Raising mealworms for animal feed

The Benefits Of Raising Mealworms

Mealworms are an ultimate healthy snack for chickens, ducks, geese, and quail. They are jam packed with protein and something that your critters absolutely love. We raise our mealworms to feed to our hatching babies in the house. We raise (Grand Champion) Quail. The babies go CRAZY over the mealworms that we put in their feeders. 

A few things I have found in raising mealworms are that:

I know what I am feeding my birds!

I know what I am feeding my kids, why shouldn’t I monitor what I am feeding my birds too? After all, our birds give us meat and eggs that my kids are eating. Mealworms pack so many nutrients and protein. And your birds will thank you for it. 

Meals worms are one of the easiest additions to your homestead. I keep mine in a tub(with holes drilled into the top) and an old fishtank in my laundry room. I feed each container a potato on Fridays and blow out their tanks once a month of all of the “skins” that they shed. Yep, that simple! I have a few pieces of cotton balls in each container for them to lay their eggs in and the bottom of my containers either have oatmeal or chicken scratch. 

The mealworm life cycle is in four stages: egg, larvae, pupa, and darkling beetle. The larvae stage is what I feed to my birds. 

 

You can find me and others at the Simple Life Mom Hop and the Simple Homestead Hop!

Elderberry Syrup for those winter colds

My children know that when they are starting to feel yucky, they can just go into the fridge and get out the elderberry syrup. And all they need to do is to take a spoonful. We have been making this for years. 

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup dried elderberries (There are many places to get these… The best price that I have found and from a company that I trust is Mountain Herbs – https://www.mountainroseherbs.com/products/elder-berries/profile
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 cinnamon stick (I keep these around for my chai tea)
  • 4 whole cloves (I keep these around for my chai tea, too)
  • 1 cup honey (I buy local honey from a small store in my area called HoneyMan.)

Instructions

  1. Add the berries, water, cloves, ginger, and cinnamon stick to a large pot and bring to a boil. 
  2. Once boiling, reduce the berry mixture to a simmer. (I actually cooked today’s batch on my wood stove)
  3. Allow ingredients to simmer for 30 minutes.
  4. After 30 minutes, remove from the heat.
  5. Add your honey to your jar.
  6. Strain the berries from the juice, using a cheesecloth and small mesh sieve over your jar. 
  7. Now you have the perfect syrup for fighting off the sniffles this season. Keep your jar in the fridge.
  8. Take 1 tablespoon daily by spoon . When I am in the middle of a cold, I take it 3 times a day. 

You can find me and others at the Simple Life Mom Hop and the Simple Homestead Hop!

Age Appropriate Chore Chart – FREE PDF Download

Living with a larger family full of kids and critters and homeschooling the whole crew, a house can get in disarray and fast.

Here is an age-appropriate chore chart to help get you back on task. We recently re-implemented this with even our older kids as a reminder of what we can all work on together. (We did not add any pet or farm responsibilities here.

Here is a FREE Download:  KrisandLarry - Age Appropriate Chores for Kids (11 downloads)

Colloidal Silver – What is it?

After 2 weeks of coughing and tight lungs, I finally went in to see the doctor. Dr. Chris took one look at me and said Walking Pneumonia…. ewww Every year at the same time, I get severe allergies and then cough an wheeze for months.  Fast forward to 11/7/2018 (now 5-1/2 weeks with a cough and mucus) It is time to hit the books and break down and purchase some colloidal silver. Many of my family and friends had suggested it. 24 hours after, I stopped taking my chest congestion medication. And my mucus is finally moving!

What I can tell you is that I feel ridiculous that I didn’t try this sooner and have been coughing for almost 6 weeks. After 4 days, I am still slightly coughing, but do feel 100% better. 

There is no flavor…. and no you are not drinking something that looks like molten mercury.  (I have to admit that was one of MY questions too!)

I am using a spray bottle and I give 2 or 3 good sprays 4 times a day.  

It is a 4oz bottle of WATER with 10ppm (10 parts per million of micro silver suspended in distilled water. )

Colloidal silver has been used for centuries to promote good health and studies continue to also show that colloidal silver outperforms many mainstream methods used against harmful organisms. With so many cases of antibiotic resistance, it’s no wonder why colloidal silver has become extremely popular in recent years. Consumers should know, however, that not all silver products are created equal. Here are 5 things you must know about colloidal silver.

https://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/5-things-must-know-colloidal-silver/

5 Things About Colloidal Silver
1. Parts Per Million (PPM) is Mildly Important
When it comes to colloidal silver, don’t get caught up in how many parts per million — or PPM — a solution has. Although it’s not a mundane detail, what’s really important is the particle size. Smaller particles can move more easily throughout your body and they’re more bioavailable. Particle sizes less than .005 microns are ideal. Sometimes this is indicated on the label, sometimes not. One way to tell if silver particles are too large is by examining the color of the solution. A dark or murky-color usually indicates large silver particles and other impurities.

2. Silver Won’t Upset Beneficial Intestinal Organisms
A lot of people use silver as defense against harmful organisms. Unlike antibiotics which wipeout both the “bad” and the “good” organisms present in the intestinal tract, silver maintains a balance of intestinal microorganisms. Silver absorbs quickly in the upper GI tract, and little gets through to cause problems for the beneficial bacteria in the small intestine and colon.

3. Good Colloidal Silver Won’t Turn You Blue
Occasionally you may hear of an individual who develops argyria, a condition that develops when silver proteins cause a blueing of the skin. (Do a Google search for Paul Karason.) While this may happen when people use ultra low quality silver solutions, pure hydrosol colloidal silver without additives, proteins, or salts does not cause this condition. This is why it’s imperative to obtain the purest solution available.

4. Purity Matters
Colloidal silver isn’t just a mixture of silver and water; it’s a solution where the silver particles are suspended in water and have an electrical charge. This type of solution requires ultra pure water. It also requires special equipment necessary to create and maintain a constant charge. Many colloidal silver home brew kits use salts or other compounds during the process to suspend the silver in the solution. Products like this do not offer the same effect as colloidal silver produced with high voltage technology.

5. Only Use the Best Colloidal Silver
Not all colloidal silver products are created alike. First and foremost, choose a product that’s been produced using high voltage alternating current technology. This production method requires specialized equipment and produces a silver solution of unparalleled quality and purity compared to low-tech low voltage methods

The following is a GREAT article to help understand more about Colloidal Silver and its uses. https://wholelifestylenutrition.com/natural-solutions/uses-and-benefits-for-colloidal-silver/

USES AND BENEFITS FOR COLLOIDAL SILVER AND HOW IT CAN HELP YOU!
WHAT IS COLLOIDAL SILVER?
Colloidal silver is a mineral that can be beneficial for the body in many different ways.It is a solution of water containing nanometre-sized particles of suspended silver.(3)

It has antibacterial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties, helps heal wounds and cuts, and helps treat eczema, rosacea, and psoriasis. 

USES AND BENEFITS FOR COLLOIDAL SILVER

USES FOR COLLOIDAL SILVER

There are many uses and benefits for colloidal silver.  Here are just a few from Web.MD:

Colloidal silver is used to treat infections due to yeast; bacteria (tuberculosis, Lyme disease, bubonic plague, pneumonia, leprosy, gonorrhea, syphilis, scarlet fever, stomach ulcers, cholera); parasites (ringworm, malaria); and viruses (HIV/AIDS, pneumonia, herpes, shingles, warts).

Colloidal silver is also used for lung conditions including emphysema and bronchitis; skin conditions including rosacea, cradle cap (atopic dermatitis), eczema, impetigo, and psoriasis; and inflammation (sometimes due to infection) of the bladder (cystitis), prostate (prostatitis), colon (colitis), nose (rhinitis), stomach (gastritis), tonsils (tonsillitis), appendix (appendicitis), and sinuses (sinusitis).

Other uses include treatment of cancer, diabetes, arthritis, lupus, chronic fatigue syndrome, leukemia, hay fever and other allergies, trench foot, and gum disease.

Colloidal silver is also used to prevent flu, H1N1 (swine) flu, and the common cold.

Some women take colloidal silver during pregnancy to aid the baby’s growth and health as well as the mother’s delivery and recovery.

Colloidal silver is applied directly to the skin for acne, burns, eye infections, fungal infections, throat infections, skin infections, and Staphylococcus infections. ~ Web MD

It should go without mentioning that you should always talk to your healthcare provider before trying this or any supplement.

BENEFITS OF COLLOIDAL SILVER

There are so many uses and benefits for colloidal silver, and better yet — there are also proven benefits too!

Here are 8 proven colloidal silver benefits from our friends over at Dr. Axe.

Discovering Education – Field Trip – Bearizona, Williams, Arizona

****Note: It is a RIVER OTTER, not a SEA OTTER in the video****

What a fantastic time we as a family had up in Williams, AZ visiting Bearizona for their fall homeschool day.  Bearizona is an amazing zoo type park in Northern Arizona. It is on 160 acres and comes in 2 parts. The first is a 3-mile drive through where you can see many animals in a more natural environment. The second part is a zoo where you can walk through. 

Check out our adventure in video and photos below.  This park gets a 2 thumbs up from our homeschooling family! And we plan on going again!

 

 

 

Recipe – Cheesy Beef Noodles

This is a recipe that I found a long time ago and had jotted down on a post-it note. We have been making this for about a year now and have altered it to fit our family. 🙂

INGREDIENTS:

  • 16 ounces medium pasta shells
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1-1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 medium sweet onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1Tablespoon Italian seasoning, dried basil or oregano
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups beef stock
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 can of roasted green chilies
  • 1-1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 12 ounces shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese, about 3 cups

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions; drain well and set aside
  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add ground beef and cook into small crumbles until browned. Set aside.
  3. Add onion, and cook, stirring frequently, until translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in garlic and seasoning until fragrant. 
  4. Whisk in flour until lightly browned, about 1 minute.
  5. Stir in chilies and diced tomatoes.
  6. Gradually whisk in beef stock. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until reduced and slightly thickened, about 6-8 minutes.
  7. Stir in pasta, beef, and heavy cream until heated through, about 1-2 minutes; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  8. Stir in cheese until melted.
  9. Serve immediately.
 
 

Himalayan Salt Lamp

I have been doing a lot of research on the Himalayan salt lamp and all of the benefits that it has.

(This is psuedo-science and many western medicine doctors don’t believe that they are any more than a pretty light. But many eastern medicine and natural paths believe otherwise. )

However, after looking into more “natural” medicines in my home, I have found that there are possibilities that this lamp can help with negative ions in the air and help pull out allergins.  And I get a pretty light too. 😉

 After my partial thyroidectomy 5 years ago (WOW! It has been that long!!) the doctor took me off of iodized table salt and put me only on blue/grey Celtic salt or pink Himalayan salt at home. It is hard to avoid when you go out to eat.  That is where my research started. When a regular ENT tells you to do something “natural” and not something from a pharmacy, you listen.

So this post is 5 years in the making. 🙂

Yes, there are skeptics, and I totally get it! But wouldn’t you rather try something that could help than turn your head?

Regular table salt is primarily just sodium chloride. Himalayan salt is still about 98% sodium chloride, but also contains trace minerals (over 80)  like magnesium, potassium, and zinc. Trace minerals give Himalayan salt its beautiful pink and orange coloring. 

Here is a list of the minerals that are found in Himalayan Salt from the LiveStrong website – The Meadow lists elements found in Himalayan salt in addition to sodium and chloride. In alphabetical order, they are: actinium, aluminum, antimony, arsenic, astatine, barium, beryllium, bismuth, boron, bromine, cadmium, calcium, carbon, cerium, cesium, chlorine, chromium, cobalt, copper, dysprosium, erbium, europium, fluorine, francium, gadolinium, gallium, germanium, gold, hafnium, holmium, hydrogen, indium, iodine, iridium, iron, lanthanum, lead, lithium, lutetium, magnesium, manganese, mercury, molybdenum, neodymium, neptunium, nickel, niobium, nitrogen, osmium, oxygen, palladium, phosphorus, platinum, plutonium, polonium, potassium, praseodymium, protactinium, radium, rhenium, rhodium, rubidium, ruthenium, samarium, scandium, selenium, silicon, silver, sodium, strontium, sulfur, tantalum, tellurium, terbium, thallium, thorium, thulium, tin, titanium, uranium, vanadium, wolfram, yttrium, ytterbium, zinc and zirconium.

According to the  Global Healing Center

Himalayan Crystal Salt: The Health Benefits

Himalayan crystal salt has matured over the past 250 million years under intense tectonic pressure in an environment that’s free of toxins and impurities.[1] Even better, this form of salt contains about 80 natural minerals and elements used by the human body.[2] It’s popular in Ayurvedic, Tibetan, and other traditions. Adherents believe that Himalayan salt’s unique cellular structure allows it to store vibrational energy. Many also believe that natural Himalayan crystal salt offers health benefits such as:[34]

  • Regulating water levels in the body
  • Promoting stable pH balance
  • Encouraging healthy blood sugar levels
  • Reducing the appearance of aging
  • Promoting cellular hydroelectric energy balance
  • Aiding vascular health
  • Supporting healthy respiratory function
  • Promoting overall sinus health
  • Reducing cramps
  • Promoting healthy sleep patterns
  • Encouraging healthy libido
  • Promoting kidney and gallbladder health

So let’s talk more about the lamp! 

Salt is naturally hygroscopic.  Hygroscopy is the ability of a substance to attract and hold water molecules from the surrounding environment. So, the salt lamps can potentially attract water molecules in the air. Since water in the air can also hold allergens, pollutants, and even bacteria, these substances get attracted to the lamp too. The heated salt lamp supposedly dries out the water vapor, leaving the particles attached to the salt. Anything that helps get allergens out of the air of my office is a plus in my eyes since I spend so much time in there on the computer. Many sources recommend wiping down the salt lamp with a cloth at least once a week to clean it off.

The lamp can produce negative ions (not a lot). The negative ions cling to the positive ions that items like electronics produce and help eliminate some of those “disturbances in the force”. (Yes, a Star Wars reference just came out.) So, I opted to put my lamp in my office by my computer for that reason as well. 

There is research done on the colors of the lights that we use… At night, blue lights are bad for the brain and can interrupt sleep cycles… The salt lamp with their pink/orange hues can help with better sleeping even when used as a night light. 

My plan is to pick up one for each of my kid’s rooms to add a beautiful light and to possibly help better their health and the air quality even if it is just slightly. 🙂

 

 

Have you met a Muscovy Duck?

Have you met a Muscovy Duck?

Muscovies are not related to any other duck, in fact, some believe they are possibly descended from geese rather than ducks. They are amazing additions to any homestead or farm. 

Muscovies are a silent duck (Yes, you read that, they.do.not.quack) and they have amazing caruncles on their face and necks. They also have long claws and will roost in trees if they want, unlike other ducks that I have raised over the years. 

Muscovy Eggs

Ducks eggs are the richest, creamiest, smoothest eggs going. We use duck eggs in our baking and it tends to make cakes rise more and be fluffier. Muscovies, however, are not year-round layers, so if you are looking for year-round duck eggs, this is not necessarily the breed for you. 

Muscovy Ducks Used for Meat

Muscovy meat is dark and very lean. It’s worth knowing that the boys weigh in much heavier than the girls and can be up to twice their weights. 

Feeding you Ducks

In the summer months our birds will require very little extra food as they forage plenty even on our little homestead in Northern Arizona, but in the colder months they’ll need feeding a duck or  chicken feed daily. My do like to forrage through the Kune Pigs’ Alfalfa feeder in the winter time as well.