Chock full of vitamins A, B, C, and D, as well as minerals, such as iron, potassium, and zinc. This may be a weed to some, but those are gold nuggets of deliciousness to chickens. If your chickens free-range you'll notice them gravitate to the dandelions, but even those that can't free range can benefit from all those nutrients when you're weeding or mowing. Leaves, flowers and roots are all edible.
Spring and Summer time chicken treats for the chickens help to cool them down on the hot days.
Pick UNTREATED Dandelions when they're fresh and plentiful. If you use any type of herbicide, weed killer or lawn food or lawn treatment, do NOT harvest the dandelions. These instructions are only for naturally growing dandelions that are not subjected to any type of weed killer or lawn enhancement products, whether that is chemical or organic.
Fresh Picked Dandelions
Broth or water (see instructions for making your own broth)
Yogurt (see instructions for making your own yogurt)
Ice Cube Trays
Poke one flower head into each ice cube tray and fill with water or chicken or meat broth. Dandelions are loaded with vitamins and minerals, so they make the perfect treat by themselves or frozen in broth or poked into frozen yogurt. Place in the freezer until solid. Pop out of the ice trays and store in containers in the freezer until ready to use.
Additional Suggestions: You can add other herbs such as Thyme, Oregano, Sage or Basil. Just chop them up, place in each ice tray cup. Poke one dandelion flower in the center and top with broth, water or yogurt. You can also steep the dandelions, leaves and roots in hot water, cool, then freeze. The steeped dandelion tea releases additional nutrients that are locked into the fresh dandelions. Freeze the treats, pop out of the ice trays and store in a container in the freezer until those dog days of summer hit and you'll have ready made healthy treats to help the ladies stay cool.
Note: If you have an abundance of dandelions, harvest when the sun has dried all the dew and the flowers are fully open. Refer to my link for making a soothing Farmer's Rosemary and Dandelion Healing Salve:
PRECAUTIONS: These are intended as treats, not as a steady diet. It is worth noting that dandelions can cause diarrhea, and are often used as a diuretic. Overuse can cause dehydration or kidney issues, so use only in moderation, whether offering fresh dandelion or frozen treats. All herbs should only be used in moderation, whether for human or animal consumption.
To make your own Broth, refer to the link: justfowlingaround.weebly.com/recipes-for-self-reliance/category/how-to-make-meat-broth
To make your own yogurt, refer to the link: http://justfowlingaround.weebly.com/recipes-for-self-reliance/category/homemade-yogurt
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CREDENTIALS: Certified Oregon State Master Gardener since 1999. Horticulture degree 2001. Study of Herbs and Horticulture Therapy, heavy research and study of all plants and herbs. Gardening a lifetime.