Mountain Home Biological

Pellet Lab lab supplies

Top quality scientific supplies serving schools, laboratories, business, students and amateur scientists and chemists.

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Making Rumtopf


Today we experimented with making Rumtopf with our 1000ml wide mouth reagent bottle.  Rumtopf is made of fresh summer fruit preserved in rum or other alcohol, with added sugar.  Over time the fruit is infused with alcohol, and the alcohol is infused with fruit. (Yum!)  The traditional Rumtopf container is a large ceramic crock with a tight fitting lid.  These are very nice crocks but can be expensive, so we took used a couple of 1000ml wide mouth reagent bottles.


We found the wide mouth reagent bottle allowed plenty of room for loading the fruit, it this case some fresh cherries, raspberries and apricots.   The ground glass lid fits nicely too.  You will want to give your glassware a good rinsing beforehand, laboratory glassware is not rinsed to food grade standards at the factory.


The final step of the Rumtopf processes is to tuck your little bottles into a nice cool dark pantry and let them age until around Christmas.  We will keep you posted!


rumtopf flask


rumtppf jar

Product Testing at Mountain Home Biological


From time to time I am called on to field test new products for Mountain Home Biological. Today’s item is a small stainless steel box, used for storing surgical instruments…. Let’s see, what else could it store? How about night crawlers?

A quick stop at Bridgemart and we were off to a little creek. Sure enough, the box holds worms beautifully. And there is more – with the lid on you can fit it in your back pocket, leaving both hands free for scrambling down to a favorite fishing hole. Rough job today.
I can't promise you will catch fish with this little bait box, but I will ask the fisherman out there, when was the last time you fished your favorite little creek?  Maybe it is time to pack some worms, a couple of spare hooks and sinkers into your bait box and get out there!

So simple and clean!  Remember the bad old days?  Enough said!!
nay wormy way
nay wormy way
nay wormy way

Pellet Counting


Pellet counting typically begins at Mountain Home Biological with a 5 gallon bucket of raw, unsorted pellets from the field, poured onto our pellet counting table. This will usually yield 300 – 400 good pellets, depending on the skill of the field collector… a beginning collector may pick up clods of dirt, rocks, pine cones, horse poop and other nasty stuff, while a veteran collector will have very little waste.

On the grading table we sort the pellets.  Every owl pellet sold by Mountain Home Biological has been hand picked. Broken pieces and pellets that are very fragile are discard, with the intent that the all specimens contain complete skeletal remains.  Pellets that pass the inspection are sorted by size by size with a small plywood gauge. 

From the counting table the pellets move to the sterilizing room, and finally the foil wrapping station. At every step of the process our goal is to provide top quality specimens to our teachers, at the same time to be completely fair count to our collectors.

barn owl pellet counting toolsowl pellet gradingbarn owl pellet sorting

Barn Owls Cliff Habitat

March 18, 2008

Barn Owls are an extremely adaptable raptor and take their name from one of their common nesting sites.  Of course, barn owls have been around a lot longer than their natural surrounding, barn owls find safe, secure nesting sites in cliff faces.  The barn owls’ light tan color is an adaptation to this environment, providing excellent camouflage in the dry country where they are often found.  Typical owl habitat in the wild might look like this...


A typical barn owl nesting site, a small cave high in the cliff face, has provided shelter for many generations of barn owls.....

Pellets accumulated below the nest.....


More Owl Habitat

March 18, 2008

As one of the leading suppliers of owl pellets, Mountain Home Biological takes pride in our work to ensure that future generations of children can enjoy the excitement of dissecting their very own owl pellet.  The pictures below show a magnificent owl habitat.  This farm had 3 unused silos which provided shelter for the local barn owls.  With our addition of an owl box, they now have a nesting site to raise their young as well.



Installed in 1998, a Mountain Home Biological nesting box has increased the owl population and provided a steady supply of natural pellets for your classroom.  Thanks for your business and making this possible! 


 This spring yet another brood of barn owls were raised in the silo box.  This young owl has just emerged from the nest with his adult feathers.



As part of our ongoing mission to assure that the student of tomorrow will have owl pellets to dissect, Mountain Home Biological provides these simple, no-frills nesting boxes to our field collectors.  

barn owl box