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1943: Stinging Nettles - Food Producers

Mid Sussex Times -  Wednesday 20 October 1943 

“STINGING NETTLES – FOOD PRODUCERS” 

Poultry keeping talk at Cuckfield 


The humble and unpleasant stinging nettle is among the un-rationed foods which enable poultry keepers to keep on at the present time and keep their birds in good condition. This fact was among the information given by Mrs Lillian Konig , Hon. Organiser for the southeastern area of the domestic poultry keepers association on behalf of the Ministry of Agriculture and fisheries, when addressing members of the Cuckfield Women's Institute at the Queen's hall last Wednesday afternoon. 


The 'humble stinging nettle'

In the course of her address, Mrs Konig said that in 1938 11 million tons of feeding stuffs were imported into this country, of which two and a half million tons were required for poultry. With war the shipping position became very difficult, and everything was cut down. In October, 1940, the Ministry of Agriculture and fisheries appointed a domestic poultry keepers council, realising the importance of the  

909,000 poultry keepers throughout the country in the national food economy. The council kept in touch with the individual poultry keeper through Hon. Area organisers, sub area organisers and senior and junior local officials. In Haywards Heath and District Miss Middleton was doing a fine job of work in assisting poultry keepers in their difficulties. The ration of 6 ounces of meal and 6 ounces of garden waste was enough to keep one bird. People should not try to keep two birds on it. The average laying capacity of birds was 200 to 220 eggs a year, and old birds who only laid about 60 eggs a year would not be retained. It was not worth wasting the ration on their upkeep. Mrs Konig gave useful hints on how to keep hen houses clean and the birds free from disease, and recommended stinging nettles, carrot tops, dried grass and kale as excellent additions to the basic ration. A little warm water was also necessary. It was 

FALSE ECONOMY

for amateurs to buy day old chicks and attempt to rear them. Far better to buy a good pullet for 16 shillings from a good farm which had been inspected and recommended by the association. This body also carried out useful post mortems on members birds to discover the cause of death, so that if possible the disease could be prevented from infecting the rest of the flock

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