Poison Ivy Results

I had a bout with poison ivy a few weeks back and had several great remedy recommendations.  Two worked pretty well…

1) Aim a hot blow-dryer at the sores for several minutes multiple times per day (as needed) to dry the oil and reduce the itchiness of the sores.  This worked well.

2) I grew up using a product for poison ivy called “Rhuli Gel“.  It disappeared and was moved around to different Big Pharmas and brand labels for a number of years.  We still had some under a different label, but this worked really well.  Now it’s available again as Rhuli Gel, so I’d highly recommend it.

3) I had a recommendation from one of my co-workers about Tecnu soap product.  I didn’t notice much benefit washing my skin with it.  But I believe it was very helpful for washing clothing that had the bad oils on them.

We loaded the washer with the exposed clothing items and lots of hot water on a soak setting.  Then we put in a tablespoon or so of the Tecnu soap, ran a soak and spin cycle, and ran all the suspected clothing again in hot water with regular laundry detergent.

What tips do you have to clean up after poison ivy exposure?


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Our Chickens are Eating Eggs!

So our chickens are eating their eggs, and it is cutting our egg production by 10% (minimum), and makes a mess of the remaining eggs (yolk is on them and bits of straw/hay/nest box material sticks to them!)  Ugh!

The big mistake: laziness and not understanding the why around the what I am about to share here.

Justin Rhodes talks about washing and crushing egg shells to feed back to chickens for a good source of calcium.  But I didn’t understand the reason to wash and crush the egg shells.  It’s because of the egg residue left on them. Chickens love it! And if you don’t crush the egg shells, they can tell by the shape that that tasty residue came from…you guessed it! An egg! More recently I’ve heard you should even possibly “toast” your egg shells to remove the taste entirely.

If you don’t wash, crush, and possibly toast/heat up the egg shells, your chickens will get a taste for egg yolk, which is what they ate while in the egg.  (Ah, the good old days.)

If they get a taste for it, they will eat eggs!

So How Do You Fix It?

Some options for remedying this problem:

  1. Calcium supplement – oyster shells –  we get a 50lb bag for ~$10 at our farm co-op.
  2. Golf balls in the nest box to give the birds are sore beak if they are pecking at objects in the nest.
  3. Roll-away egg boxes (this isn’t an option for us and it doesn’t really fit with God’s design for the chickens in my opinion.)
  4. Collect the eggs more often – don’t leave any tasty treats for them to eat!
  5. The Hamilton Beach vacation for those offending hens.

We have tried most of these options and the behavior has settled down quite a bit.  #4 above has been the most helpful and… wait, I forgot the best option:

Pray and ask the Lord to change the chickens’ taste buds.  Cast your cares on Him because He cares for you!  1 Peter 5:7


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