Lavender Springtime Treat Mix For Chickens & Ducks

Lavender Springtime Treat Mix For Chickens & Ducks

It’s Tuesday treat time! Who doesn’t love lavender? I do, you do, and your hens sure do!

 

This week’s treat is bursting with herbs and protein (which is the best combination, don’t you think?) and you can make it for only a few dollars.

 

I thought I would change things up a bit this week with mealworms. My hens LOOOVEEE them – in fact, I timed them the other day, and it took them less than 60 seconds to devour a full cup of mealworms!

 

Spring can be a taxing time on your hens bodies because if they haven’t been laying, they’ll need more protein to get their little bodies into gear!

 

The lavender also helps to relax them so they’ll feel safe and comfy sitting for a while to get ‘er done and lay you some eggs!

 

If they laid all winter, supporting their bodies in the spring is still a good idea since they’ll likely be ramping up production naturally.

 

I love making these trail mix types of treats because it allows you to offer different types of nutrients, and hens love them because there’s a lot of different “flavors” to explore.

 

 

Particularly if your hens live in a coop and run full time, mixes like Lavender Springtime Treat Mix give them something new to cluck about AND environmental enrichment to keep their brains going!

 

And my flock loves picking at it while they poke around, exploring their new treat!

 

In a similar vein, the parsley is full of hidden vitamins. Although for human food, we tend to relegate parsley to a garnish, it’s a great source of necessary nutrients for your hens.

 

If you have a spare corner in your garden, you can grow parsley for your flock in a grazing box as well, which makes it easy to ensure they always have access to this “chicken superfood.”

 

The lavender, naturally, smells heavenly, and it wouldn’t surprise me if you made your own treat with it! (Have you checked out my recipe for lavender syrup?)

 

If you have any lavender leftovers, you can make yourself a relaxing herbal tea with it and add a bit of chamomile!

 

We have lavender for sale in the shop, but wherever you source it for your flock, please be sure it’s naturally grown and not been sprayed with chemicals or pesticides.

 

Here’s how to make Lavender Springtime Treat Mix for your hens!

 

Lavender Springtime Treat Mix

 

Ingredients (per backyard chicken):

1 tablespoon lavender flowers (dried or fresh)(buy naturally grown lavender here)

3 tablespoons unsalted, raw sunflower seeds (shelled is best, but with the shell on is ok)

3 tablespoons wheat berries (buy Non-GMO naturally grown wheat here)

2 tablespoons dried mealworms (buy USA raised & harvested mealworms here)

1 tablespoon parsley (dried or fresh) (buy naturally grown parsley here)

 

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and feed as part of a complete diet.

Best Eggs Ever! Backyard Chicken Treat

Best Eggs Ever! Backyard Chicken Treat

It’s spring, and yes, the hens are starting to lay again! Which means I get extra concerned about the quality of the eggs they lay.

 

Improving the egg quality a hen lays has been the subject of many studies.

 

The egg industry, after all, is concerned about getting as many eggs as possible, and researchers are concerned about the overall health of the eggs laid so people don’t eat contaminated food.

 

This week’s recipe includes some of the best herbs and other supplements you can give your hens to improve egg quality – and that’s why I’ve called it Best Eggs Ever!™.

 

Apple Cider Vinegar, Garlic, & Oregano For Healthier Eggs

You’ll notice something interesting in Best Eggs Ever!™, which is the Apple Cider Vinegar granules.

 

If you’ve never heard of ACV granules, it’s really neat stuff: It’s raw apple cider vinegar that has been dehydrated.

 

In studies, chickens fed apple cider vinegar, were healthier, grew better, and the eggs they laid had lower amounts of pathogens such as salmonella and campylobacter.

 

Similarly, when they used oregano around their chickens and in the feed, industrial egg farms found that the chickens were healthier and less likely to get sick.

 

Garlic is also included in Best Eggs Ever!™ because one of the chemical constituents in garlic – allicin – has been shown in studies to improve immune systems and can ward off mites in backyard chickens.

 

While fresh garlic is great to add to your flock’s water, granulated garlic is the perfect supplement to their regular feed because it can be mixed easier and the hens are more likely to eat it. Sometimes they miss fresh garlic if it’s not in their water.

Oyster Shells for Better Eggshells

If you want to make sure your girls lay nice, strong eggshells, then oyster shells are where it’s at!

 

All the calcium in them will give your hens the calcium they need so they lay healthy eggshells WITHOUT pulling the calcium from their own bones – which they might do if they aren’t getting enough calcium in their diet.

 

Oyster shells = better quality of life!

 

I’ve found that when the oyster shells are mixed with other yummy treats for my hens, they’re more likely to eat it.

 

Yes, they’ll eat it separately also, but they get wrapped up in the goodies, and down more of the calcium when it’s mixed.

 

If you don’t have oyster shells on hand, then feel free to substitute crushed eggshells.

 

Calendula for Better Yolks

You can see here the difference between a farm fresh egg from hens fed calendula and one from the store.

 

Calendula has a lot of beta carotene in it, which is super healthy for your hens AND will give you those golden yolks you’ve been dreaming of.

 

That’s why it’s a natural to be included in this recipe! (It also smells HEAVENLY which is an added bonus!)

 

Lavender & Chamomile for A Relaxed Hen

Hens that are relaxed lay easier and better – and they’re overall healthier than hens who are stressed (and they lay eggs with stronger, more regular shells, rather than wrinkled or abnormal eggs).

 

Hens also love to nibble on flowers & of course, they enjoy the scent! You can line your nesting boxes with lavender and chamomile, and they’re also great to include in their diet!

 

Are you ready to make Best Eggs Ever!™??? Here’s the recipe!

 

Best Eggs Ever!™

Ingredients

¼ c Calendula (buy in the store here)

¼ c Lavender (buy in the store here)

1/4 c Rose Buds (buy in the store here)

¼ c Alfalfa

¼ c Chamomile (buy in the store here)

¼ tsp granulated Garlic (buy in the store here)

¼ tsp Apple Cider Vinegar granules (buy in the store here)

1 tbsp Oregano (buy in the store here)

1 tbsp Parsley (buy in the store here)

1 tbsp Oyster Shells

 

Directions

Mix all ingredients together and serve as part of a complete diet. You can feed separately or with their regular layer feed. Feed Best Eggs Ever!™ to layers and adult roosters.

 

Make Lavender Syrup For Fun Desserts!

Make Lavender Syrup For Fun Desserts!

I started making lavender syrup because I got bored with regular sugar syrup and I wanted a new way to use essential oils in my life.

 

You can diffuse oils, use them on your skin, or consume them – and lavender syrup takes cuisine to the next level.

 

It takes less than 10 minutes to make, and you likely have all the ingredients at home.

 

Want a great dessert to wow company? Try lavender syrup! You already have the ingredients!

 

You can use lavender syrup in lemonade (just replace some of the sugar for equal parts syrup) for a refreshing floral flavor and on ice cream or other desserts (I’ve never tried it, but it might be interesting in baklava).

 

It’s also a great way to get the benefits of lavender essential oil! Lavender essential oil is great for healthy skin and for relaxing.

 

Be sure you only use therapeutic grade oil – I’ve done a lot of research and this is the brand I recommend and that I personally use.

 

Please don’t buy oil off Amazon, because you can’t be sure the oil will be pure. I always buy direct from the manufacturer, which is why I recommend this brand.

 

Trust me when I say that this will probably be the easiest thing you do all day, and the recipe is so simple, you’ll never forget it (and you’ll always have a go-to recipe to impress company).

 

Want a great dessert to wow company? Try lavender syrup! You already have the ingredients!

 

Making Lavender Syrup

Ingredients

1 cup sugar

1 cup water

1 drop lavender essential oil

 

In a small sauce pan, combine the water and sugar. Heat until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and cool for 1 minute, then add 1 drop lavender essential oil. You can play with the strength of the lavender flavoring but I’ve found that more than 1 drop is a bit overwhelming.

 

If you find 1 drop of oil overwhelming, then dip a toothpick in the oil and swirl the toothpick in the syrup. You’ll still get the flavor of lavender.

 

You can also try other essential oils; lavender pairs well with orange and lemon. Just use 1 drop each. Use in any recipe that includes sugar and that you want flavored with lavender.

 

If you’re staying away from processed sugars, use 1/2 cup organic honey instead of 1 cup of sugar. The taste will be different, but still super yummy.

Amish Black Drawing Salve Homemade Recipe

Amish Black Drawing Salve Homemade Recipe

Have you ever been weeding or working with wood, and come inside with pricklies under your skin? Then you’ll want to grab a jar of my favorite Amish Black Drawing Salve!

 

Amish Black Drawing Salve is a traditional recipe that’s found a resurgence in our modern times – and it’s pretty easy to make yourself.

 

Even better, the ingredients in the Amish Black Drawing Salve recipe below have myriad uses around the house – so investing in them is a good idea for an all-natural homestead.

 

I’ve found Amish Black Drawing Salve particularly helpful after weeding the garden, when you might have brushed up against some prickly plants (the hyssop on this recipe is GREAT for that).

 

 

You can also use it if you’ve been working with wood and suddenly find yourself with a splinter.

 

Traditionally, Amish Black Drawing Salve is made with pine resin, and if you can get your hands on it, you can add it to this recipe – you’ll have to play with it a bit.

 

To replace the pine resin, I add pine essential oil – it accomplishes the same thing, and is easy to store with multitude other uses around the house (cleaners, for example).

 

I also added hyssop, which is great for supporting healthy skin. In fact, it’s my go-to when I want to improve the appearance of my skin. Similarly, carrot seed is great for supporting healthy skin.

 

The lavender in this Amish Black Drawing Salve adds it’s soothing properties while giving the salve a scent most people will appreciate (rather than something off-smelling, which some home remedies have).

 

Children, especially, are sensitive to smells, and might not want you to use it on them if your Amish Black Drawing Salve smells funky.

 

There’s a lot of different ingredients listed, but if you collect all the items before you make the salve (I’ve listed where you can get them for easy shopping), the actual steps are very simple.

 

Trust me, this looks a lot more complicated than it is.

 

Amish black drawing salve is a centuries-old traditional recipe. Here;'s how to make it in your own kitchen!

 

Amish Black Drawing Salve Ingredients

(I’ve done a lot of research, and this is the brand of essential oils I recommend)

How to Make Amish Black Drawing Salve

Add the oil, shea butter, coconut oil, beeswax, and honey to a mason jar. Make a double boiler by heating water in a pot, then placing the mason jar in the water. You want to melt the oil, shea butter, coconut oil, beeswax, and honey so they combine.

 

Using the beeswax as a guide,when the mixture is almost totally melted, stir constantly for 2 minutes to ensure the honey is evenly distributed.

 

Don’t skip this step because you’ll find the honey might clump up in one portion of the finished salve, and it’ll be a sticky mess.

 

Once the ingredients are combined in the mason jar, remove from heat and add the activated charcoal powder, white kaolin clay, and essential oils.

 

Stir constantly until all the Amish Black Drawing Salve ingredients are thoroughly combined and then allow the mixture to cool undisturbed until solid. This step might take a couple hours.

 

Once cool, you can store it on a shelf and use as needed. To use, apply to the area of concern and wrap the area. Remove and reapply daily until desired result is achieved.

 

This recipe makes ¼ pint of Amish Black Drawing Salve – I store mine in a ½ pint jar. You can also store it in smaller containers.

 

Why Your Shampoos & Soaps Are Harming Your Daughter (And What To Do About It)

Why Your Shampoos & Soaps Are Harming Your Daughter (And What To Do About It)

Time for a truth bomb. If you use commercial soaps and shampoos from big box stores, the dollar store, etc, chances are you’re exposing your children to phthalates.

 

What the heck are phthalates?

 

I’m glad you asked. (Like, really glad). Phthalates are chemical compounds commonly found in all sorts of consumer products, like household cleaners, toiletries, children’s toys, and makeup.

 

They also happen to be linked to depressed thyroid function, particularly young girls, according to scientists at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.

 

I bet if you look in your bathroom right now, you’ll find at least 10 items containing phthalates. That’s a big fat scary thought, isn’t it?

 

So, how did all these products end up in the hands of consumers anyway?

Well, that’s a funny thing. The large corporations that produce these products aren’t required to disclose what’s in their product’s fragrances.

 

So those dryer sheets you love so much?

 

Chances are they’re full of phthalates, and potentially wreaking havoc on your children’s endocrine systems.

 

Another common culprit? Nail polish (who knew?). Window cleaning products are another.

 

Those scented soaps you buy? Possibly messing with your daughter’s thyroid every time you bathe her.

 

In fact, skin exposure is a huge factor in endocrine disruption. As you know, the skin is our largest organ, but it has no defenses against phthalates.

 

Any exposure heads straight through your skin and into your major internal organs.

 

Yuck, who needs this, right?

 

Why going unscented won’t stop your problem

So, from now on you’ll just use unscented or fragrance-free products, right?

 

Well, that’s not going to solve the problem of your phthalate exposure any better.

 

Unscented means that the product probably has a large chemical smell naturally – and more chemicals have been added to mask that scent.

 

Fragrance-free just means that more fragrances weren’t added…but the product’s natural fragrances are still there, and there’s still likely phthalates lurking in the bottle.

 

So, what should you do instead?

Here’s our handy list of swaps you can make, switching your phthalate-laden shampoos and other household products with greener, healthier versions:

 

Shampoos – use organic castile soap like this here. For fragrance, you can use 1 drop of essential oil per 16 fluid oz of castile soap. Peppermint is a favorite with many people. Rosemary is great for maintaining full, thick hair.

 

Please don’t buy your essential oils on Amazon – there’s no quality control. 

 

Soaps – try to buy from small, artisan soap makers to avoid any unnecessary exposure to chemicals. You can also make your own soap in minutes with our recipe here. Use lavender, rose, or geranium essential oil for great all-natural scents.

 

Window cleaners – Mix 1 drop lemon essential oil with 8 oz white vinegar in a spray bottle (Look for bottles with recycle numbers 1 or 2). Spray windows, wipe with newspaper.

 

Counter top cleaners – Mix 1 drop of lemon essential oil with 8 oz white vinegar. Use like you would normally. You can also use these all-organic counter wipes. Buy direct from the manufacturer here.

 

Room fresheners – diffuse 1 drop of essential oil. For tough odors, try 1 drop melaleuca (tea tree) essential oil with 1 drop lemon. For a floral scent, try 1 drop geranium! For bedtime, diffuse 1 drop lavender. Get your oils here.

 

Again, please don’t buy your essential oils on Amazon – there’s no quality control. Buy direct from our trusted source here.

 

Laundry detergent -You can also make your own recipe here.

We love this brand: 100% all-natural.

Here’s where you can get it.

 

Dryer sheets – Use wool balls with 1 drop of essential oil of your choice. Lavender is a good one to try.

 

Baby wipes – We love this brand of baby wipes:

No phthalates, 100% natural. Can also be used as makeup wipes! Get them here.

 

Makeup – We love this brand. Pure mineral makeup, no phthalates. Get it here.