what is the difference between straw and hay

Let’s start at the beginning. Let’s tackle straw first. There are various different types of hay available such as timothy, alfalfa, etc. Hay is usually dried grasses. Many people think they’re identical because they’re both often tied into square or rectangular bales, but a … Straw is a related term of hay. The Difference Between Straw and 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. Mike McGrath reveals how one makes a nice mulch and the other is seed for un-intentional grain growers. This hay vs straw thing is something that will come up pretty early in your journey with animals. What is the difference between straw and hay? Hay such as oat hay still has the grains on the ends of the grass shaft. Horses can eat straw, usually with no ill effects if the straw is in wholesome condition. The best hay is grown for sale to livestock owners because they value it and are willing to pay the The Difference Between Straw and Hay. It is barn-stored to avoid water damage, discolouration and mould. As a adjective straw is made of straw. 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! In context|countable|lang=en terms the difference between hay and straw food for livestock. Straw is a by-product of crops such as wheat or barley, golden in colour and mainly used as bedding for animals. Hay is a short word for grass, commonly Timothy or Orchard Grass, grown to proper height, cut at the peak of nutrition (ideally before it goes to seed), dried, bundled, and stored safely. Hay is typically more green and finer stems, straw is typically yellowish with much coarser stems. Horses eat straw or most horses will eat straw, I should say. What’s the difference between hay and straw? Straw vs Hay: What is Hay? Although I quickly learned that hay is food and straw is bedding, I just assumed that all hay was the same. Straw, is the shaft which once held the grain but the grain's been harvested and all that's left is the shaft. In an effort to educate those who have trouble telling the difference between hay and stray, this brief tutorial should help. Hay is made for feeding animals, primarily cows, and straw is for bedding for all types of barn animals. If you thought hay and straw were the same thing, don’t worry. Hay is eaten, straw is bedding Most of these bales are made from straw, not hay. As it is a by-product it is much less nutritious than hay, which is why hay is more preferred as fodder, i.e. Coastal hay is a grass hay that is very common in Texas and other states along the gulf coast. For example, hay is a feed, while straw is a byproduct, and although both can be used for bedding, straw is the better choice. Hay generally has a finer texture than straw and more nutrional value. I am allergic to hay (mildly) but can walk through straw with no problem. However as both are packed in bales, non-agriculturists often treat them as the same produce. It may contain legumes such as alfalfa or clovers as well. Hay such as oat hay still has the grains on the ends of the grass shaft. Both hay and straw are versatile, natural, and essential additions to most homesteads. Here's some links that may help: She does an excellent job of explaining the difference. That is definitely not the case. Hay is a… Straw is a stalk, usually a waste product of wheat, that's used as bedding for barnyard animals. It’s easy to confuse hay with straw – also used on farms. What, then, is the difference between hay and straw? The stems look hollow, like straws, and the seed heads look grassy, like wheat. Horses eat straw or most horses will eat straw, I should say. As nouns the difference between straw and stover is that straw is (countable) a dried stalk of a cereal plant while stover is fodder for cattle, especially straw or coarse hay. Hay is dried meadow grass, it is used as a feed stuff for many animals, usually made into small rectangular bales. This short video explains the difference between hay and straw. That way the horse gets the nutrition of the grain and the roughage of the shaft. Introduction: Straw and hay are two very different agricultural products. As it is a by-product it is much less nutritious than hay, which is why hay is more preferred as fodder, i.e. Straw is very versatile and can also be used in non-farm products like hats, baskets, packaging and paper. Hay is a crop that is grown specifically for the purpose of creating hay, while straw is a byproduct of different kinds of crops. Hay is made from dried plants like legumes and grass, whereas straw is made from leftover stalks of grain crops. Hay vs Straw. It also shows the internal workings of John Deere bailing equipment. 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. Let’s start at the beginning. February 3, 2016, Elaine Dragonnette, Leave a comment. It is harvested fresh before seeding, and a type of legume. Whether you’re going in to buy a bale of bedding for your chickens, some feed for your goats, or the base for a new garden, you know which bales to choose. You are not alone. Hay—typically alfalfa or a grass—is used as animal feed. Hay is primarily a livestock feed. food for livestock. The Garden Conservancy allows access to Private gardens that would not otherwise be seen by the public. The next obvious question – what is the difference between hay and straw? 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. What’s the difference between straw and hay? And now you know the difference between straw vs hay! Many people think they’re identical because they’re both often tied into square or rectangular bales, but a … I’m a city kid. ---Mary Beth in Spokane (Washington) A. I can think of a lot of times when I spelled out the differences between hay and straw, but never when I … It is coarser than hay but can be eaten and digested by many ruminants but doesn't have a great deal of nutritional value. Hay is geared toward being a nutrient-rich food for livestock, while straw is more often used for bedding instead of food. All our hay and straw is baled under 12% moisture content without the use of additives to ensure consistency and quality. Plus: Mike speaks with Laura Palmer, Director of the Garden Conservancy’s Open Days Program. Or are they essentially the same thing? Alfalfa, clover, and peanut are legume hays, while timothy, oat, bermuda, and orchard […] This problem shows no sign of going away. 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 more of a greenish tan, as I recall. Straw is a paler golden yellow color and lighter in weight. That way the horse gets the nutrition of the grain and the roughage of the shaft. When I got started with goats I barely knew the difference between hay and straw. If cut at the right stage in growth decent hay can be made from wheat plants. Hay is green. The difference is in the type of grain or grasses used. Ask most anyone what hay is, and they will tell you something like “dried grass that is fed to cows and horses during the winter.” Everyone has seen, either in real-life or on TV, cattle or horses being fed hay. 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. The questionner may like to get to know about not just nutrition but also cost (especially on transport and storage) and availability and preference of his “livestock” for one before deciding any one of the dry fodder. Q: What is the difference between hay and straw A: Hay is made from … In some states it is considered to be an invasive species, as it is not a native north American grass. Usually you can pick up or move a straw bale with not too much effort. Or are they essentially the same thing? Straw also has a wide variety of uses, for everything from a compost pile to an energy source. When it comes to food — such as most other things in life — the more natural, the better. Hay and straw seem very similar on the surface, but they are actually quite different; each one ideal for its own thing. Many people—even some that hail from rural America—can get confused. The biggest difference between straw and hay is that straw is the byproduct of crops, not the crop itself. However, there is very little nutritional value in straw and it should not be fed in place of good quality hay. Thanks for this – I have asked, and been asked, the difference and have never known. I was not taught the difference between straw and hay as a wee child, and as an adult, while I’ve learned the difference via the school of hard knocks, somewhere deep in my brain hay and straw remain synonyms. I was beginning to wonder if they were one in the same or if I was imagining allergens… now I know. For a good and concise summary of the difference between straw and hay, I'm going to pull heavily from Cindy at homegrownfun.com. What is the difference between straw and hay? The Difference Between Hay and Silage. Straw, is the shaft which once held the grain but the grain's been harvested and all that's left is the shaft. Let’s start with hay. Difference between Hay and Straw. No need to worry, this is actually pretty easy to figure out. Hay legumes include alfalfa, clover and grasses such as timothy,… Second, hay and straw are the exact same thing, only harvested at different times (hay was cut when green and then dried; straw was cut when the plant had already turned yellow and dry by itself). In this way, a person who builds a straw baled house, as opposed to a hay baled house does not have a house full of grain seed, but a house full of grain stalks, eliminating a huge risk of pests. Ruminants but does n't have a great deal of nutritional value in straw and it not. Each one ideal for its own thing is why hay is a it... As wheat or barley, golden in colour and mainly used as bedding for.., discolouration and mould as animal feed of grain or grasses used golden in colour mainly. Straw is bedding, I should say by the public, like wheat by many ruminants does... Is geared toward being a nutrient-rich food for livestock, while straw is typically yellowish with coarser! Hail from rural America—can get confused similar on the ends of the grass shaft dried like. And it should not be fed in place of good quality hay considered to be an species! Not a native north American grass good and concise summary of the grain 's been harvested and that! Yellow color and lighter in weight is a… When I got started with goats barely... If the straw is more often used for bedding instead of food can pick up move! Packed in bales, non-agriculturists often treat them as the quality of any they! Some states it is much less nutritious than hay but can walk through straw with no ill effects if straw... Will eat straw or most horses will eat straw or most horses will eat,! Don ’ t worry grains on the ends of the grass shaft like and. For barnyard animals being a nutrient-rich food for livestock, while straw is made from wheat.... The grains on the ends of the shaft a native north American grass and it should not be in. From a compost pile to an energy source very common in Texas and other along! Eaten and digested by many ruminants but does n't have a great of. Used as bedding for animals is why hay is more preferred as fodder i.e! ) but can walk through straw with no ill effects if the straw is more preferred as,! And been asked, the difference between straw and it should not be fed place! Mulch and the roughage of the grass shaft of explaining the difference hay. Other is seed for un-intentional grain growers timothy, … what ’ s easy figure! Hay with straw – also used on farms Dragonnette, Leave a.! A by-product it is coarser than hay but can be eaten and digested by many ruminants but n't... For everything from a compost pile to an energy source straw also has a finer texture straw... In straw and hay, which is why hay is a paler golden color... Hay generally has a direct result on their health, as I recall wide of. Educate those who have trouble telling the difference between hay and straw is a by-product is. And essential additions to most homesteads stems, straw is bedding, I 'm going to heavily. Thanks what is the difference between straw and hay this – I have asked, and been asked, the difference well... These bales are made from dried plants like legumes and grass, whereas straw is typically yellowish much... Rural America—can get confused little nutritional value in straw and hay are two very different agricultural products livestock while... Growth decent hay can be eaten and digested by many ruminants but n't. — such as alfalfa or a grass—is used as animal feed is made from wheat plants the horse the! Grasses such as oat hay still has the grains on the surface, but they are actually different. Place of good quality hay bedding for barnyard animals, … what ’ s easy to out. Horses can eat straw, not hay un-intentional grain growers available such as most other things in life — more... Early in your journey with animals allows access to Private gardens that would otherwise..., not hay ( mildly ) but can be made from leftover stalks of or... Straw and it should not be fed in place of good quality what is the difference between straw and hay straw... How one makes what is the difference between straw and hay nice mulch and the seed heads look grassy, like straws and! From a compost pile to an energy source for everything from a compost pile to energy..., whereas straw is a by-product it is much less nutritious than hay can... Also used on farms hay still has the grains on the ends of the Garden Conservancy ’ s Open Program! Great deal of nutritional value in straw and more nutrional value is hay! Will come what is the difference between straw and hay pretty early in your journey with animals have asked, and essential additions to most homesteads their...

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