Stinging nettles?

Discussion in 'Goats' started by cath, Apr 5, 2006.

  1. cath

    cath Well-Known Member

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    In the pasture we are developing for future goaties we have some stinging nettle and ferns in addition to the blackberry vines we hope they eradicate!

    I think the ferns are okay. But I have seen stinging nettle on some lists of plants poisionous to goats, although others assert that they are okay for the goats to eat. Does anyone here have any experience with nettles?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Jen H

    Jen H Well-Known Member

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    Nettles have traditionally been dried and used as animal fodder.

    My goats avoid nettles because they sting. The babies nibble on them once, then run away trying to rub the sting off of their noses. They don't go back for another bite. They're not poisonous, just really irritating. In fact, cooked nettles are pretty darned tasty. The heat destroys the sting, you just have to be careful picking them.

    Bracken fern, according to some refrences, is poisonous so you might want to check and be sure of the kind of ferns you have growing there.
     

  3. BrahmaMama

    BrahmaMama Well-Known Member

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    I found this.

    1. [100.00%] Common nettle - Weed information - HDRA Weed Management
    ... in large numbers. Dried nettles provide excellent fodder and are readily eaten by farm animals. If cut before flowering and thoroughly dried, nettles make excellent hay with a protein content equivalent to Lucerne/clover. Despite the stalky...
    http://www.organicgardening.org.uk/organicweeds/weed_information/weed.php?id=90 - 11.6kb
     
  4. JAS

    JAS Well-Known Member

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    My goats will eat stinging nettles. The pasture is fairly cleaned out from them. I think they are high in nutrients that the goats seem to sense. Of course, there are goats that will eat them more readily than others (my Angoras did a great job of eating weeds) and they all seem to need to learn to eat them.

    Just a note: I saw stinging nettles were being sold in an seed catalog. They were saying how good they were to eat and could be used as an arthritis mediation (just rub on sore joints--yep, that would make you forget about other pain for a while!!).
     
  5. Jcran

    Jcran Well-Known Member

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    Up here in coastal Northern California, its the fern thats poisonous, not the nettles; depending where you are and the type of fern, that's what I'd worry about. I do think ferns have a cumulative effect, though, so some might not kill right off.
     
  6. TexCountryWoman

    TexCountryWoman Gig'em

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    My goats eat them, and so do I....cooked that is!

    Now the goats won't eat "Bull Nettle", much rougher than the more gentle, by comparison, Stinging Nettle aka "Horse Nettle"