Wanted you to know!

IMG_1729.jpg

Wanted to let all of our Amp-3 family and friends know, that Beth was diagnosed with Stage 1 B Breast Cancer in Feb of this year. Following surgery on March 9th, Beth was going to have radiation for 4-6 weeks following that but a test result changed that last week

Tomorrow, Monday April 16th, Beth will be starting 4 treatments of Chemotherapy spaced 3 weeks apart and then 6 weeks of radiation. Beth is feeling really good, God is so amazing and the support has been overwhelming!

David, Kelsey and Matthew along with Beth's family and really close friends have known about this since Jan. and she is really am doing fine. David will be going with Beth to all of her Chemo treatments and the support from him has been thoughtful and caring.

Amp-3 will be up and running during this time of treatment but orders may get delayed depending on how Beth is feeling.

Thank you for all of your support and your love!

Sincerely,

Beth and David

Amp-3, LLC

www.amp-3.net

amp3@reagan.com

So, You Want To Hatch Your Own Eggs, Now What?

This week, I have two guest bloggers that raise and hatch chickens. You want to learn how?? Read this Blog Post and get started hatching your own eggs!

By Chris and Deanna – Chris and Deanna homestead on 33 acres in Southwestern Oregon where they raise most of their own produce, as well as chickens, rabbits and goats.  They have a combined 30+ years of experience across a wide array of homesteading skills.

Recently we decided to increase the size of our flock of Jersey Giant chickens.  Up until now, we have always bought chicks either from local feed stores or through online sources.  This time, however, we decided to take a more “homestead” type of approach and hatch eggs from our own flock of 2 roosters and 30 hens.  It was much easier and far more rewarding than we could have ever imagined.

We started by doing lots of research on the various methods and equipment needed to hatch our own chicks.  There are varieties of opinions on how hatching and brooding chicks should be done.  We settled on an incubator kit by Little Giant that featured everything we would need, including an automatic egg turner accessory.  It has a capacity of 41 eggs.  We decided to hatch fewer than 41 eggs since we really had no idea what we were doing and did not want to get in over our head. 

We chose 10 nice eggs for our first try at hatching.  Using the instructions supplied with our incubator kit we candled the eggs to try to make sure they were fertilized.  We set the incubator up on our kitchen table so we could keep our eyes on the process.  The instructions were clear on how to maintain humidity in the incubator, which we would later find out, is crucial to getting a good result. During our research we found that there is normally a 60% hatch rate on eggs.  Our results were just about there.

In went the eggs…and then the wait began.  At day 22 we started to notice that some of the eggs were starting to move around a bit.  This is normal when they are about to hatch.  The next day six of the chicks began to “pip”.  This is the term for the first hole they peck in the eggs and is a sure sign that the hatch has begun.  At this point, humidity levels are even more important.  We did not find out until later that our son had been opening the incubator and moving the eggs so the “pip” was facing up.  This created havoc with the humidity in the incubator.

C&D_1_PIPPING.JPG

Two chicks hatched normally on day 25 while three seemed to be having trouble and one did not progress beyond the “pip”.  We left the process alone and monitored, keeping the humidity up as best as we could.  It quickly became apparent that the two chicks having trouble would need some help.  Turning to “YouTube University”, we found that you can help chicks having a hard time by actually peeling some of the shell and gently opening the inner membrane for them. 

C&D_3_HELPING_1.JPG

This is something you will want to study up on because there are some specific recommendations to follow if you are going to try it, and it will help you hatch more chicks.  Following the information we found, we helped the three chicks hatch by hand.  It was an incredible process.  All three that were having trouble had a condition known as “shrink wrapping”.  This happens when humidity levels vary wildly after the “pip" stage, which is where our helpful son figured into the picture.  Every time he was opening and closing the incubator, he was messing up the humidity levels.  The lesson learned here is do not open your incubator unless you have to, and then, only keep it open for a few seconds.

At this point, we had five chicks hatched.  The sixth that only “pipped” never hatched.  We did our own chick autopsy to try to figure out what happened and we found that the inner membrane of the egg was dry and had make it impossible for the chick to hatch.

 

 

C&D_4_HELPING_2.JPG

After the five living chicks were fully dry, about a day later, we transferred them to a brooder.  One poor little fellow was born with deformed feet and he did not make it.  We feel that this was due to the “shrink wrapping”.  The four remaining chicks grew quickly and went to an outdoor brooder when they were about 3 weeks old.  We ended up with one hen and three roosters, which was not what our plan was since we wanted to hatch more hens, but we were grateful for what we got and the learning experience we had.  We likely will never buy chicks again now that we know how easy and rewarding it is to hatch our own.  Do not be afraid to hatch your own chicks.  You will make your homestead more self-sustaining and can even sell your chicks! 

 

C&D_5_CHICKS.JPG

One final note.  We normally use torn up newspaper in our brooders.  This time we decided to use wood shavings.  It turns out this is a bad idea because new chicks do not understand that they are not supposed to eat the shavings.  More than once, we had to take shavings out of their beaks and point them to their food.


Wow! As I read this, I quickly understood that time and patience are needed for Hatching Your Own Eggs! Great tip on the wood shavings too!

Thank you Chris and Deanna for your time in putting this together. Are you interested in being one of my Guest Blogger? Then send me a email at amp3@reagan.com and be added to the list. Looking forward to next week? Post a comment and let me know what you think and what you would like to know more about! 

January 22, 2018! Part 2 from Jerry D. Young!

Hope that you enjoyed last weeks post from Jerry D. Young on his plan for Preparedness. This week we will continue along that theme and give you the 2nd half of his plan.

The best place to start is usually getting the basic human needs taken care of first, no matter what scenario you are preparing for. First you need to figure out what those are, but that is pretty easy. I have a list. The rest can come when you have learned more and not only have, but have practiced with, the initial items.

Begin to study and learn all you can now, and as you go along. Preps without knowledge aren’t nearly as effective as they are when you know the why-to and when-to in addition to the how-to. Do not feel like you must do everything in the order listed. You will need to do many of the things, especially these first ones, concurrently. Some things can wait, depending on your specific situation, but the basic human needs should all be met as quickly and completely as possible.

1.  Air:

Fortunately, it is still free and available, for the most part, for most scenarios. If there is a problem with air supply, special equipment and supplies are necessary. Not a beginner’s subject.

2.  Water:

Has to be contaminate free, naturally or with other means. And a lot of it. Store a lot, locate a reliable future source, get water treatment/purification. A few 15-gallon water drums, a couple of stainless steel water bottles with cups for the BOBs, a quality water purifier, either a high cap camping filter or a combination of a drip filter for the BIB and a smaller hikers filter for the BOBs. Scout out locations for long term supplies of water.

3.  Food:

You can go for a while without it, but not long or you become useless. No cook, add hot water only, & easy-cook shelf stable foods, heavy on meats, fruits, and comfort foods. For both BOB and BIB. Buy in bulk or in case lots when possible. At the least, buy extra of the things you want and use on a daily basis when they are on sale. To build up longer term supplies, double buy each grocery day. Soon you will have a good pantry.

Learn to garden and grow as much as you can as soon as you can. Ditto home canning when you get the garden going. Don't be afraid of the commercially produced crops like wheat and oats. You can grow non-hybrid/organic types in a home garden. 

4.  Sanitation:

You gotta go when you gotto go. You need the safe means to do so. Chemical toilet, TP, hand washing means, bug spray, antiseptic cleaners, shovel to bury wastes. Toiletries. Charmin camper’s toilet paper and cleansing wipes for the BOBs. Infectious diseases protection supplies, face mask, gloves, goggles and hand sanitizer. And the ladies, and especially soon to be ladies, need large supplies of their needs on hand. 

5.  Environmental protection:

You need appropriate clothing as well as housing. Sometimes it is more important than food or sanitation in extreme circumstances. This includes being able to make and control fires. The right clothes for the season. Basic camping gear in case the house becomes unlivable.

You are probably already doing the right clothes for the given season, though here in Reno I see people going from heated homes to heated cars, to heated business and back again wearing a T-shirt, shorts, and flip-flops in 20 degree weather with snow on the ground and coming down hard (I am not joking). Have what you need to keep you comfortable in the weather.

And the camp gear is for when the house cannot be lived in and you need to camp out in the back yard or evacuate. Or even stay in the house when nothing is working. Fallout/blast shelters, like air purification, are another specific topic that deserves separate consideration. Put it in the budget, and start saving, but don’t short the other equipment and supplies unless war is imminent. 

6.  Security:

Beside protection from the elements, there can be a need for protection from dangerous animals, including other humans. Light is your friend. If you cannot see the threat, you cannot protect yourself from it. Lights and vision devices are an important part of a security plan, as well as all around useful. Once you know you can see it, you can get the actual means to protect yourself from those things in your threat analysis you decided were the biggest dangers. From wild domesticated animals, wild animals, and self-defense in those cases where it might be needed. Training, weapons, defensive measures. For some this is a much higher priority. Evaluate your needs and make the decision. 

They tend to be expensive, so set up a long range budget and start saving money for them now, even if you can’t get it yet due to the overall expense. But as soon as you can, get something that is at least reasonably effective, even if you prefer something else in the future. Don’t put off protection items to get the penultimate weapons system. Train, train, and train some more with them. And don’t forget Operational Security. Be very careful who you let know you have preps. There can be repercussions if other people do know.

7.  Fire/Lighting/Sharps:

These are important for safety and utility. You will want several means to start a fire, and a couple of items to contain fire. Fire steel, Lifeboat matches, lighters with some tinder for the BOBs. To heat one room in the house, an indoor safe propane or kerosene heater with a supply of fuel stored outdoors. 

You will need lighting for indoors & outdoors. A couple of crank flashlights for both BIB and BOB, candles, propane lanterns, battery lanterns. Tactical lights for defense. Get some lighting specifically for preps, even though you probably already have a couple of flashlights with weak batteries and non-working bulbs. 

You will need sharps to cut with.  Knives/SAK/Multi-tool, axe, saw, etc. I’m fairly sure you have a knife or two in the house. Probably suitable for most uses, except lacking a sheath. But there are some blades that are better for field use and Swiss Army Knives (SAKs), and multi-tools can be handy, and if you need to build shelter or an outdoor fire, axes and saws will save you much labor.

 Just purchased this slick little fire starter for David. American made! Click on image to get more information. 

Just purchased this slick little fire starter for David. American made! Click on image to get more information. 

8.  Heat/cooling/Cooking:

There quite probably will be a need to maintain acceptable temperatures in home and in the field such as indoor safe propane and kerosene heaters. Gas grill w/tanks, various camping stoves for home or field to cook food when possible (but not in the house). No-cook, and add-hot-water-only foods are desirable in the early stages of a situation. But a hot drink and hot meal can raise the spirits and supply needed warmth in many situations. Not critical at first in some climate, but nice later on.

Others will need to up this on the priority list if in a cold climate and suitable clothes for the weather won’t be available. This could include a generator in addition to non-electrical means so a refrigerator, freezer, AC, stove, medical equipment, fans, etc. can be operated. 

9.  Medical:

Maintaining everyone’s good health should be a priority all the time. But in some of the scenarios you probably came up with include medical emergencies. Knowledge and the right tools are literally life and death in some instances. Extensive first-aid kits, heavy on the trauma treatment for at the scene and in both BIBs & BOBs and the rest of the alphabet.

These are supplemental kits to your regular home first aid kit. It’s is fine for minor cuts, abrasions, stings, and bruises. In a disaster the injuries are likely to be not only worse, but in great numbers. Stock up with quality in mind and with as much quantity as is possible. Another item to budget early on to get a bit later. And get some training.

Make sure to rotate items that have expiration dates. You can use some of the outdated items in training exercises. Dispose of over the counter medication and any sharps safely.

***A note on prescription medications. Unlike OTC meds, prescriptions medications are limited to how much that can be obtained and stored. Some things, like narcotics, are limited to a single 30-day prescription. Other prescriptions can often be written for a 90 day supply. Work with your doctor to get as large of a supply of your prescription medication as you can get and can afford. 

10.  Morale/Welfare/Recreation:

If you need to be using preps, that means there is a lot of stress involved. The means to help relieve that stress can be very important. Games, some small toys and some paper and pencils, religious books, movies, books. Something to keep the kids quiet and busy, adults entertained or comforted, or just to break the monotony.

There are many more things on the list, but the first ten are the most important, in most circumstances. If your threat analysis includes certain scenarios, things like HAZMAT preparations climb up into those first ten.

Jerry has given all of us several items to think about and get prepared. If you have followed along from the beginning, some of these have been covered before by me in 2017 when I covered my list of 100 Essentials. Need a list??? Download it by using the link below. 

https://www.amp-3.net/resources/

 Thank you so much for following along and as always your Comments are always welcome! 

 

 

Welcome to 2018! My First Guest Blogger....

As some of you may know, this year I will be Blogging in a different way. Still weekly but with some Guest Bloggers thrown in from time to time. This is really exciting to have some other points of view other then just mine. If you would like to share your expertise with my readers, then shoot me a email (amp3@reagan.com) and let me know what your interests are. You would welcome you with open arms...

My first Guest Blogger is Jerry D. Young! Jerry is a very prolific writer with over 150 books and two more on the way. We have known Jerry for about 6 years and I was excited to hear that he would be interested in being a Guest Blogger. Make sure to check out his website by clicking on his picture. 

 I write fiction, but in most instances, I write about people that have to deal with manmade and/or natural disasters.  Unlike so many other writers, you will find that the way the characters in my books, use sound, smart and effective techniques, methods, materials and systems.  That means, you get to read an entertaining novel and at the same time learn some great Prepping techniques.

I write fiction, but in most instances, I write about people that have to deal with manmade and/or natural disasters.  Unlike so many other writers, you will find that the way the characters in my books, use sound, smart and effective techniques, methods, materials and systems.  That means, you get to read an entertaining novel and at the same time learn some great Prepping techniques.

Jerry has sent me several articles to share with you so I will start at the beginning. This will be the first half and the second half will be next week. Please let us know your thoughts. Leave a comment and share with your family and friends. Now, Jerry D. Young....