Sounds like nettlehay (urtica species) is a great candidate for me to utilize as a winter food source for my goats. I'm not finding much information on it, but what I am finding is sounding really great. My goats won't touch it while it's growing, so I hadn't considered that they might like it if it was dried.
I've also found a lot of references to it being used in the UK as dryed feed and that it improves milk output as well as coat appearance. As all of the articles I'm finding tend to say the same thing... don't know how much is true and how much has been just passed from one website to another.
So I'm still looking for other plant fodders, but this just went to the top of my list for trial.
Seems like too valuable a resource to use as animal feed.
posted 8 years ago
If I could figure out how to market it for more then what I pay for hay I'd be glad to do it. I have quite a bit, it loves my property. I've never used it in anyway, but I also don't consider it a problem. I enjoy the butterflies and critters it attracts a lot.
I'm just thrilled to find that it will work as hay when dried!
I tried collecting and drying it as rabbit feed a year ago in the spring before flowering when its at its best . It was too damp here to dry and it molded . I do dry it for personal use as well as make and sell the tincture of the leaf seed and root. I am playing around with the idea of learning to turn the stalks into a fabric as well . If I had a hoop house it might be possible to try larger quanties of the leaf for sale. I feed it to my chickensrabbits and horses in small amounts dried and use it as a fertilizer too . I tried making nettle wine but did not like it. It makes a nice, green natural dye. There's a book from England called" 101 uses for Stinging nettle" that is useful.
Like many plants today, especially wild-crafted ones, Nettles are very valuable for human health. If you have Nettles growing on your land, consider it better than gold!!
Nettles are the most healing and are the most healthiest for humans. Some cook it up and enjoy like they would spinach.
I make an infusion each week by boiling water in a small pan. I add to a one quart jar 1 ounce of dried Nettle Leaves and stems.
I then carefully pour the boiling water over the dried Nettle, fill to the top and lightly press the Nettle down into the water and add more water to the top of the jar.
I then cover the jar and let it sit out overnight.
In the morning I strain out the Nettle debris and put the used Nettle into my potted plants as organic material, or in the compost pile to enrich the soil.
Then I refrigerate this health-giving "liquid gold" and drink it throughout the day. I make this infusion using different
herbs, like Comfrey, Linden, and a Horsetail Grass powder, Kelp and Oatstraw blend. I drink these through out the week.
I go to the doctor only once a year for a major blood test for heavy metals, vitamin and mineral content - the only thing the
doc told me this year is - "Amp up the Vitamin D3 to 3 days a week instead of 4!!" Never have colds, flu, Nuthin!! I never take good health for granted.
Here's some excellent sites for more information. You have a very valuable plant in Stinging Nettles. It is the most excellent
cure, Yep, that's CURE - for arthritis and many other health issues!!
Nettles make a very strong fiber for clothing. Nettle fiber was used during World War in Germany for the soldiers uniforms and, unlike
the American uniforms that quickly wore out, the German uniforms never wore out.