On sale this week:
1 Premade Avian Aqua Miser Original
Chantel --- I'd love to see a picture of your setup if you stop back by! Feel free to email email@example.com, and I'll share it with our other readers.
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!
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!
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.
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?
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.
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!
I will definetly try this system out.
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.
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!
Teresa --- It didn't seem to be painful at all, although no chicken likes to be restrained. The momentary trauma was soon forgotten, though.
Was removing the tape difficult or painful for the little one?
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!
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/
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!
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
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!
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.
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).
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
I would love to try silkworms for my 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
If no one has responded yet for the free silkworms, I am interested in them. Looking forward to hearing from you.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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...
Best built chicken coop and best fed chickens in MA.
Toni and Dennis
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.
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....
Liked very much
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.
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!
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?
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.
Great article and pictures!!
I vote for this one. I like the diversity in the flock.
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.
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
Sue, I enjoyed your story on your chickens and all. You opened my eyes to the different varieties I never known about..THANK YOU!
This is a fantastic story. I learned a lot by reading it. Like it very much!
LIKE! Great job Mum and Dad -- the eggs are delicious. Love, Kip
Like, great work!
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!
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.
AWESOME ... LIKE.... GREAT PHOTOS
DEE AND MARY HELEN DID NOT BUILD A COOP IT IS A CHICKEN ESTATE.IF I WAS A CHICKEN THAT IS WHERE I WOULD WANT TO LIVE.
Inventive modifications keep hens happy while humans are challenged by extremely frigid temps this January!!! Well done, Dee and Mary Helen.🐔
What happy chickens! They look no worse for the wear in the middle of this cold New England winter. Nice work Dee and Mel!
Like, I'm the neighbor.
LOVE this coop - a real coup for the chickens!!!!
"Like Very much"
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)
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.
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....
Anyone who's secretly twelve may be unable to stop snickering at this line.
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!
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
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.
Emma --- That's a good question! The only big difference I've noticed is that Red Star eggs are just ordinary sized, while Golden Comet eggs are jumbo size. That said, we were keeping chickens very differently when we raised Golden Comets (all in tractors), so I don't really have a side-by-side comparison.
Looks like great ideas everyone. Does anyone have experience with sub zero temps. I'm in midcoast Maine and most winters are in the teens but many days go sub zero?..
"our three Red Stars have shown themselves to be very similar to the Golden Comets we had a few years ago..."
I'm curious, any preference between these two varieties?
I still haven't heard from our silkworm egg winner. If I don't hear from Daphne by tomorrow, I'll be picking another winner, so everyone else, please stay tuned.
I've just been reading through all of your posts. Good luck with the pasture food forest, I'm looking forward to following along your process and progress.
I know my ladies would love these. We are always looking for natural ways to feed them.
My chickens will eat anything it seems. Silkworms are no exception. When I was digging up potatoes a month ago I could barely do any work being surrounded by hungry hens fighting for the tasty worms that were turned up. Thanks for an idteresting topic!
Lee --- Hmm, maybe our winner is confused like you were and that's why I haven't heard back from her? You needed to stay tuned to our chicken blog to learn who won. The winner is Julie Keith, but she hasn't gotten back to me, so I chose a runnerup of Daniel.
I wonder if I am checking back in the correct place. I am awaiting to see who won the great thanksgiving comfrey giveaway. I thought it would be on this blog page. Did I miss it?
My chickens would love these!
Hi I love the idea of raising your own silkworms. My chicks love dried mealworms but they all come from China and can be pricey. Nice to raise your own.
Thanks for giving the opportunity to get started. Mullberry trees, silkworms and silk have been on our minds and on our list. And now it is even a great time to get started with it. I hope we'll win them! ; ) Thanks Daphne
Give me an inch and I will then take a silkworm to go with the inchworm.
Sorry, I don't think I included my name in the last comment. -Joe R.
I would love to give this a try!
Emily --- Thanks for watching!
Brian --- I keep meaning to make a real farm-tour video, but I want to do it when everything's green, and when everything's green, I get too busy to do it.... Maybe one of these days.
Edith --- I know, bad form. On the other hand, all of the vegetables and chicken are going back into the pot after this stage to bake for 30 minutes, so any germs spread around will be nullified.
Hi, Anna, this is something I've been thinking about doing for quite a while. I planted ten mulberry trees a couple of years ago, but didn't realize I would need to protect them, and the deer got them all. My reason for wanting silkworms was primarily for the silk, but the worms are a great adjunct to chicken feed. I think I'm going to plant mulberries again this year even if I don't win the eggs. Thanks for the great information!
We have built a chicken waterer very similar to this and I wanted to say that it works great! We live in Wyoming and have experienced some record low temps this week. I checked on the water every day and it was never frozen at all. Not once! We had temps at night falling to below -15 degrees!
Ive read in a couple of places that Cochins and Silkies are particularly likely to go broody. So they make good choices for those who hatch their own chicks the old fashioned way. I've had a Cochin for 18 months who has never been broody. But our ONE bantam hen (Wyandotte) went broody once and was indulged with three standard eggs. One egg went missing on day 19; one hatched; one didn't and was abandoned on day 22. The mama did a great job of raising that little guy for six weeks until it was her size and decided to crow. Then, well...
Your Vegetables and Chicken are on the same cutting board????? Now, now...
I loved the video. It helped me stitch together the photos and layout of your property that I had in my head.
Would like to try the comfrey. Always ready to try something new.I'm a gardener and liked the comment about the chickens preparing the garden.
Our home came with comfrey but I don't know what kind. I made a comfrey root & plantain leaf salve for diaper rash etc. when my son was born. We call it Supergrease
We are getting chickens in a couple months and I would love some Comfrey for them!
Jenni --- I don't have a definitive answer to your first question, unfortunately. I would assume Russian Comfrey would have many of the same healing properties as Common Comfrey since the common is one of the two parents of the hybrid. But I don't know for sure. However, to answer your second question, I'd say it almost certainly wouldn't be any different for bantams than for full-size chickens. People have used this type of comfrey for race horses, sheep, goats, and chickens, so it seems to have wide appeal.