Stinging Nettles

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by haycat, Apr 2, 2017.

  1. haycat

    haycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have always had a few stinging nettles in my chicken yard, but this year they seem to be particularly bad! I am in Texas where we had a pretty warm winter so not much died back. Other than keeping them short/mowed, is there anything people use to keep them in check that is also chicken safe?
     
  2. Zoomie

    Zoomie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Did you know that you can eat stinging nettles? Pick the new fresh growth (use gloves!!!) and then drop them into a pot of boiling water, pull them out almost right away. It only takes a couple of seconds to cook them. Use like spinach. Delicious!

    All this to say, I don't think the stinging nettles will affect your birds much. Here is a page suggesting many used of nettles: http://www.countryfarm-lifestyles.com/stinging-nettles.html#.WOFnoRLyuT8 As you can see they are suggested as a wonderful animal feed, and so on and so forth.

    I would think mowing would be sufficient. It will keep nice fresh growth throughout the season, just in case you decide to try some nettle soup!
     
  3. Kyanite

    Kyanite Loving Life! Premium Member

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    We have nettle too. It was our nasty rooster's favorite place to run from us after he'd flogged us and realized we were coming after him. I found a couple hens trying to make a nest in a thick patch of nettle last summer. None of it seemed to bother them a bit. Just us when we went looking to make sure no one had left eggs out there!
     
  4. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    We used to have them everywhere too until my goats got them mostly under control. The best thing to do is keep them from going to seed by cutting them down and they will slowly go away. Otherwise they pull up fairly easy, especially when young, just wear thick gloves and sleeves.
     
  5. haycat

    haycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sorry, I lost this thread for a while and only recently found the "subscribe" button[​IMG].

    Quote: Some chickens are just down right diabolical!

    Quote: Years ago (almost 10 now) we used to have goats and NEVER had stinging grass. After the goats went is when it bacame a problem. Of course the horses won't touch it for anything, so I just keep mowing it down. Some years it's just worse than others. This is one of those really bad years!

    Zoomie, my kitchen is currently under construction, but after I get it done (couple of more weeks) I think I'll be brave and try. There's probably enough on the property to eat for half a year! I'll let you know how it goes.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2017
  6. Fillmore Farmer

    Fillmore Farmer Out Of The Brooder

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    You can eat them, for real??? I had heard that the Indians used them for some kind of medicinal use...but you're saying you can boil them and they become edible, even delicious? I mean, not pepperoni pizza delicious but still, decent vegetables??
     
  7. Fillmore Farmer

    Fillmore Farmer Out Of The Brooder

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    Alright, I did the research on YouTube and sure enough, you can eat them! Seems people just use the leaves, rinse and saute. Many suggest it's a 'miracle food' and other nutritive qualities. Weird how it can go from stinging to safe...but cool, thanks! I have stinging nettles all over my farm.
     
  8. haycat

    haycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you give it a try please keep us posted! I'm very curious now, but will have to wait until my kitchen is finished.
     
  9. shortgrass

    shortgrass Overrun With Chickens

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    Nettles are also a very good soil amendment. They have a huge amount of trace elements and are a great cover crop to till in and increase soil structure. I WANT nettles and they don't seem to like my arid alkaline area :(


    Pull them and toss them in the compost pile. Awesomeness :D
     
  10. Zoomie

    Zoomie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, you really can eat them, and they really are delicious. [​IMG] I have eaten them myself, so I am not just guessing, here. On a farm where I used to live, they grew near a spring. After I tried them, I wanted them to grow in my garden, they were so good! But I could not get them to grow there, the conditions were not right I guess, so I was stuck having to walk to the spring to get them when I wanted them. I have not been able to find them here where I live now, alas.
     

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