Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Do goats like to eat stinging nettles?  (Read 23257 times)

laurelrus

  • Joined Apr 2014
  • Quainton,Buckinghamshire
  • Hobby farmer
Do goats like to eat stinging nettles?
« on: July 05, 2014, 07:43:08 am »
We have huge patches of stinging nettles in our field and the sheep ignore them until they're pulled out, then they eat them all.
The goats have their own paddock which is not nettley. I'm wondering if they would like to eat nettles? Would they eat them while they're growing, or when they've been pulled out? If they'd enjoy them then we can either put them where they're growing, or pull them up for them.
Thanks very much
2 pygmy goats, 3 Ouessant sheep, 19 chickens, 2 donkeys, 2 Shetland ponies and 2 dogs

goosepimple

  • Joined May 2010
  • nr Lauder, Scottish Borders
Re: Do goats like to eat stinging nettles?
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2014, 07:56:09 am »
Different breeds do different things, my pygmies don't eat them growing but will eat them cut after a day or two.  Think it depends on what breed you have.  I think they must have numb mouths goats, they eat thorny branches and the like  ::)  Thing my girls like best is what I think is called willow-weed - its those tall purple flowered weeds with thin leaves that look a bit like willow leaves (they love willow too) and they love love love oak leaves but you have to make sure they don't get any berries / acorns which are poisonous.  Always worth googling poisonous plants for goats before you start loading in things they shouldn't eat, and there are quite a few.
registered soay, castlemilk moorit  and north ronaldsay sheep, pygmy goats, steinbacher geese, muscovy ducks, various hens, lots of visiting mallards, a naughty border collie, a puss and a couple of guinea pigs

laurelrus

  • Joined Apr 2014
  • Quainton,Buckinghamshire
  • Hobby farmer
Re: Do goats like to eat stinging nettles?
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2014, 08:07:56 am »
Thanks. We have two pygmies and they are so adorable!
2 pygmy goats, 3 Ouessant sheep, 19 chickens, 2 donkeys, 2 Shetland ponies and 2 dogs

plumseverywhere

  • Joined Apr 2013
  • Worcestershire
    • Its Baaath Time
    • Facebook
Re: Do goats like to eat stinging nettles?
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2014, 08:16:29 am »
Yes and thistles.  We strim a load, dry them and then add them to feed in the winter too
Smallholding in Worcestershire, making goats milk soap for www.itsbaaathtime.com and mum to 4 girls,  goats, sheep, chickens, dog, cat and garden snails...

shygirl

  • Joined May 2013
Re: Do goats like to eat stinging nettles?
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2014, 08:27:17 am »
its funny as we had loads of docks/stingers and as soon as we had strimmed them the cattle scoffed the lot. why they didnt eat it while it was growing i dont know.
goats do like stinging nettle hay too if you have space to let it dry. its nutritious anyway.

jinglejoys

  • Joined Jul 2009
Re: Do goats like to eat stinging nettles?
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2014, 11:55:36 am »
Depends on the time of year to whether they will eat them growing or not

Ina

  • Joined Feb 2012
  • South Aberdeenshire
Re: Do goats like to eat stinging nettles?
« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2014, 01:28:25 pm »
Depends on the time of year to whether they will eat them growing or not

That's my experience, too - they will eat them, but not necessarily when you want them to... ::)

mojocafa

  • Joined Sep 2012
  • Angus
Re: Do goats like to eat stinging nettles?
« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2014, 03:48:38 pm »
Hope you don't mind me asking another question

I have an overgrown field with some clover and thistles in it. Can this be cut and baled for winter food or not?

It would be For pygmy goats too
pygmy goats, gsd, border collie, scots dumpys, cochins, araucanas, shetland ducks and geese,  marrans, and pea fowl in a pear tree.

shygirl

  • Joined May 2013
Re: Do goats like to eat stinging nettles?
« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2014, 06:02:40 pm »
clovers good, and thistles often appear in a bale. they will prickle you mind.

Lesley Silvester

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • Telford
Re: Do goats like to eat stinging nettles?
« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2014, 10:20:43 pm »
I once had nettles drying all over my garden which made moving round it difficult. I proudly presented my goat with this delicacy and she sniffed it before walking away. It all ended up on the compost heap. I haven't had the enthusiasm to go through the process again for the goats I have now.

fiestyredhead331

  • Joined Sep 2012
  • NW Highlands
    • Facebook
Re: Do goats like to eat stinging nettles?
« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2014, 12:23:13 am »
I made up a batch of nettle cordial and gave the girls the nettles after they'd been strained out, lovely and sticky and sweet and non stingy and full of vits & iron etc
keeper of goats, sheep, pigs, ducks, chickens, turkeys, dogs, cats, goldfish and children, just don't ask me which is the most work!

tizaala

  • Joined Mar 2011
  • Dolau, Llandrindod Wells,Powys
Re: Do goats like to eat stinging nettles?
« Reply #11 on: July 06, 2014, 07:25:02 am »
Be careful with clover, too much will give them bloat, cut and wilted nettles and thistles they adore, willow herb they love , Hazel and willow leaves are good too.


laurelrus

  • Joined Apr 2014
  • Quainton,Buckinghamshire
  • Hobby farmer
Re: Do goats like to eat stinging nettles?
« Reply #12 on: July 07, 2014, 07:04:26 am »
Thanks for all the helpful replies. I went out yesterday early evening and picked a wheelbarrow load of nettles by hand. How long do they have to dry/wilt for before I give them to the goats? I got stung quite a bit despite wearing gloves so from now on we'll use the strimmer instead!
We have masses of nettle patches in the field, there are thousands of them, if we strim them and want to keep a load for the goats and sheep later in the year, is there a right way to store them? Or more importantly, is there a wrong way?!
I'm so glad I found this website, we are completely new to all this having just moved from the suburbs to our smallholding, and this forum is giving me a lot more confidence, so thanks very much.
2 pygmy goats, 3 Ouessant sheep, 19 chickens, 2 donkeys, 2 Shetland ponies and 2 dogs

cans

  • Joined May 2013
Re: Do goats like to eat stinging nettles?
« Reply #13 on: July 07, 2014, 06:42:55 pm »
 Not sure about drying, we chucked them over the fence and the girls ate them when they wanted.

I wouldn't strim nettles, I would sythe/cut them

ballingall

  • Moderator
  • Joined Sep 2008
  • Avonbridge, Falkirk
Re: Do goats like to eat stinging nettles?
« Reply #14 on: July 07, 2014, 11:00:45 pm »
I hand pick or scythe them, then tie them into bunches (don't make the bunches too thick as thn the ones in the centre can get damp and go mouldy- learnt that the hard way!) and then hang them up in a dry shed to dry.

I have been toying with the idea of suspending a hurdle from the inside of goatshed roof, to lay the nettles on the hurdle- but have never got around to that. We have a high roof anyway- probably 15-16 feet at the apex, so plenty of height to keep them out of reach of the goats.

Usually keep the dried ones until kidding time- this year at kidding time they won't eat them! But them tucked into them about a month after kidding instead.

Beth

 

Forum sponsors

FibreHut Energy Helpline Thomson & Morgan Time for Paws Scottish Smallholder & Grower Festival Ark Farm Livestock Movement Service

© The Accidental Smallholder Ltd 2003-2024. All rights reserved.

Design by Furness Internet

Site developed by Champion IS