July 1, 2022

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What do you use hay for?

6 min read

Asked by: Tim Reid

Hay is grass, legumes, or other herbaceous plants that have been cut and dried to be stored for use as animal fodder, either for large grazing animals raised as livestock, such as cattle, horses, goats, and sheep, or for smaller domesticated animals such as rabbits and guinea pigs.

What do they use the hay for?

Uses of Hay

Feeding hay to livestock is the number one use for hay. Almost any animal on the farm – horses, cattle, sheep, goats, etc. – will eat hay. Hay is usually fed to livestock when they cannot graze or be in a pasture, either because it is winter or because of drought.

What do you put hay into?

Hay will not give you a dry layer of cover that is pleasing to look at, but it is a great mulch for growing flowers and vegetables, and you’ll get a fantastic yield. To start a garden, with seeds or starters, first create a thick layer of hay, up to eight inches (20 cm.), right over your garden soil.

Can you use hay as bedding?

Straw is normally used for a bedding material, while hay is used as a feed supplement. Straw is dried out and works well for building nests and providing cushioning for animals to sleep in.

Which is better hay or straw?

This material is used more for animal bedding as it has little nutritional value left. But, it’s also a great option for gardens. When deciding on hay vs straw, straw is the better option for the veggie garden. Hay bales often contain weed seeds and you don’t want to make more work for yourself!

What can be made of hay?

Straw can be used as bedding for animals, a material for making baskets or hats, and it can even be used a fuel source for bioenergy. Straw can also be used as a mulch, insulation in a house, and of course, fall decoration. Actual hay is something an animal can eat.

Can humans eat hay?

Drying out grass in the form of hay does not break down the cellulose. Therefore, similarly to grass, hay is not edible for humans.

What does hay do for a garden?

Aside from well-aged compost, hay is arguably the best mulch for a vegetable garden. Like straw, it’s a good insulator, effective against weeds, and breaks down quickly to enrich the soil. Alfalfa hay is especially good, because as a legume, it provides nitrogen to your soil.

Can I use hay as mulch?

Mulches are valued by gardeners for their ability to suppress weeds, conserve soil moisture, regulate soil temperature and protect frost-tender plants during cold weather events. Hay as a mulch material is often prized for a relatively wide availability and low cost.

What can I do with leftover hay?

Donate to a plant nursery – Even if you don’t have your own garden, donating your leftover hay bales to a local plant nursery is a great way to get rid of them. Also, most places are happy to accept your donations free of charge.

What do farmers do with hay bales?

Many farmers use it as animal bedding for barns. It can be used for seeding, mulching, and even decoration! There are plenty of uses for old hay bales – so while picking up hay as soon as it’s been baled is ideal, it doesn’t have to go to waste if that doesn’t happen.

Does hay turn into straw?

When the plants are left intact and bundled up, it’s hay. But when the seed heads are removed, the plant stalk that’s left behind is straw, a hollow tube that has many uses, including animal bedding on farms and mulch in gardens.

Can hay be used in compost?

Composting Hay: Learn How To Compost Hay Bales

Also, composting with hay bales allows you to construct a completely green compost bin that eventually turns into compost itself. You can find hay for compost on farms that offer spoiled hay at the end of the year, or in garden centers offering autumn decorations.

Does hay make good fertilizer?

Hay as fertilizer provides a full nutrient package rather than just NPK,” Gerrish said. Gerrish noted that in much of the U.S., hay can be bought at a lower price than most farmers would pay to produce and harvest it on their land. This includes the value of all the nitrogen (N) and minerals contained in that hay.

What can I do with old hay bedding?

What to do with extra hay:

  1. Bedding & Nesting material for nesting boxes, coops, hutches, and run-ins.
  2. Filler for the pool the pigs built. …
  3. Seeding. …
  4. Mulch for yard, around trees, or in pumpkin patches.
  5. Entertainment – chickens and pigs LOVE to scratch, roll and play in fresh hay.

How do you spread old hay?

“If you need to feed old hay, spread it out across an area and let your animals sort through the best parts of it. This way, they will spread the hay even further.” Philipp also suggested moving hay rings around at each feeding.

How long does it take for hay to compost?

Your compost should be finished and ready for use in 3 to 6 months. Add new hay and manure to the pile as these materials become available, mixing them thoroughly into the center of the pile.

Can cows eat old hay?

Cattle aren’t as sensitive to moldy hay, but certain molds can result in mycotic abortions or aspergillosis. 3. Moldy hay also puts ranchers at risk. Mold spores can cause “farmer’s lung,” which results in the fungus growing in the lung tissue if it has been inhaled.

What is the difference between straw and hay?

Hay is a crop that is grown and harvested as a feed crop for cattle, horses and other farm animals. Straw on the other hand is a byproduct of a grain crop; in our area it’s usually usually wheat straw that we see.

Do horses eat hay or straw?

While quality hay and pasture grass are the ideal sources of forage for most horses, there are some cases in which eating straw is a suitable alternative or supplement. “Yes, horses can eat straw,” said equine nutritionist, Shannon Pratt-Phillips, PhD.

Do cows eat hay?

Hay is the most commonly used winter feed for beef cattle, but it’s also the most expensive. Each cow requires a daily intake of 40 pounds of round-baled hay, which amounts to $1.61 if pricing hay at $80 per ton.

Do chickens like hay or straw?

While not common, providing chickens a bale of straw or hay can be a good thing. It’s an inexpensive way to provide food and a little entertainment to these animals. A bale in a chicken run gives birds the opportunity to search for a variety of tasty treats.

Can I put hay in my chicken coop?

NEVER use hay as coop bedding. Hay is livestock feed, straw is livestock bedding. Hay is too “green” and tends to harbor mold and bacteria which is extremely detrimental to poultry health.

Can hay be used for nesting boxes?

A few of the most common, nesting materials range from pine shavings to plastic pads and chopped hay/straw/zeolite litter blends such as Flock Fresh.

What should I line my chicken coop with?

The Bedding Lineup

  • Straw and Hay. Sun-colored straw, with its sweet, earthy smell and springy texture is what many new chicken keepers reach for to line their coop and nest boxes.
  • Pine Shavings. …
  • Cedar Shavings. …
  • Sand. …
  • Grass Clippings. …
  • Shredded Leaves. …
  • Recycled Paper.

What do you do with chicken poop?

Chicken owners normally use bedding such as shavings, sawdust, dry leaves, or straw to provide a dry cushion for chickens and to control odor and pests. The coop bedding can be collected with the manure and dumped into a composting bin.

Are grass clippings OK for chickens?

Grass is an important feed crop for your chickens and provides nutrients that are good for them and make eggs more nutritious and yolks richer in color. Also, once they spread the grass clippings, they make a great mulch layer that improves the soil quality in the chicken run and helps keep dust down in dry months.

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