a cheap way out that will bite you in the end. In this video I'll discuss the differences between hay and straw and the different uses of each. Although goats can eat straw, there isn’t as much nutritional value in straw as there is in hay. We talk a little bit about the difference between Hay and Straw. Hay is cut when it’s source is still green, capturing nutrients in the cut-off plants. So, if a farmer is growing wheat for flour, he removes the grains and binds up the dry stalks as straw. Applying Straw and Hay A shallow layer of straw is all that's needed to help retain moisture for the soil and fresh seeds. Verschillende soorten planten worden tot stro gemaakt: de stelen van haver en tarwe worden gesneden en gebundeld om een baal te maken. Building a straw bale house puts a lot of pressure on the bales themselves. Especially to those persons who don’t see hay too often, they really can’t discern the plant from basic grass. There are four types of hay: grass, legume, mixed (grass and legume), and cereal grain straw. 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! Seeding a well-prepared soil surface is just the start to a successful lawn -- you must water and mulch the germinating seeds for uniform seedling growth. Straw vs Hay . Even though these two words are used together, they actually differ in many aspects. They have to be completely dry, because moisture in straw creates heat, and that heat can combust under pressure. It can be dried up to receive hay, or placed into concrete prisms to be processed into ensilage. It’s also used to feed rabbits, and as bedding for other small animals such as guinea pigs. • Straw is nutritionally poor than hay. Both products will work well as feed. But actually, they are closely related to one another. Hayrides, barn floors, over-stuffed scarecrows and cows munching on grass – that’s what I knew growing up in Maine. Straw is made of the stems of grass plants, while hay contains the stem plus the flowers and seeds. 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 tends to have weed seeds in it, I’ve used hay a few times to suppress weeds only to have grass seeds sprout making it worse for weeds than before! 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. Loosely pack the straw in the shelter to the quarter or halfway point. Some of the more common grass hays include timothy, brome, orchard grass and bluegrass. When it looks like grass, it can be cut and baled as hay. Straw, on the other hand, will take more moisture out of the soil before it decomposes. Why is straw safe for building, but not hay? Their thick walls hold in heat, and provide sturdy walls to withstand harsh weather. Use gloves! Unfortunately, this process cannot be performed simultaneously with gathering - the tedder is connected to the back of the tractor. It also works well as a mulch in garden beds. Hay falls into several categories: grass, legume, mixed (grass and legume) and cereal grain straw (such as oat hay). It’s not the end of the world, or the end of your garden. Silage. It’s full of nutrients and seeds, and is still living and changing, in a sense. Straw, on the other hand, tends to be free of weed seeds, but it’s often sprayed thus adding chemicals into your soil. September 21st, 2011 by Craig Mullins. straw is dry grass. In periods of drought, hay can also be used to feed animals when normal grazing is not enough. So that’s why we buy both straw and hay. Straw and Hay are plant materials that are useful in farming, agriculture and livestock management. First of all, we have to know the difference between hay and straw. Your email address will not be published. Hay for the horses to eat and straw for the chicken coop and nesting boxes. Then blow the leaf dust back to the lawn. It’s what happens after harvest that differentiates the two of them, and there are major differences. So if you see what looks like green grass coming up at various places where you have your straw (mulch), it’s the newly sprouted seeds of grain. In Texas, pine straw is gathered from four species of yellow pine trees. Straw. Second cutting is generally the preferred hay for goats. 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. Be aware that they are both very carbon heavy and need nitrogen to break down. I don’t agree. Round bales are also available, at far more economical prices, for larger herds of livestock. Spreading a layer of straw over a newly seeded lawn will help the seeds to germinate properly while protecting the seeds from wind, heavy rains, and birds or other hungry visitors. This stuff they might call hay, but it's straw. bale will cover 100 square feet, according to Texas A&M University. Why not? I have been using straw in our coop in warm, humid Virginia (optimal mite breeding ground!) Straw is the more common choice, but hay can be used if needed. If you’re overwintering animals, hay is absolutely essential. They’ll often have untreated, or low-spray straw available for you. Oats can be grown for hay or oats and straw. Hay and straw are great as compost topping, as they can cover up egg shells, fruit peels, and vegetable ends to deter raiders. Since straw is cheaper, dried and therefore less likely to mold or attract moisture, we buy straw … Understanding the differences will help you see why they’re often used for different thing on farms and in gardens. I’d suggest going the cover crop route before using hay or straw if you are looking to soil build. 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. Rake up grass before you collect it. In fact, if you’re running to the local feed store for gardening straw, you might see that hay prices are lower. Nitrogen-rich and easily compostable, hay is a great addition to your compost heap. Overall though, hay tends to provide more nitrogen to your plants than straw. Horses evolved as a grazing animal, which means that they are meant to nibble on small amounts of food over the course of an entire day, and most of this food should be in the form of roughage, or hay. Hay vs Straw: Both hay and straw have special uses in homesteading. Straw bale homes are a popular alternative housing option. They’re both baled up into tight bricks of plant matter. 4 thoughts on “Hay vs. Straw” Mrs. D. February 9, 2010 at 10:39 am OK I think I’ve heard it all now. Straw. Hay—typically alfalfa or a grass—is used as animal feed. Hay does have live plant matter. 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. You don’t put hay in the garden for mulch unless you want a healthy crop of weeds. Dumped the TMR from the wagon to the feeding bins and all my bars on the animal tab went green except the one for grass. They will tie-up the nitrogen in your soil, depriving your garden for up to three years after incorporation (tilling). You absolutely cannot replace straw with hay on this project. So logically, we use straw and hay for their intended purposes. Chaff you put in silage bin. Hay or straw can also create problems depending on the type you buy. Remember how straw is just the stalk, with the seed head removed? If you are going to compost beforehand that would work as long as … Both are dried, but hay may sometimes be green while straw is golden yellow. 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. . Still, straw will contain some amount of seed from farm grasses and … But later hay crops could sprout thousands of seeds. Hayrides, barn floors, over-stuffed scarecrows and cows munching on grass – that’s what I knew growing up in Maine. While it has fewer nutrients to offer, straw provides a lot of heat and neutral material to your compost bin. It has less weeds, is finer-stemmed, fertilized, and grown during the optimal growing season. Let’s start with hay. So I have been, for years, and I have never had any problems with impaction. Hay is not as versatile as straw. Straw , on the other hand, consists of the stalk, seed coverings, dried stems, or leaves that have been separated from seeds. Have you ever walked into a farm supply store, asked for hay, and been offered straw instead? 1 of 2 Go to page. Originally published in 2015 and regularly vetted for accuracy. Straw, the dry leftover stalks from harvested crops, repels moisture, making it the best bedding for outdoor cat shelters. , rectangular bales are also available, at far more economical prices for... ) as bedding for outdoor cat shelters and not a big problem if you take …!, may be coarser-stemmed, and cereal lespedeza, and cereal grain straw or oats straw! Include timothy, alfalfa, clover, lespedeza, and I 'm not sure to... That differentiates the two anyway - the tedder is connected to the back of the stems grass. 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