Having made marmalade earlier and not wishing to call it a day I decided to do something else productive so thought I may as well prepare a tonic for the girls while the ingredients are readily available.
The ingredients of this tonic have been chosen specifically to aid in digestion, purify the blood and stimulate liver functions. It is equally beneficial for you or your chickens and is a great pick me up to get energized. More information about the tonic can be obtained from the web site of the Herbal Academy of New England if anyone is interested.
You will need -
2 cups water
1 Tablespoon Dandelion Root
1 Tablespoon Dandelion Greens
1 Tablespoon Chickweed
1 Tablespoon Clover
1 Tablespoon Nettles
Rinse the dirt well off the dandelion root then bring to a boil in a saucepan of 2 cups of water and simmer covered for 20 minutes. Meanwhile rinse the remaining ingredients and place them in a small bowl. Pour the hot liquid over the fresh herbs, steep for further 20 minutes then strain into a pint jar.
You can drink the tonic warm (add a bit of honey to taste if desired) or serve room temperature to your chickens with the strained solids on the side. They will just love the tonic and be healthier if you incorporate it as a regular part of their diet.
My girls love this tonic and I find myself surrounded before I get a chance to pour it out into their trough. Nettles can become a weed so I have mine growing in a large pot, I've covered the bottom of the pot with a piece of shade cloth and then just to be sure I have also placed the pot on a large saucer.
When I cut my nettles back I tend to lay them on the concrete path to dry then once they have died I either put them in the compost or on the pile to be burnt.
Give it a try, you just may be surprised