Difference Between Hay and Straw and Which Is Best for Bedding, FAQs about building a home with straw bales HERE, HERE for The Difference Between Hay Bales and Straw Bales, Canepa & Sons, Inc Well Drilling Covering All Of California, The Best Manual Healthy Juicers From Lexen Products – GREAT For Wheatgrass. For example, hay is a feed, while straw is a byproduct, and although both can be used for bedding, straw is the better choice. Visit Wikipedia for more on Straw and Hay, as well as their many uses. And, of course, straw is a very popular decoration for the front porch during the fall season. Hay is legumes such as alfalfa and clover or grasses such as timothy, oat, fescue and bermuda. ~ Straw is considered an organic mulch along with grass clippings, pine needles and shredded compost, leaves and wood products. Apart from these, good-quality hay also has legumes, sometimes alfalfa or clover, which are usually cut before blooming. Straw also has a wide variety of uses, for everything from a compost pile to an energy source. Straw, on the other hand, will take more moisture out of the soil before it decomposes. It can also be used as building material and in composting operations. The walls of houses or buildings can be insulated with bales of straw – a natural product that is relatively cheap to use!! After cutting, hay material is allowed to dry to reduce the bulk of its moisture content down to 20 percent. Straw, on the other hand, consists of the stalk, seed coverings, dried … Mattress manufacturers still use straw as filling materials for mattresses. Straw, the dry leftover stalks from harvested crops, repels moisture, making it the best bedding for outdoor cat shelters. – Hay will be green to brown with a ton of seeds. Nutrition: – Straw has little nutritional value and most animals don’t care to eat it. Whatever! HAY! – Hay is cut when it reaches the desired height, is allowed to dry slightly, then is baled. Hay is an agricultural product comprised of cut grass, legumes, and other herbaceous plants, dried and stored as animal fodder. Do the thick walls provide good sound insulation? ---Mary Beth in Spokane (Washington) Hay vs straw bales. Comfort: – Straw is lighter and less dense then hay, providing better shock absorption for the hooves and joints of animals. The use of straw bales can have a huge impact on our natural resources and air pollution. – Hay is often the combination of several grasses and grains like alfalfa, brome, and timothy; clover and rye are often components. An organic mulch is a layer of biodegradable material applied to the soil surface. Hay vs. Paper straws are certainly a better choice than plastic, but wheat has a leg up in a few different ways: less processing, no sogginess, and bonus points for … Hay is not as versatile as straw. Keep in mind, however, that some bailing machines pack more tightly than others do, thus altering the overall weight. Hay has the leaf and seed material that contains all the nutrients that animals need in their diet. Color: – Straw should be yellow or golden grain shafts. Because the shaft is hollow, straw is lightweight and a good insulator. Straw is just the dried stalks and stems of cereal plants after the farmers harvest the grains. Hay and straw do make nice mulches on top of the soil. Straw can provide good insulation in the barn as bedding for animals. Straw does not constitute a balanced diet for livestock, which is why hay is the better option. As a substitute for coal and carbon-neutral energy sources, you can use bales of straw as a biofuel. Straw has many more uses than those it shares with hay. Straw. Some FAQs about building a home with straw bales HERE, along with their answers (with videos) courtesy of Andrew Morrison, a specialist in straw bale and green construction. Straw. The only takeaway is farmers do not remove the leaves and seeds from the stems. Aside from being introduced into livestock diet, straw has a lot of other uses. Mullins FarmsValley Springs, California Phone: (925) 963-2857 - Fax: (925) 226-3150 Have A Farming Question? Sometimes, farmers also add green cereal stems to the hay mixture, but these become straw because farmers cannot harvest the stems without wasting the grains. Hay is green and heavy bales made from alfalfa. Don’t feel bad if you think they’re one and the same. Different types of grass used for hay include ryegrass, timothy, brome, fescue, Bermuda, and orchard grass. Straw is mainly used for decoration, bedding, erosion control, mulch and archery backstops. There is less embodied energy in straw as it is available in almost every local market, thereby reducing transportation costs and efforts…using this local, agricultural by-product as a building material, we reduce energy expenditures, the amount of straw burned, and the use of fossil fuels needed for material transportation. Straw is also animal fodder in conditions where hay is not available and where animals need more fiber in their diet. Hay is made from dried plants like legumes and grass, whereas straw is made from leftover stalks of grain crops. Mulching conserves soil moisture, improves soil fertility and health, reduces weed growth, and increases the aesthetic appeal of your garden. With that in mind, both straw and hay will keep a long time if kept dry. Straw is leftover resource that is utilized rather than be wasted, whereas hay is specifically grown for its use. Hay producers include leaves and seed heads with the plant stems to complete the nutritional requirements to feed livestock. Hay or Straw? It is primarily used as fodder. In fact, even those from the rural areas didn’t always know the difference between hay vs straw. Feed your livestock straw as part of their diet during winter to help them survive the cold. Hay and straw seem very similar on the surface, but they are actually quite different; each one ideal for its own thing. • Straw is nutritionally poor than hay. There are four types of hay: grass, legume, mixed (grass and legume), and cereal grain straw. Straw is used for animal bedding because it has a lot of air pockets in it. Harvesting: – With straw, the grain is harvested first, with the straw stalk baled later. Hay’s natural moisture content is significantly higher than straw, though they are both dry to the touch. They might look similar, but did you know that hay is different from straw? Straw is also a regional product. – Straw has little nutritional value and most animals don’t care to eat it. – Hay is cut while living, so it retains a higher moisture level. Straw. It has many flowers in it often and gets quite hot as it decomposes. Straw is the more common choice, but hay can be used if needed. Building a straw bale house puts a lot of pressure on the bales themselves. Hay is used for feeding animals when they cannot be grazed. – Hay, on the other hand, is high in vitamin and mineral content and is a choice food item for animals. 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. 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. The energy their body uses to digest this roughage can help maintain body heat. Mulch and Composting: – Because of the low-moisture content, straw makes an excellent mulch and perfect addition to a compost pile. • Hay can be used to feed animals where straw has many other purposes. Hay is basically a plant-product preserved to become animal feed. You would not want to use this stuff as mulch, or you’d end up sprouting a yard full of alfalfa or whatever. People usually mistake straw bales for hay bales and vice versa. Hay is geared toward being a nutrient-rich food for livestock, while straw is more often used for bedding instead of food. The time it took to plant, harvest, and prepare hay bales dictates how and why its prices are higher than straw. If you are going to compost beforehand that would work as long as the straw/hay was composted to a nice finely textured, dark organic matter. 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. 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