Avian Aqua Miser: Automatic, poop-free chicken waterers
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Recent Comments

Genye --- That sounds awful! I've actually never seen a chicken throw up, so I'm surprised to hear you mention it. A quick search of the internet suggests that your chicken may have just drunk too much too quickly, overfilling her crop. Extra liquid will then ooze back up her throat and she'll spit it up, but that's not a sign of her being sick and isn't really vomiting. I hope that helps!
Posted at lunch time on Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

Robert --- Thanks for sharing! I've included the image Robert emailed me of his setup below: PVC pipe chicken waterer

Posted Monday afternoon, April 14th, 2014
Robert C comment 29
Chicks were about 4 weeks old when the nipples arrived. I installed 6 of them on a PVC header connected to a 5 gallon bucket with a hose between them. I followed the instructions pulling water out the night before installing the watering system. The chickens learned how to use the nipples in less than 30 minutes. I am watering 22 pullets with 6 nipples and only need to fill the bucket every few days. I attached a valve on the bucket so I can disconnect and take it outside to clean without making a mess in the coop. I also attached the header to the wall with straps so I can adjust the height as the chickens grow. These nipples are great and your service with a minor problem was quick and professional. Thank you.
Posted mid-morning Thursday, April 10th, 2014
Please explain to me why a comet would throw up and what would cause it. These chickens have been kept in a large pen and fed nothing but laying pellets and some lettuce,etc. They are given fresh food and water every day yet I seem to have a sick(?) chicken. Can you help me? Thank you!!!
Posted in the wee hours of Wednesday night, April 10th, 2014
Evelyn Qualls Coop door opener/closer
Wish I had the stuff to do this. So very cool.
Posted mid-morning Wednesday, April 9th, 2014
WendP comment 1
You might also check out HenCam's Hen Blog. She's had a rabbit more or less with her hens for years. She recently lost one and has integrated a new rabbit with the flock.
Posted early Wednesday morning, April 9th, 2014

I wish I could recall the name of the book or the author that gave me this suggestion, so as to give him his due.

When giving my hens scratch grains I take it out in a container and shake it. The hens know food is coming and high tail it like mad back into the coop, where I feed them the grain. Now when I want to call them back to the coop, or catch one, just a shaking of the grain container is all it takes. It works amazingly well!

Thanks for all you do to help us! - Ron

Posted late Tuesday evening, April 8th, 2014
Brian --- I'd have to say no. I would have taken half the time to build a rectangular coop, and if I wanted to pretty it up, I would have added paint. I suspect Mark would do it again, but only if he didn't have to put up with my complaints.... :-)
Posted early Monday morning, April 7th, 2014
Brian comment 1
Now that it's finished and with everything learned would you do it again?
Posted Friday afternoon, April 4th, 2014
Christopher Scoggin Too long
The roof took too long (a few days) but I would not place the blame on the shingles. Rather as this was my first time building something this scale and my first time doing a roof it involved extra trips to the store (mainly due to underestimating the number of shingles... twice) and I was far from fast at it.
Posted at lunch time on Friday, April 4th, 2014
Darren --- Very smart! It does seem that right now it's awfully easy to find cockerels for the asking since so many people are getting into chickens who wouldn't consider butchering. I'll bet someone could live off free chickens if they kept their eyes open....
Posted mid-morning Monday, March 31st, 2014
Rebecca and Darren -- Fascinating to hear both of your experiences! I plan to keep data on egg production of our ducks once they come, so hopefully in a year or so I'll be able to say whether they're seasonal layers and how their production compares to that of chickens.
Posted mid-morning Monday, March 31st, 2014
Erica --- We definitely plan to try the water snails on the ducks once they come and grow up a bit. It's possible, though, that not all snails taste the same. Maybe only some snails are tasty for chickens and ducks?
Posted mid-morning Monday, March 31st, 2014

Thanks so much for sharing! Your picture didn't quite go in right, so I've included it below:

Starplate coop

We'll be posting another sumup of our roofing adventures soon, probably next week, so stay tuned. Mark was very impressed with your roof, as a side note, and was wondering how long it took you to shingle it?

Posted mid-morning Monday, March 31st, 2014
Christopher Scoggin Thanks for the updates

I know these posts don't get a lot of comments but I do appreciate you posting updates. I have wanted to build one of these for ages but never did. Watching yours grow was the kick I needed and I am 90% done on mine (just need the door finished) :)

[[!img http://home.wavecable.com/~cscoggin/StarPlate%20Coop.jpg]]

I do have to say I think you guys made the correct choice with doing the flat panel for the door. I kept to the pattern and have been struggling on what to do with the door due to the "odd" angles. Opening out doesn't work and I don't like it swinging in either :/

Posted Wednesday evening, March 26th, 2014
Erica comment 1
I've understood that ducks love snails and slugs, so in case you get ducks the snails won't go to waste even if the chickens don't like them!
Posted late Monday night, March 25th, 2014
rebecca comment 1
we had an indian runner for a pet. she did not start laying till a year old then only laid a few eggs but she was very nice, and played well with the rabbits. our peking never did lay but they were very laid back. I always though based on when our duck laid that ducks were spring time layers only.
Posted at lunch time on Monday, March 24th, 2014

Until last weekend, we had Indian Runners, Pekins and Muscovies. Now we just have Pekins (and a freezer full of meat!).

If you're interested in meat production and grass-eating ability, Muscovies are fantastic. Their meat is more like veal than duck, much less fat, and very tasty. They make great mothers, and lay reasonably.

The Pekins have been our best breed for eggs and meat. We'll be concentrating on just them from now on.

The Indian Runners were OK layers (ours were from a show strain rather than a laying strain), but gorgeous to watch waddle around the yard. They're like animated bowling pins!

We kept the Runners and Muscovies (and one Pekin who didn't get along with the others) in with the chickens. There was never any issues with fighting or anything, but ducks are much messier than chickens. You need to give them containers of water to allow them to dunk their heads to clear the dirt from their nostrils - and they'll mess the water up within minutes of changing it! Your waterers will still allow chooks and ducks to get clean drinking water at all times, though.

Our ducks have always given fewer eggs than the chickens, eat more (except muscovies on pasture), and are more hassle to pluck. The eggs sell well, though, since you can't buy them in stores here.

I'm interested to see how your experiment goes!

Posted early Monday morning, March 24th, 2014

Lots of people in my area want to put eggs under a broody hen, so their kids can experience seeing chicks hatch and grown up. Some of those people are sensible, and have already thought about what they'll do with the inevitable 50% roosters that will hatch. Others remain blissfully ignorant of the problem until it hits :-).

So I offer people fertile eggs for their broody hens, with a promise to take back any chickens they don't want to keep. By the time the young roosters start crowing, they're not far off butchering size - so someone else has paid for all the feed! People sometimes don't want all the pullets, either, so I get some of those back that I can keep or sell or trade to other people wanting layers. Occasionally I also get their old stewing hens, now that they have refreshed their flocks.

I've also cultivated a reputation as the guy to call if you want to get rid of any poultry. I have a few spare chicken tractors around the yard, and people sometimes drop ducks and chickens to me for "retirement".

If you don't already have chickens, you could approach a local homesteader with the above deal - offer to incubate a clutch of eggs for them and raise the hatchlings, in exchange for keeping some of the laying hens. They may even lend you their incubator. Someone like me would jump at that deal!

Posted Sunday night, March 23rd, 2014
Christina --- Interesting question. I could probably answer you with more certainty if you emailed me a photo at info@avianaquamiser.com. In the meantime, my guess might be that the pipe you used is too small or the vertical pipe isn't high enough or you don't have enough feed in the vertical pipe. Any of those factors could make the feed tend to clog up, rather than making its way around the bend. I hope that helps!
Posted Sunday evening, March 23rd, 2014
Christina Usage?
We built this model a couple of weeks ago. Our chickens are eating from the trough like troopers; however, it doesn't seem like any of the feed is going down the vertical pipe. Any tips?
Posted Friday night, March 21st, 2014
R --- Thanks for your interest. Our nipples are designed to work under gravity feed conditions, so they won't work properly if simply hooked into a pipe under city water pressure. There are workarounds, though. You can add a pressure reducer to the line (29 psi or less) or can install a toilet float into a container. I hope that helps!
Posted early Tuesday morning, March 18th, 2014
The pictures I have seen are on buckets or other containers. Can I attach the nipples to a 2" PVC pipe, attach a garden hose to one end, and leave the pressure on or is that too much pressure for the gravity nipples?
Posted Monday evening, March 17th, 2014

Bumpkin --- Interesting idea! I haven't tried that myself, but would be curious to hear from anyone who does.

Kathryn --- Once they don't have a light on, chickens won't eat at night. So it's fine to only have food available during the day. (In fact, some people only feed their chickens as much as they'll eat in one sitting once a day.)

Posted Sunday evening, March 16th, 2014
I am new to Chickens and have a small back yard coop. I wanted some sort of treadle feeder but do not have the space in the coop. So when I saw the PVC feeder I was very excited!!! If you make the lid to open and close what time do you open and close the lid. How long can the chickens go without eating? Right now the chicks are in my brooder and they eat all night long.
Posted mid-morning Sunday, March 16th, 2014
I read online that instead of cutting the oblong holes, to drill holes no larger than one half inch dia because the rodents will not feed on them if they cant get in there. Don't know if its true. Would LIKE to know. If a rodent cah chew through metal, and I know they can, why would they not simply chew through the PVC?
Posted at midnight, March 15th, 2014
Chantel --- I'd love to see a picture of your setup if you stop back by! Feel free to email info@avianaquamiser.com, and I'll share it with our other readers. :-)
Posted Sunday afternoon, March 9th, 2014
One of our favorite easy dinners is mock foo young. Slice up cabbage into fairly fine, long shreds. Crack a bunch if eggs, add a slosh or two of soy sauce or tamari and a generous dollop of sesame oil. Whisk it together and pour over cabbage. Toss to coat cabbage. Hear up a skillet with some oil (coconut is my fave). Spread an even, but fairly thin layer of cabbage in the skillet and fill any gaps with a drizzle of egg mixture. Too with a sprinkle of sesame seeds. Cook quickly until slightly browned and egg has set. Flip and cook until egg is done. Eat! It's good with sweet chili sauce or siracha. Savory, filling, low carb, and 10 minutes from entering the kitchen to eating! The trick is to get the egg cooked, but still have the cabbage crisp-tender. Good luck!
Posted in the wee hours of Friday night, March 8th, 2014
I got a 40 gallon stock tank up on blocks and two of your EZ Misers. We covered the trough just with wood because we ran out of time. We put a floating tank de-icer and a heat lamp positioned over the EZ Misers. In Canada our temperatures got down below -38 degrees celcius. I find the EZ Misers do fine during the day when the chickens were frequenting the nipples but at night they freeze up. I make sure they're thawed in the morning. But repositioning the heat lamp to aim the heat up towards the metal part also works well. But I've found the heat lamp on the ground a couple times with singed bedding under it so I prefer to just thaw them in the morning. I'll improve the tank lid and insulate it with solid insulation. Still perfecting the process but I haven't had to fill the stock tank for 2 months so definitely liking the work it has saved me in lugging buckets across the sheer ice driveway. Can't wait for winter to end! :-)
Posted late Friday afternoon, March 7th, 2014
Anonymous Egg recipes
I have a large family and we will use 2 doz eggs for a quiche. So I crack 2 doz into the blender, put it on manual once or twice - not much time at all, and then put it in a gallon ziplock bag and freeze it. In the winter I pull this out and make a quiche once a week in the off-egg season. You can do 6 eggs and freeze them in a 1 qt. bag as well. I put them on a flat tray in the freezer, so they freeze flat. Then once they are frozen, you can stand them up next to each other.
Posted late Wednesday afternoon, March 5th, 2014
I had 9 very tame red sex link hens that free ranged from almost the beginning .I kept them penned up for a week and then let them out. My dogs wanted to eat them but learned to tolerate them as they realized The chickens were family.(that may have been partly responsible for there loss) My chickens would squat when approached by me or the dogs and I doubt they would differentiate between a dog and a fox ? All my chickens disappeared with no feathers no bodies and no clue as to where they went or what had eaten them (carried off and never seen again)? Now there is only one left and she only comes out of the hen house when I arrive and goes back in when I leave,She must have seen her sisters attacked or should I say snatched! A three legged fox has been seen close by and I think it will turn out to be the culprit?
Posted late Sunday night, March 3rd, 2014
Little giant cost me $100 in eggs alone. It is not reliable as the thermostat will not stay constant, its radical. Set on00 degrees was good for 13 days, but the 14 day it climbed to 120 degrees.
Posted at lunch time on Sunday, March 2nd, 2014
Patricia LOVE IT!!
First time chicken owner with (6) 3-day old Red Star chicks, and they are so cute learning how to get water from the aqua miser! I set it on a couple small bricks and tapped it to get their attention and they eagerly lapped up the drips, and took turns trying to peck and drink, it was so cute! There is absolutely no spilled water in the brooding box, and the water is so fresh and easy to change, I am a very happy customer. Thanks for making such a great product available to backyard chicken enthusiasts like me!
Posted late Sunday morning, March 2nd, 2014
Bill in lenoir NC water buckets
I will definetly try this system out.
Posted Wednesday evening, February 26th, 2014
I just found a dead chicken from our flock. She had escaped the pen in the morning after i let her out. We have two dogs, but they dont tend to bother the chickens when i let them out to free range. We have lots of preditor species, but no opossum in the area. The chicken was killed and then something ate the side and seemed to be going after unformed eggs and guts. I dont think it was the dogs becuase she was not mauled very much. Will hawks or owls just go after the eggs in the bird amd leave the rest? Could not find additional evidence.
Posted late Tuesday afternoon, February 25th, 2014
Mom of Two Girls and Three Cats --- I wish I could help you out with details, but we've never actually made a wheel lift and our guest poster isn't available for comment. I hope you'll drop me an email with some photos if you do figure it out and make your own, though!
Posted late Monday morning, February 24th, 2014
Teresa --- It didn't seem to be painful at all, although no chicken likes to be restrained. The momentary trauma was soon forgotten, though.
Posted late Monday morning, February 24th, 2014
Was removing the tape difficult or painful for the little one?
Posted late Friday night, February 22nd, 2014
Biologrady Forest chickens

Nice pics! Our forest is a mature stand of mostly beech and cherry, with some swamp maples mixed in, and a patch of spruce too. More leaf litter and wild raspberry than the diversity of greens you have, but our girls love the bugs, worms, and bonus amphibians we get... We did realize though that we also get frequent visits of wild turkeys and are realizing we need to be vigilant with worming or the girls lose their perky healthy glow!

Posted Friday afternoon, February 21st, 2014
Mom of Two Girls and Three Cats How do I do this???
I have been building a coop - a HUGE, HEAVY coop and I am stuck at the end trying to figure out how to put wheels on it to move it. I love this idea, but I am so tired and cannot even think any more. My coop is 4x4 raised 15" off of the ground and has an attached run that is 6'. I don't know how long, how wide, what lumber to use. The sides of my coop are vertical. What do I use to space the lever from the coop? Can I use bolts rather than those hairpin thingies? The people at Lowe's know me by sight, but they will not cut this for me, I know. Help! :0/
Posted late Tuesday night, February 19th, 2014

Jennifer --- That's an excellent question. You're entirely right that the number of chickens we say the EZ Miser will water is based on its capacity, and chicks drink a lot less than mature hens. For their first month of life, 50 chicks will only drink a gallon per day or less between them, so the EZ Miser will suit them just fine.

On the other hand, we usually recommend no more than 17 chickens per nipple, which would reduce the number of birds we recommend per EZ Miser to 34. But chicks are much less likely to fight over drinking space than adult hens are, so you'd probably be okay there, especially if you keep your eyes open.

If you want to be safe (and also allow room for growth, since those chicks will start drinking more in their second month), you could buy an EZ Miser kit instead. With the four pack kit, you could install two spouts in a small container for the early days in the brooder and then two spouts in a five gallon bucket. Between them, the two waterers would give you plenty of water capacity and drinking space for all of your birds throughout their life.

I hope that helps!

Posted at lunch time on Monday, February 17th, 2014

My neighbor has these all around his garden and says he caught at least one rat a day for a month - and now only occasionally with no destruction to his garden. Just place Peanut Butter in the inaccessible bait bin and the rats can't help but go for it! Electric Rat Traps at amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Electronic-Adapter-Battery-Powered-Detachable/dp/B00EP4AEYY/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1392394510&sr=8-4&keywords=electric+rat+trap

Posted at lunch time on Friday, February 14th, 2014
Jennifer Recommendation?


I see that y'all say 15 chickens can drink from each EZ Miser. I have 50 day old chicks coming in a couple months, and I'd like to use EZ Misers in the brooder--but that would mean 3 or 4 EZ Misers, which is a little beyond my budget. I was wondering if more chicks than adult chickens could drink from each EZ Miser? Or perhaps if I got a kit and added four nipples instead of two? What would y'all recommend? Thanks so much for your help and for making this wonderful product!

Posted at lunch time on Thursday, February 13th, 2014
I have 2 Cuckoo marans and they are very skittish and are the only 2 of my flock that don't squat for me. We love their eggs (large) one is a nice medium dark brown and the other is tan with dark brown speckles. They matured a lot later than my other chickens too, 5 1/2 to 6 months old before they started laying.
Posted at lunch time on Thursday, February 13th, 2014
pd --- It's tough to estimate how much the forest pasture reduces our feed costs, but I'd say at least 10% (and that's when the pasture is very young like this and far from full productivity). The broilers are just extra kids from our laying hens --- in these photos, australorp X marans crosses (with some keepers that we're adding to the laying flock --- purchased Red Stars and White Leghorns).
Posted late Wednesday morning, February 12th, 2014
What a wonderful project! How much does your forest pasture reduce the use of supplemented feed for you? Also, your broilers...what breed are they? They don't look like Cornish Cross. Thanks for posting :)
Posted Friday evening, February 7th, 2014
We LOVE our EZ Miser and Aqua Misers! I was truly amazed at how well both our new baby ducks and chicks learned to use them. AWESOME products.
Posted at lunch time on Wednesday, February 5th, 2014
Before the cornish x cross there was a dark cornish and rhode island red developed in the UK they are fast growers and excellent meat.
Posted at midnight, February 5th, 2014

That is really a helpful predator chart... Thanks for sharing it. We have a raccoon problem, but so far they have not attacked the chickens. Seems that keeping hens safe requires extraordinary measures sometimes. Along with the predators mentioned, we also have to deal with bears and mountain lions. One neighbor lost his entire flock to a big cat. I had a bear twice attempt to break into my pen. When a very bold sow and three cubs were wandering the area, we reinforced our door by screwing a piece of sheet metal over the wire opening. The bear ripped the metal off like it was cardboard, but then evidently abandoned its pursuit. Another bear ripped the gate off its hinges, cracking the gate post in two. If a bbear really wants into your coop, there is pretty much nothing you can do to stop it apart from maybe having concrete walls.
I feed our hens kitchen scraps and also piles of produce scraps from a local organic market. I try to keep uneaten scraps cleaned up, so as not to provide even more temptation to would-be chicken killers.

Posted late Monday night, February 4th, 2014
Jinny Kohlmann silkworms!

We have a beautiful mulberry tree that our children have picked a load of extra for smoothies! :) Thank You for all this information... Perhaps we'll be the winners & see how our chickens like those silkworms. Appreciate your idea e-mails

Posted late Monday night, February 4th, 2014
I have emailed to enter! This sounds really interesting & another neat way to show the kids in the family about nature while providing greats food for the chickens! Thank you
Posted at midnight, February 4th, 2014
I would love to try silkworms for my chickens!
Posted Monday night, February 3rd, 2014
Jessica Dead chickens
I just went out and found all seven of my hens dead. It's consistent with a dog attack. My rooster is alive and fine which I find strange. Our hens are free range and only go in the Coop at night. We have a fenced yard and our dog has never shown aggression toward the hens. But since their bodies are fine except missing feathers and being mauled I guess it was our dog! I'm scared that he could snap and hurt my 4 year old son. These hens were not new we have had them a year and no problems between hens and there dog before :(
Posted Monday evening, February 3rd, 2014
Audra Daniel Silkworms
If no one has responded yet for the free silkworms, I am interested in them. Looking forward to hearing from you.
Posted Monday evening, February 3rd, 2014
Posted Monday afternoon, February 3rd, 2014
I pressure cook the bones for 30 min and then run through an old fashion hand grinder that has been rigged to use a motor with a belt. I feed these ground bones to my dogs in thier homemade dog food that has the chicken meat,potatoes, carrots cabbage and any other veg that are available from the garden. There is so much marrow in them.
Posted late Friday night, February 1st, 2014

Hi, Come on over to the Heritage Large Fowl thread at backyardchickens. Started by our late beloved mentor Bob Blosl, the purpose of this thread it to help folk decide which heritage large fowl breed they want. Then match them up with top quality breeders. It is "the" place to come to if one is seeking a heritage large fowl still bred true to its heritage. It's a special place Bob created. With a special. welcoming family atmosphere. It' all about the birds and preserving them true to their original intent. Utility and Beauty. Now that Bob has passed away, the original thread has been archived on BYC. The thread continues under the name Heritage Large Fowl - Phase II . Still holding forth the purpose of the original thread in Bob's memory. Best, Karen

Posted Thursday afternoon, January 30th, 2014
Karen Tewart English Light Sussex

I have a strain of Light Sussex which are pure English uncrossed with any other strain. They are from Walt Boese in Deer Lodge , Montana. Mine are also show stock, the sire of my foundation trio being a 3x APA Grand Champion. The 2 pullets from my foundation trio being daughters of APA Reserve Champions. It has been a frigid two polar vortexes here in one month in western PA, USA. Still, the Sussex are laying thru it tho the egg number is somewhat reduced. Looking forward to Spring warm-up and the onset of breeding season to increase the size of my flock.

Posted Thursday afternoon, January 30th, 2014
Karen Tewart Light Sussex
Yes, Emily's Light Sussex do everything she says they do. She is using population genetics up in Vancouver to revitalize utility virtues in the variety. her birds have great diversity yet because in Sussex the production virtues are so closely allied to the demands of the APA SOP, her birds also win at the shows. Jan Childs, a chef owning Cornerstone Farms, ( website) in the US has brought down Emily's birds to her place. You can get some there.
Posted Thursday afternoon, January 30th, 2014

Thanks for all the great comments and thanks also to Avian Aqua Miser (Anna and Mark)

Bob..I got my Polish chickens at our local Bomgaars which has a huge selection of baby chicks each spring. Also a few I got from neighbor when he sold out of his chickens. We got to a lot of exotic auctions each spring and summer and you can find baby chicks or adult birds at those. So good luck. Thanks again! Sue

Posted Wednesday evening, January 29th, 2014

hi u guys with bird problems aka hawks owls and such. go to lowes or home depo and go to garden center get the black 1inch by 1inch bird netting to put over your chicken pen, we use 100squar pen 25ft on each side, the netting is 14dollars for 700square ft, more than enouch, plus it traps chicken snakes too that try to climb up fence, we use the fencing from lowes too 6ft tall, then take the netting and put on top, use 10ft post and push netting up so u can walk in your covered chicken pen, use twist ties or those plactic ties to over lap and tie your netting together, leave enough so u can put your post in pen to lift netting up so u can walk in pen.

the netting is located in garden center, its 3ft wide and 100ft long we got ours on sale for 10dollars,winter mark down i guess its strong netting like plactic nylon type they cant break thru it, watch a hawk many times dive in and out got hung up and never came back. good stuff. last year trapped 3 chicken snakes in the netting , never got inside pen so eggs were safe. hope this helps just message if u need further info.

Posted late Tuesday night, January 29th, 2014
The first time I saw a rat sitting up in the middle of my yard, in the middle of the day, eating the expensive chicken food from the big self-feeder in the chook enclosure - was the last day that I left food in the self feeder. I put out several traps in various places, baited with peanut butter, and caught a rat. I also stopped self feeding and switched to tossing the days rations once a day to the hens, who eagerly cleaned it up, and then foraged the rest of the day. Because I live in a city, there is no way to not have rats want to eat the chook food, but by not leaving an ongoing source of food out for them everyday, they have no reason to hang around my yard. Also my hen house is up on legs, about two feet off the ground, so there is no place underneath for rats to live. I know they live in my neighbors basement, because I was told that is the case...
Posted in the wee hours of Sunday night, January 27th, 2014
Anonymous comment 17

Best built chicken coop and best fed chickens in MA.

Toni and Dennis

Posted Saturday afternoon, January 25th, 2014
Brian Rat trapping

When we set out traps I usually drill a hole in the corner and tie a brick to it with some nylon string. If the rat doesn't get killed instantly they may take the trap. It's important to know that rats unlike mice do not predictably travel along walls. They will go straight from one point to the next making trapping them more difficult. We used boards in one instance to funnel their path down to one way in and out of a gap in the fence and put a trap there and had success. I've heard having 2 traps can be effective too since they figure out a way to get the bait out of one while getting snapped by the other. One dug under our chicken coop so we put a hardware cloth bottom on it and raised it off the ground (the bottom alone did not eliminate the problem since food was still spilled.) It allows us to clean under the coop easier too. Your trap choice is the best as far as humane killing. We've tried some other easier to use traps but they don't have a strong enough spring to always capture or kill the rodents. We do use poison occasionally and it usually works if the bait/poison is fresh. We have a board that we screw the bait to so it doesn't get moved by the rodent to where our animals could get to it. This type of poison has a hole in the middle of the chunk. http://www.amazon.com/Tomcat-All-Weather-Bait-Chunx/dp/B000HHOALG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1390590000&sr=8-1&keywords=rodent+poison

We have had good luck with these as well. http://www.amazon.com/Reckitt-Benckiser-1920000202-4-Pack-Baitbits/dp/B0044USA6S/ref=sr_1_10?ie=UTF8&qid=1390590430&sr=8-10&keywords=rodenticide+dcon

Good luck in whatever decision you make.

Posted Friday afternoon, January 24th, 2014
I am Susan's sister and just want to say how great her place is. My grandparent use to live there so we grew up in those yards. My grandparents would love the fact that Susie and her family live there and raise their chicken and grow their pumpkins. She has a lot of pride in her place and so deserving. Great Job Sister....
Posted at lunch time on Friday, January 24th, 2014
Lois Betti comment 17
Liked very much
Posted at lunch time on Friday, January 24th, 2014

I would be willing to bet what happened to the trap is exactly what you think happened: it was sprung and someone took the trap for the meat that was still there. Our pest guy only uses peanut butter, maybe 1/2tbsp per rat trap, that way theres no poison. Also, Lucy could just lick the peanut butter off of a sprung trap without necessarily moving the entire trap, though obviously better to have it somehow out of her reach altogether. Poison down the holes is a decent idea, provided Lucy won't dig it out. As I'm sure you know, most rat poisons are blood thinners. No need for that to end up somewhere unintended.

Posted late Friday morning, January 24th, 2014
I had no idea I had a rat problem in my coop until I found a rat skull in the bedding. You may want to avoid poison in case your girls get a hold of the intruder and thar care of him themselves!
Posted early Friday morning, January 24th, 2014
Tara Vote
Best photos!!
Posted late Thursday evening, January 23rd, 2014
Bob James exotic chickens
Want some polish chickens but can never find them except for chicken companies that you have to order 15 or more. Where did you get yours?
Posted late Thursday evening, January 23rd, 2014
Judy comment 4
I would love to raise chickens but since I don't I enjoy visiting Bruce and Sue's and seeing all their chickens. They have some really nice chicken coops. Visit their pumpkin stand in the fall to see all their poultry. Their turkeys are beautiful too.
Posted Thursday evening, January 23rd, 2014
Betsy comment 17
Great article and pictures!!
Posted late Thursday afternoon, January 23rd, 2014
Brian comment 1
I vote for this one. I like the diversity in the flock.
Posted Thursday afternoon, January 23rd, 2014
Posted Wednesday afternoon, January 22nd, 2014

I just wanted to add that my husband and I have just started raising chickens and it's good to know that the Loring's aren't using heat lamps. We questioned it this winter as it's our first with chickens. We chose not to go with heat lamps due to hearing so many people have had problems with fires. We worried that it gets too cold here in South Dakota for our chickens. I can't wait to get some exotic chickens like these.

Posted late Tuesday evening, January 21st, 2014

Hi folks I just wanted to say I have visited Hawk Valley Garden every fall and it's a beautiful farm. Their chickens and turkeys are a real crowd-pleaser. What ever they are doing to raise them they are some healthy birds. Also they have such a great selection of chickens-some which we have never seen before. Look for forward to seeing you next fall. Jim and Denise Sandy

Posted late Tuesday evening, January 21st, 2014
Sue Michelson Sue Lorings chickens
Sue, I enjoyed your story on your chickens and all. You opened my eyes to the different varieties I never known about..THANK YOU!
Posted at lunch time on Tuesday, January 21st, 2014
Sarah Cheung comment 11

This is a fantastic story. I learned a lot by reading it. Like it very much!

Posted mid-morning Tuesday, January 21st, 2014
Laura Like!
Looks great!
Posted early Tuesday morning, January 21st, 2014
LIKE! Great job Mum and Dad -- the eggs are delicious. Love, Kip
Posted Monday night, January 20th, 2014
Laura comment 11
Posted Monday night, January 20th, 2014
Anonymous comment 11
Like, great work!
Posted at lunch time on Monday, January 20th, 2014
It has been so much fun to watch the Chicken Coop Project and see all the enhancements they have made to keep their chicks happy and healthy!
Posted mid-morning Monday, January 20th, 2014
The hens need a training time. First leave it open, for about 5 days, then fix it so there is just half the movement of the lid and they can get food. When they are at ease with that, go all the way and release it , slit can be used as intended.
Posted early Monday morning, January 20th, 2014
Anonymous comment 1
Posted at midnight, January 20th, 2014
Posted at midnight, January 20th, 2014
Posted late Sunday evening, January 19th, 2014
Posted late Sunday afternoon, January 19th, 2014
Inventive modifications keep hens happy while humans are challenged by extremely frigid temps this January!!! Well done, Dee and Mary Helen.🐔
Posted at teatime on Sunday, January 19th, 2014
Anonymous like
What happy chickens! They look no worse for the wear in the middle of this cold New England winter. Nice work Dee and Mel!
Posted Sunday afternoon, January 19th, 2014
Anonymous comment 1
Like, I'm the neighbor.
Posted Sunday afternoon, January 19th, 2014
LOVE this coop - a real coup for the chickens!!!!
Posted Sunday afternoon, January 19th, 2014
Anonymous comment 1
"Like Very much"
Posted Sunday afternoon, January 19th, 2014
Edith comment 1

You can catch Crawfish with a hook and bait (Bacon is the best bait). It's so so easy...you could get a pailful in less than an hour. It's fun too. The trick is to pull them out slowly towards the surface and plop them in your bucket before they notice, and let go. If you pull them out close to shore over dry land then they let go you still got em......:o)


Posted Monday afternoon, January 13th, 2014
Edith comment 1

Chickens know what to eat, and what not to eat. They are wired that way....amazing huh? Nature takes care of itself without the help of man. It's just truly amazing ......... :o)

For instance.....I picked off some caterpillars from my Fennel one day and decided the Chickens might like them....NOT...they can from them screeching. Another time I thought they would love the Stink Bugs on my Squash Pants.....NOT......the screeched and squawked at them, and ran. But...the Ducks loved the Stink Bus...go figure.

They love Mice .....for sure. I found a nest under a planter once and tossed them in one by one by the tail. It was just amazing how they gobbled them up.

If they like Crawfish then they are good for them.


Posted Monday afternoon, January 13th, 2014
Josh --- I think Mark gets quite a kick out of thinking about nipples every week too. :-) Probably rebranding them as "drinkers" or some such would have been smart at the beginning, but it's too late now....
Posted mid-morning Monday, January 13th, 2014

My chickens love your nipples

Anyone who's secretly twelve may be unable to stop snickering at this line.

Posted late Friday morning, January 10th, 2014

Hi Ann Just wanted to let you know I've been using you Avian Aqua Miser chicken waterers for about 3 years now, and I love them. It's so convenient not to have to water my chickens every day. I use 2 of your .05 gal wagerers for my small flock of 14. Another plus about your wagerers that no one has mentioned is it prevents wild birds from drinking and dirty in your chickens water. That's a big plus for me. I used to hate seeing sparrow feces in my chickens water bowl. You have a great product! I love the already made ones...just fill 'em up and you're good to go!

Posted in the wee hours of Thursday night, January 10th, 2014

We are very pleased with our new waterers and amazed at how easily our ducklings caught on to them!

We just received the kits we ordered and are excited to get started making waterers for our new chicks that will be arriving soon.

These are our first ducks and chickens and having your waterer has made getting started easy and even more exciting.

Thank you, Renee

Posted Wednesday afternoon, January 8th, 2014

Anonymous --- You might want to check out this heated chicken waterer, which is what we've been using this winter instead. That one did finally freeze up at 8 degrees, though.

In Maine, I might be tempted to do what I do with my tractored chickens --- just use Aqua Miser Originals that are easy to bring inside and warm up overnight.

Stay warm!

Posted at noon on Monday, January 6th, 2014

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