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Nettles for poultry

 
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Does anyone feed nettles to their poultry?

Do you have to process it in anyway I.e. cook, blend, drying etc or are they immune to the stinging hairs?

Is there any reason I shouldn’t try it as a feed resource?

Thanks
 
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I'm from the school of thought that animals know what they need.  I would throw it in and see if they eat it.  Assuming they aren't starving, they will only eat it if they want to, and I think they know best.  If I had to process it in any way, I would find a different food source.
 
pollinator
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Nettles were the ONLY plant left in my little chicken run after two years, chickens will not touch them fresh, I never tried to dry them as I think my chickens probably knew not to eat them by that point! I can't see why cooking them wouldn't work, but I would be a bit wary of fine processing, my girls would not touch alfalfa and I think that was because it was in small bits.
 
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I couldn't get my girls to eat nettles, but they jump all over comfrey.  

 
Trace Oswald
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Marco Banks wrote:I couldn't get my girls to eat nettles, but they jump all over comfrey.  



And mine won't eat comfrey.  Weird.
 
Marco Banks
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Trace Oswald wrote:

And mine won't eat comfrey.  Weird.



Even when it's wilted a bit?  It's not their first choice of a green -- that would be my cabbages and other salad crops --- but this time of year when there isn't too much growing out there, they'll peck away at the comfrey when I let them free range, or they'll finish it up when I through a big handful into the chicken tractor.  But they'll let it sit there for a while and let it wilt down before they'll eat it.
 
Trace Oswald
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As far as I can tell, mine never ate it.  I've tried wilting it before putting it in, as well as just spreading it around the coop fresh to wilt on it's own, and they didn't seem to eat it.

As you said, mine love cabbage.  I've only tried the red kind, but the taste is similar enough that I think they would eat any kind.  I'm going to try growing much more of it to feed them this year since it keeps fairly well.
 
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I somtimes sprinkle some dried nettle on my fermented chicken food. The chickens eat it right up. I'm not sure if it's a 'like' thing, a hungry thing or maybe the absorbed liquid makes everything taste the same.
 
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Do ducks not react to the nettles like people do? I would imagine if it is steamed or dehydrated like we need it to be it might be edible for them? I would like to find out as most of the properties I am looking at have an abundance of nettles.
 
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