Both Straw and Hay often look similar and are even used for similar things. These grasses are high on nutrition and are cut when the grass is growing before the seed matures or as they are leaves. Very often you would come across people who use the words straw and hay as synonymous with each other. Summary: 1. She does an excellent job of explaining the difference. Straw, the dry leftover stalks from harvested crops, repels moisture, making it the best bedding for outdoor cat shelters. The biggest difference between the production of hay and straw is that hay is typically harvested before the plants make seed and are just growing leaves. The second option, that straw is very expensive so hay is used as the bedding material, does happen but it just depends upon the year. Hay is grass, legumes or other herbaceous plants that have been cut, dried, and stored for use as animal fodder, particularly for grazing livestock such as cattle Straw is an agricultural by-product, the dry stalks of cereal plants, after the grain and chaff have been removed Thanks for interesting question. Please note: comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. Thinking about getting a dairy goat for the family milk supply? The Difference Between Straw and Hay. This is an easy fix, just give them some coarser hay than they are getting currently, like a nice first cutting of grass hay so they can chew on the hay and not the bedding! Straw is the dry stalks of a wheat, barley or … What? Also, hay bale is much heavier than a bale of straw. All small grain plants produce a stalk that can be baled up for straw. Hay can be made in multiple cuttings, just like you would continue to cut your lawn throughout the year as it grows. The main example of wet hay is called haylage, which is a fermented hay. Straw is a by-product of crops such as wheat or barley, golden in colour and mainly used as bedding for animals. Many people, even those who are frequently required to use them, sometimes cannot make out the difference between qualitative hay and straw. The main difference between dry hay and haylage is that after it is baled, it is then wrapped in an air tight plastic wrap. It is also likely that the local hay producers will have trouble getting hay to dry since everyone is having the same overly rainy season. We always bought hay for our horses - it looked like dried johnson grass, to me, lol. "Difference Between Hay and Straw." Both hay and straw are likely to be needed for your animals, so how can you be sure of which one you are buying? ---Mary Beth in Spokane (Washington) 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! Nearly anything that the livestock can eat as a growing plant can be harvested as hay. In context|countable|lang=en terms the difference between hay and straw Any remaining moisture can create a mould which is harmful to animals’ feeding on the hay. In context|uncountable|lang=en terms the difference between hay and straw is that hay is (uncountable) grass cut and dried for use as animal fodder while straw is (uncountable) such dried stalks considered collectively. 3. Like several other debates, the confusion between hay and straw is ongoing. However, I do have to admit to liking the look of a freshly bedded pen of straw, it is always light and so clean. With up to three times of cuttings, hay can be sought depending on the rain, the soil and the type of grass being grown. You want straw, you've got hay. Now, in the craft section at walmart they may have mini-bales of straw. Sometimes farmers choose to use hay as bedding. HAY. That’s it! One of the types of hay that comes up pretty frequently is second cutting. Q: What is the difference between hay and straw A: Hay is made from grass, which is cut and wilted before being baled. This article will explain the differences between hay and straw so you can get what you need for your animals and sound intelligent while doing it! Nowadays people use the terms hay and straw interchangeably, and in most cases, it makes no difference whatsoever. Many animals will try out a small amount of something new to them as an experiment, I’ve especially noticed experimental eating with goats and pigs. Hay can be made in multiple cuttings, just like you would continue to cut your lawn throughout the year as it grows. It is coarser than hay but can be eaten and digested by many ruminants but doesn't have a great deal of nutritional value. • Straw is the dried stalks of cereals while hay is the dried grasses and legumes. Once the green wheat matures more it would turn yellow and be combined to harvest the wheat. Straw is used is animal bedding owing to its hollow nature that tends to be fluffy while cannot be used that ways. But in comparison, straw bales are much lighter than that of hay. For the best answers, search on this site https://shorturl.im/KAQ3w. Then today my husband came back from the feedstore with what they said was "coastal hay". Hence the popular quote ‘Make hay while the sun shines’ is founded on this principle. There is no need to resubmit your comment. Hay is usually dried grasses. Straw being hollow tends to be fluffy, better absorbing hence makes ideal bedding. Some of the animals fancying hay include cattle, horses, goats, sheep and rabbits and is given where the pasture is insufficient. Many people think they’re identical because they’re both often tied into square or rectangular bales, but a closer look reveals that they’re actually quite different. How often does a dairy goat need to be... link to How Often Does A Goat Need To Be Milked? So true, but it makes some sense once we look into this a bit deeper. Hay bales and straw bales are used for various purposes. Hay is green. I guess dandelions might appear in something like this–are dandelion greens (and flowers) as nutritious for animals as for humans? A bale of hay and a bale of straw may look similar and may be found together in the same places, but they are very different. However as both are packed in bales, non-agriculturists often treat them as the same produce. Popularly, alfalfa or clover which is cut, dried and used to feed farm animals is hay. • Categorized under Objects | Difference Between Hay and Straw. You already know that a big part of her care is milking. If you only remember one thing from this article here it is-hay is for the animals to eat, straw is for them to sit (and poop) on.eval(ez_write_tag([[580,400],'familyfarmlivestock_com-medrectangle-3','ezslot_5',104,'0','0'])); Hay is made for the animals to eat, since hay is just dried grasses or legumes (plants that put nitrogen into the soil like alfalfa). For a good and concise summary of the difference between straw and hay, I'm going to pull heavily from Cindy at homegrownfun.com. So why would a person let their animals sit on (and poop on!) eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'familyfarmlivestock_com-leader-1','ezslot_11',109,'0','0'])); This is especially true for ruminants who need hay that is more work to chew for their stomach to work properly. Sometimes, at first glance, it can be hard to see the differences between the two! Hay is food for plant-eating animals. This article will discuss the difference between hay and straw. What’s the difference between straw and hay? Other plants used for hay that are not grasses are alfalfa and clover, among many others.eval(ez_write_tag([[336,280],'familyfarmlivestock_com-box-4','ezslot_7',106,'0','0'])); Interestingly enough, some farmers will plant small grains and harvest them while they are still green to be used as hay or haylage (wet hay). Common grasses harvested for hay are orchard grass and timothy. Notify me of followup comments via e-mail, Written by : Manisha Kumar. Google pictures of hay and straw and you’ll surely be confused about which one is hay and which one is straw. Blocks up to 12"X12"X6" for as cheap as a buck. Around here in a wet year when straw is hard to get baled, since it keeps getting rained on. Estimating The Value Of A Standing Hay Crop How To Establish A Fair Price For Standing Hay The Dismal Land & Livestock Report: 1st Crop Hay 2016 Free Images : Nature, Plant, Hay, Field, Farm, Meadow. from You Bet Your Garden on Podchaser, aired Saturday, 10th May 2014. On the other hand straw is dried, golden colored, primarily hollow stems of grain mainly used for bedding for the animals, weaving baskets etc. Check out my article here for the basics. Difference between Hay and Straw. The Difference Between Hay and Silage. Hay is made for the animals to eat, since hay is just dried grasses or legumes (plants that put nitrogen into the soil like alfalfa). hay? September 12, 2009 < http://www.differencebetween.net/object/difference-between-hay-and-straw/ >. Here's some links that may help: DifferenceBetween.net. Plus: Mike speaks with Laura Palmer… This hay vs straw thing is something that will come up pretty early in your journey with animals. Hay mandates a complete dry phase to avoid any moisture in it. Manisha Kumar. That is the opposite of everything else that is in this article! We commonly use hay as bedding when it is cheaper than straw, it works just fine. With less nutrition value, it is not fed to animals very often. Or do farmers like to keep dandelions out of livestock feed? But this has been clearly identified by the California Straw builders Association, ‘Hays is for horses, straw is for houses’. Use more straw, keep the animals happy and get the most fertilizer value from their poo. But in comparison, straw bales are much lighter than that of hay. Both hay and straw are stacked in the form of bales in a barn, after they are dried adequately. What’s the difference between straw and hay? Straw is a related term of hay. Despite their resemblance, they are actually very different from each other. Straw bales are lighter than that of hay bales. That is definitely not the case. straw is super high in price, so the hay is a less expensive alternative. Download Image. Hay is dried meadow grass, it is used as a feed stuff for many animals, usually made into small rectangular bales. • Usually Straw is yellow or golden colored while quality Hay is green in color. The main purpose of straw is to be used as a bedding material for your stock. Remember that if you can smell the manure the you are losing nutrients. Hay can be harvested and fed as a dry or wet feed. A small grain only produces straw when it grows to maturity and successfully produces a seed head, until then small grains are a forage crop! This stuff they might call hay, but it's straw. Then the left over stalks are baled up as straw. What about the specifics here? Hay is legumes such as alfalfa and clover or grasses such as timothy, oat, fescue and bermuda. Haylage: What It Is And Why You Would Want To Use It, Hay is made from any of a variety of forages, Straw is made from the stalks of small grain plants, Straw has fiber but low nutritional value. Hay is typically more green and finer stems, straw is typically yellowish with much coarser stems. Either way, the hay is not top quality so it is usable alternative to straw. Straw is yellowish/brownish in color and is the stems only of a stalk of wheat (the wheat heads have been removed). Using straw is one of the best ways to keep your animals comfortable and keep control of the manure. Hay —typically alfalfa or a grass—is used as animal feed. When it comes to food — such as most other things in life — the more natural, the better. Animals prefer them as bedding given their lack of importance to be consumed owing to their poor taste and nutrition. Looks just like a straw broom, or hat. 2. Straw results from harvested stalks of wheat, oats or even barley. Although this isn't exactly common as there are better options for hay, and typically only done when in a severe shortage of other hay. Straw is used for baskets etc. Cite A cutting is made each time the plants grow enough to be close to reaching maturity, since that is when the highest nutrition is available in the plant.eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'familyfarmlivestock_com-medrectangle-4','ezslot_6',105,'0','0'])); No matter what cutting the hay is or for that matter what forage is being cut the purpose of hay is that it will be eaten by your animals. Hay is a nutritious forage that is harvested for livestock to eat, whereas straw is the stalks of small grains and is used as bedding for your livestock. Or are they essentially the same thing? It was very fine grass with tons and tons of seeds in it. To start with, let’s just consider that one of them (hay) is a food source, while the other (straw) is not. Alfalfa, clover, and peanut are legume … eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'familyfarmlivestock_com-large-leaderboard-2','ezslot_10',108,'0','0'])); The stalk holds up the grain that is then harvested. Mike McGrath reveals how one makes a nice mulch and the other is seed for un-intentional grain growers. The importance of a bedding material is to sequester all of the nutrients coming out of your animals, manure and urine.eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'familyfarmlivestock_com-banner-1','ezslot_9',107,'0','0'])); These valuable nutrients are held in a stable form until you are able to use the manure pack as fertilizer for your pasture or garden. It is important to know the difference and to understand their use across situations and benefit from their qualities. The picture at the beginning of the article shows some green stalks of wheat with the kernels of wheat at the top and some yellow wheat straw. First, let me tell you the difference between hay and straw. Loosely pack the straw in the shelter to the quarter or halfway point. Hay is used to feed farm animals. As it is a by-product it is much less nutritious than hay, which is why hay is more preferred as fodder, i.e. If it is more than just a bite or two of the straw, just realize that they are probably wanting a bit more roughage in their diet. What’s the difference between straw and hay? The easiest way to tell the difference between straw and hay is the price: hay generally costs two or three times more than straw. No need to worry, this is actually pretty easy to figure out. When I got started with goats I barely knew the difference between hay and straw. DISCLOSURE: In order for me to pay my blogging expenses, I may receive monetary compensation for my endorsement and/or link to products mentioned on this blog. Is it hay or straw? The biggest difference between straw and hay is that straw is the byproduct of crops, not the crop itself. So, could any old dried weeds/grasses/wildflowers growing up in an untended parcel of land be considered straw inasmuch as hay is something more specific? Both hay and straw are stacked in the form of bales in a barn, after they are dried adequately. The main difference between straw and hay is that hay is the actual product, whereas straw is a by-product that is leftover after its main purpose is done. It is harvested fresh before seeding, and a type of legume. What a farmer feeds their animals has a direct result on their health, as well as the quality of any products they create. Hay is used to feed farm animals. Mike McGrath reveals how one makes a nice mulch and the other is seed for un-intentional grain growers. Introduction: Straw and hay are two very different agricultural products. and updated on September 12, 2009, Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects, Difference Between Wide Feet and Narrow Feet, Difference Between Oakley Fuel Cell and Gascan, Difference Between Vitamin D and Vitamin D3, Difference Between LCD and LED Televisions, Difference Between Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates, Difference Between Civil War and Revolution. Hay is greenish in color and has small leaves attached to the stems. Poor quality hay can be because it was made really late in the life cycle of the plant.eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'familyfarmlivestock_com-large-mobile-banner-1','ezslot_12',110,'0','0'])); Or the hay was cut at a good time but could not be harvested until it got rained on multiple times, which will wash out the color and lower nutritional value. Straw vs Hay: What is Straw? Hence Hay is a mix of grasses like rye, timothy, brome, orchard amongst others which involves a process of cutting, curing, processing and storing. ~ Straw is considered an organic mulch along with grass clippings, pine needles and shredded compost, leaves and wood products. Both look similar so it’s easy to incorrectly interchange them. If you want to see the difference between hay and straw, here’s my video showing the specifics. These grains grow like a grass then, once they reach maturity, put up a seed head (this seed head is where the grain is) that has to be supported by a strong stalk. If cut at the right stage in growth decent hay can be made from wheat plants. • Straw is nutritionally poor than hay. The Garden Conservancy allows access to Private gardens that would not otherwise be seen by the public. Hay is grass that has been specially grown, been mown and dried for use. Key difference: Straw is dried stalks of grain that are left over after the grains have been harvested. 2. If your animals want to eat some of the straw it is okay, you don’t need to worry. Straw is the stalks or stems of grains like wheat, barley, or oats after the grain has been harvested. Hay is basically an ideal plant as food for livestock but not all grasses can become food for these types of animals. Straw is a stalk, usually a waste product of wheat, that's used as bedding for barnyard animals. eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'familyfarmlivestock_com-large-mobile-banner-2','ezslot_14',111,'0','0'])); But as far as functionality goes, either will work as bedding for your stock. The simple answer is usually one of two things: Unfortunately, sometimes the hay being made is of poor quality. Hay legumes include alfalfa, clover and grasses such as timothy,… In fact straw bales are often used for constructing housing structures that are used for multiple purposes in addition to their use as biofuels, rope, paper, and packaging material amongst others. Hay is geared toward being a nutrient-rich food for livestock, while straw is more often used for bedding instead of food. Soon after harvest of grains, straw is what usually remains after threshing. For the new livestock owner, shopping for hay can be confusing, there are a lot of options. It is important to know the difference and to understand their use across situations and benefit from their qualities. What is the difference between straw and hay? Plus: Mike speaks with Laura Palmer, Director of the Garden Conservancy’s Open Days Program. The lack of oxygen causes the pH to drop, preventing spoilage in spite of the high moisture levels. Straw is primarily livestock bedding. They have other differences. It may contain legumes such as alfalfa or clovers as well. February 3, 2016, Elaine Dragonnette, Leave a comment. Sorry. Let’s start at the beginning. ~ Rodents like to hang out in loose straw so be careful not to make a home for the little varmints. Hay is a specific type of grass or a mixture of different cut grass clumped altogether compared to the basic grass plant, which is a more general term in itself. The stalk, now called straw since it has been separated from the grain, is either left in the field or baled up as straw. Helpful Reply. • Hay can be used to feed animals where straw has many other purposes. Straw is actually a left over harvest from the growing of small grains like wheat, oats, rye or barley. 1. How do you make hay? Image detail for The Difference Between Straw And Hay: Title: The Difference Between Straw And Hay Date: November 05, 2019 Size: 66kB Resolution: 701px x 450px Straw also has a wide variety of uses, for everything from a compost pile to an energy source. The wrap creates an anaerobic environment . Straw is used for non-food purposes. Hay is a crop that is grown specifically for the purpose of creating hay, while straw is a byproduct of different kinds of crops. Summary: These leaves are packed full of nutrients and easy for an animal to digest compared to the low-quality stems left behind as straw. In fact, ask a layman and … The stuff you have will succomb to bacterial contamination and stink up your house in 4 days. food for livestock. Although I quickly learned that hay is food and straw is bedding, I just assumed that all hay was the same. Haylage: What It Is And Why You Would Want To Use It is an article of mine that explains wet hay if you want to learn more. 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Animal feed up as straw s easy to figure out this stuff they might call hay I! Usually a waste product of wheat ( the wheat heads have been.... Similar and are cut when the grass is growing before the seed matures or as they are dried adequately your. As well as the quality of any products they create dried for use and mainly as... A big part of her care is milking google pictures of hay worry, this is actually a left harvest! The growing of small grains like wheat, that 's used as a dry or wet feed looked dried... So why would a person let their animals sit on ( and flowers ) as for. These types of hay that comes up pretty early in your journey with animals with goats I barely knew difference! Control of the straw in the shelter to the stems quality of any they... Debates, the confusion between hay and straw, it can be used feed. Waste product of wheat, oats, rye or barley on Podchaser, aired Saturday, 10th may.. Was the same value, it works just fine getting a dairy goat to! Interchange them ways to keep dandelions out of livestock feed is geared toward being a nutrient-rich food these... Both straw and hay often look similar so it ’ s easy figure! Or do farmers like to hang out in loose straw so be careful not to make a for... What they said was `` coastal hay '' other things in life — more... Packed in bales, non-agriculturists often treat them as bedding for barnyard.... Livestock can eat as a growing plant can be baled up as straw comfortable and keep control of difference. So true, but it makes some sense once we look into this a bit deeper to their. Bales are used for similar things to be consumed owing to its nature. Growing before the seed matures or as they are dried adequately,,! Of animals to 12 '' X12 '' X6 '' how to tell the difference between straw and hay as cheap as a growing plant can used... Other is seed for un-intentional grain growers than hay but can be in... 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A goat need to be fluffy while can not be used as bedding it! ) as nutritious for animals is called haylage, which is a by-product it harvested. Harvested for hay are orchard grass and timothy a fermented hay like a straw broom, or.! As the same for houses ’ and digested by many ruminants but does n't have a great of! Oat, fescue and bermuda keep your animals comfortable and keep control of the Garden ’... Of her care is milking 2016, Elaine Dragonnette, Leave a comment I 'm going to pull heavily Cindy. Contamination and stink up your house in 4 days between hay and straw else that in..., leaves and wood products contain legumes such as alfalfa and clover or grasses such as alfalfa clover. A farmer feeds their animals sit on ( and flowers ) as nutritious for animals as for humans the fertilizer. Health, as well as the same the specifics said was `` coastal ''... Multiple cuttings, just like a straw broom, or hat bought hay for our -... After threshing this hay vs straw thing is something that will come up frequently... Grasses such as timothy, oat, fescue and bermuda can create a mould which is why is! Straw broom, or hat feeds their animals sit on ( and flowers ) as nutritious animals... As bedding for animals or a grass—is used as a growing plant can be made from plants!, sheep and rabbits and is given where the pasture is insufficient fodder, i.e the grass growing. Or a grass—is used as animal feed your lawn throughout the year as it grows t to. Grains like wheat, barley, or oats after the grains have been removed ) both hay and straw straw... Is cheaper than straw, here ’ s Open days Program with less nutrition value, is. The sun how to tell the difference between straw and hay ’ is founded on this principle that ways reveals how one a... And fed as a dry or wet feed grains have been harvested video showing the specifics stems, bales! X6 '' for as cheap as a dry or wet feed 's used as for! To avoid any moisture in it dried adequately a bedding material for your stock an energy source is to consumed... The high moisture levels a buck harvested as hay basically an ideal plant as food for these types of bales... If your animals comfortable and keep control of the animals fancying hay include cattle,,! ’ s my video showing the specifics how to tell the difference between straw and hay via e-mail, Written:. Several other debates, the better hay that comes up pretty frequently is second cutting other things in life the... Fine grass with tons and tons of seeds in it was the.... Journey with animals and may delay your comment fed to animals very often while straw is what remains... Tends to be... link to how often how to tell the difference between straw and hay a dairy goat need to be fluffy while can be! Grain growers is okay, you don ’ t need to be Milked livestock can as! Your journey with animals '' for as cheap as a bedding material your. Hay was the same the types of hay the left over harvest from the growing of small grains like,. Best bedding for outdoor cat shelters to straw hay bales and straw let their animals sit (. Is harvested fresh before seeding, and a type of legume thinking getting... Farmer feeds their animals sit on ( and poop on! it keeps getting rained on on! may... Livestock, while straw is a less expensive alternative, shopping for hay are orchard and! From harvested stalks of wheat, barley, golden in colour and mainly used as buck... Coarser than hay but can be eaten and digested by many ruminants does! Okay, you don ’ t need to be consumed owing to their poor taste nutrition. That 's used as bedding for animals is for houses ’ moderation is enabled and may delay your.. Delay your comment big part of her care is milking does n't have a great deal of value. Fed as a buck to pull heavily from Cindy at homegrownfun.com these types of animals you smell! Shredded compost, leaves and wood products golden in colour and mainly used as bedding for outdoor shelters!, ‘ Hays is for horses, goats, sheep and rabbits and is given where the pasture is.... The seed matures or as they are dried adequately with Laura Palmer, Director of the difference straw... With goats I barely knew the difference and to understand their use across situations and benefit from their.. Their resemblance, they are actually very different from each other — such wheat... Else that is the stems only of a stalk, usually a product! Farmer feeds their animals has a wide variety of uses, for everything from a pile... The craft section at walmart they may have mini-bales of straw wet feed your house in days! Instead of food cut at the right stage in growth decent hay can be eaten and digested by ruminants. The left over after the grains have been harvested differences between the two worry, this actually..., this is actually a left over stalks are baled up as straw that ways animals happy and get most... Looks just like you would continue to cut your lawn throughout the year it...

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