Need Stray/Hay Info


8 Years
Apr 25, 2012
I need some information on Oat stray and Oat hay.
My female goose Reebok is constantly picking through her straw.
That was ok when that was all that was used for bedding.
Their vet recommended that I put shavings down under the straw to keep their feet healthier.
Now when she picks through she is picking through shavings.
I thought I might buy some Oat straw to make it easier for her to find what she's looking for,
but when I started looking for information on the net it just became confusing.
Is oat straw - straw that hasn't had the oats fully harvested out? Then what is oat hay?
Does anyone use alfalfa hay? I buy grass hay for the gpigs and give it to the geese also.
I have seen Reebok pick up stands of it and eat it.
I'm trying to find some more things for them to eat while in their barn at night and in bad weather.
Any help appreciated.

Jordan, Reebok and Oliver.
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I dont know about hay either. I heard "timothy hay" was good for geese
Is she picking through it to eat it or just picking? My geese are both pickers and sorters, it's just a way to keep themselves busy.

As to hay and straw, orchard grass, timothy, and alfalfa will all mold if allowed to be wet for any length of time so it has to be cleaned out and replaced regularly. I bed my geese on fine shavings for the main floor and then a larger shaving topped with orchard grass in their nesting corner. I replace the hay every couple of days. It's a nice soft hay. The alfalfa tends to have stick like stems that shove up under my fingernails depending on the cutting and I dont think it would make a very good bed. Oat hay is made of the softer parts of the oat stalk and usually has some oats still attached, it would make nice bedding if you can get it. I can't get any here where I live. in my area timothy is too expensive to use for bedding and it falls somewhere between orchard grass and alfalfa in softness. There are a few different kinds of straw and they would all make acceptable bedding, you would just need to find what's available in your area.

I hope this helped.
Straw is the left over stalks of harvested fully mature grains such as oats, wheat and rice. It may have some residual grains left in it, and since it is harvested from a stand of pure grains has little weeds or other growth in it. It is baled for use as bedding, and is softer and more absorbant than hay.

Hay is grasses cut while green, usually before the grain heads mature, and is dried then baled for feed. The stems are not hollow as straw stems are, and are not as absorbent. It also tends to be "pickier" and coarse, and often contains other plants than just grasses, such as alfalfa or weeds.

Geese do very well on hay of all kinds, they digest it well and it can be used as part of their feeding program. Straw is a good choice for bedding as it is absorbent and softer, but is not a very nutritious food source.
Thank you for the replies.
Reebok used to pick the little seeds that fell from the hay. That's why I was wondering if there was a specific hay that I could buy that would supply more of those seeds. This past summer my vet suggested that they be bedded on shavings under the straw. She still tries to pick through the straw but now there are wood shaving under it.
I change their bedding faithfully every weekend. Fully stripping their little barn and letting it air out.
Hopefully none of it has a chance to get moldy.
I am currently using the larger flakes of pine as it's less dusty and covering that with straw then part of a flake of grass hay every other day or so for nibbling.
I see Jordan and Oliver eating the pellets and hay. I don't see her eating that. She does eat her lettuce and I've been introducing kale into that by cutting it and mixing it together.
I am trying to get some weight on her. They get a heavy wheat bread that is made by Entenmanns. Vet even suggested that I give her more bread which surprised me. I thought maybe I could buy hay or stray with whatever it is she is picking our of the regular straw.

We use only use straw for bedding. They have free choice fescue/horse quality hay for the birds to pick at, but I can't say how much they actually eat.
Straw is really just fiber, so she's probably just being fussy about a nest. I have one sebbie that will make a perfect wall all the way up around herself and all you can see if her head.
wildjpeas, thank you I will do that!
She has a lot of different things in her barn to eat, it;s just getting her to eat them.


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