Avian Aqua Miser: Automatic, poop-free chicken waterers

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Recent Comments

Karen --- This is a common problem for us if we incubate eggs in the summer. Hatch humidity is good, but it's hard to keep the humidity low enough during the rest of the cycle. The best I've come up with is trying to put the incubator in the coolest part of the house and setting up a dehumidifier, but it can still be dicey! In general, I try not to incubate when house humidity is so high it's going to be a problem.
Posted Tuesday afternoon, November 24th, 2015

So it looks like i have different issues my humidity is to high its around 55-60% "i took most of the water out"there on day 5 and i ordered some more eggs from ebay that are going to come in about 5 days... so that means i will have eggs 10 day apart :( Im new at all this and now reading i see that the last few days my humidity needs to go up so any idea what i can do with the eggs that the humidity is not suppose to go up yet??? I have a good incubator it has a fan and it rotates etc.. Thanks

Posted in the wee hours of Tuesday night, November 18th, 2015
Rebecca --- Thanks so much for taking the time to share such a good, in-depth description of duck care!
Posted at lunch time on Monday, November 9th, 2015
Daniel --- I've always assumed this was a simple matter of waking up when the light comes on (the same way we wake up when light streams in our bedroom window even though our eyes are closed) and then going to bed when it gets dark. A chicken doesn't need to "absorb" light for it to affect her egg laying. A change in her circadian rhythms should be enough.
Posted at lunch time on Monday, November 9th, 2015

I started with chickens (as chicks), but now I have both ducks and chickens. For people new to raising fowl, I'd most definitely recommend starting with chickens. In my experience, ducks (to keep them healthy/happy) are about three times more work than chickens. This is due to their requirement (not an option!) for water both for drinking and for bathing. Water, water everywhere if you've got ducks!

One issue with the water thing is that ducks cannot drink out of the traditional shallow/narrow chicken waterers. They MUST be able to dunk their entire bill into water to clean their nostrils. This is particularly important if you're feeding them dry chicken feed. They seem to do all right with this feed, but think about it. Ducks normal diet are things with high water content: slugs, bugs found in and around ponds, small fish, water plants, and they wash all these down with plenty of water.

So the first order of business is to make sure you have a large enough waterer. I use open gallon buckets for the adults. Ducklings can drink out of a chicken waterer when small, but they grow fast and you must think about what you will use for water as they grow. Graduated sizes of waterers in which they can dunk their heads, but not get into and be unable to get out, are necessary. They can swim when small, but until they get their oily adult feathers they can get waterlogged and drown. I've found shallow trays or pans good for this. Naturally these must be cleaned out several times a day as they will climb in!

The water thing also extends to keeping the coop clean. This is more difficult than with chickens, as ducks will spread water all over and also their poo is more watery than chickens'. It's not an option to lock them in the coop without water, though, even just for a little while. They can find a tasty morsel in the litter, snap it up, then be unable to wash it down and can choke.

All that being said, I do love having my ducks. They eat tons of slugs, bugs, and even snap flies out of the air around the property. They're very entertaining in their wading pool (changed every day) with all the splashing. If you don't feel like dealing with the pool, they will do okay just running sprinklers, too. They are also way more predator-aware than chickens, too, with always an "eye on the sky". They don't fly nearly as well as chickens, thus are easier to contain.

Ducks eggs are an acquired taste eaten plain, but there is nothing better for baking. French bakeries ONLY use duck eggs. I also have a customer that buys my eggs as she is sensitive/allergic to chicken eggs, but not duck eggs.

All in all, I love keeping ducks (and chickens). They room together nicely in the coop as the chickens perch up high and the ducks take up the floor space. They have been a welcome addition to my little flock. For beginners, though, I'd recommend starting out with chickens. Chickens are the gateway drug to ducks, I guarantee!

Posted Sunday afternoon, November 8th, 2015

Hello all,

I am curious as to how chickens absorb light, in this case to increase egg production. Since a chicken is well covered with feathers, what mechanism do they use to take in the light? There is only a small area on the face and the eyes that expose their skin.

Thanks, Daniel

Posted Wednesday afternoon, November 4th, 2015
So long as you aren't looking for a significant meat bird [though really Rhodies are more midsized rather than undersized, we've just grown accustomed to giant chicken carcasses], the Rhode Island Red is probably an excellent choice for you.
Posted early Friday morning, October 30th, 2015
After many years of keeping chickens and trying out and suffering with many different kinds of waterers, I've finally given up on all of them and settled for open containers that I refill every couple of days with a hose, or that I carry water to. My favorite waterer is an upturned wheelbarrow basin that I coated with mortar to minimize rust. I find that this simple approach works esp. well in winter even with the freezing problem---I just have to break out the ice and refill a container or two each morning, takes 5 minutes. I did used to like nipple waterers and this looks like a good one because it holds a reasonable amount and you don't have to hang it.
Posted early Saturday morning, October 17th, 2015

I had a similar problem with humidity not going higher than 66% with water maxed out including extra sponges etc. so what I tried was a bit more adventurous. I gave the heater element a quick little squirt of water (not near the wires or the sensor ) and quickly closing the lid, sure enough I got my 80% humidity. Also another tip/warning, when adding trays of water etc into the incubator (you may be trying to get moisture up etc) to be sure that when you close the lid of the incubator the thermocouple doesn't end up in the tray of water or you'll be having poached eggs the next morning.. Happy days :)

Posted early Sunday morning, October 11th, 2015
Anonymous Joel Salatin feed
look in the back of the book for updates that he's included regarding his feed rations.
Posted late Wednesday night, October 1st, 2015

My mother in law has had all her chickens killed, but they only take the heads. Same for her neighbors. She lives in Mexico in the country, but actually homes, and Orange tree orchards all around.It's a farming community What do you think might be happening to all the chickens? These chickens are locked up for the night in a large cage.They even do it too the chicks. Like I said Heads only.

Posted at lunch time on Sunday, September 27th, 2015
Posted Friday evening, September 25th, 2015
Joe --- I wouldn't put your eggs directly on a wet towel, but you can certainly spread a towel out across the bottom of the incubator beneath the tray so it expands your water reservoir dramatically. And don't forget the vents, of course --- closing them increases humidity. Good luck!
Posted at lunch time on Monday, August 31st, 2015
joe humidity
hi, my bother and I have tried on three occasions to hatch eggs but our success rate is very low due to the humidity being too low on the last few days - he had one chick the first time, 50% formed but no hatch on the 2nd time and 3 hatched the third time. I currently have 4 polish eggs that are developing well and 3 hybrids that are also growing (my wyandottes didn't start :-( ). I need to get the humidity up but even with the wells completely full the humidity doesn't go above 59%. can I put the eggs onto a moist towel so that they can get the moisture that way or is there anything else we can try - last time I kept topping up the wells with steamy water but that only lasts for so long and I don't like to keep opening the incubator because of the temperature difference.
Posted early Thursday morning, August 27th, 2015
Bill --- I'm not sure if Jon will check back and get your question, and unfortunately I don't know the specifics for this waterer. However, I've always liked this PVC chick waterer, which uses a pegboard to make it simple to raise and lower the nipples as you go through various batches of chicks.
Posted late Monday morning, August 17th, 2015
I love how they've used a full-sized front door for the chickens entrance :-)
Posted terribly early Monday morning, August 17th, 2015

Thanks for this detailed breakdown! I raise multiple batches of replacement layers during the year, and track general feed purchase, egg production, eggs sales, chicken sales, hatch rates, etc. but since my hatches end up blended, I never know just how much each batch eats.

Now I want to see if it pencils out to feed 8 week cockerels to our dogs instead of auctioning them, and your numbers will be really helpful.

Posted Thursday evening, August 13th, 2015
Hi, i was wondering if you could as jon what clips he used to hold up the pvc? Also, are they able to be adjusted up and down so the waterer can grow as the chicks grow? Thanks!
Posted in the wee hours of Tuesday night, August 12th, 2015
Laura --- There's a checklist in our Incubation ebook that can help walk you through troubleshooting a problematic hatch. Good luck!
Posted at lunch time on Monday, August 10th, 2015
Laura Chick
Hi this is my second time I hatched chickens, first was a great success but the second was really bad, 4 of the 19 hatched prior to 21 days so I left the other alittle longer to day 24, today I had enough so I cracked the egg open to find the chick not sure whether it was dead but it was fully formed but had its eyes closed so presumed it was dead, there wasn't any smell at all, I know I can't save these ones but if I'm knowledgable I can not make the same mistake, please help!
Posted in the wee hours of Friday night, August 8th, 2015
Alison --- Metal sounds like a possibility. If you do make something like that, I hope you'll take photos and share them so we can let our other readers see another option!
Posted early Monday morning, August 3rd, 2015
I wonder if it would be possible to make something like that from metal downspout material? Here, storing chicken food in plastic is a good way to have rats gnaw right through it, I'd not trust a plastic cap to keep them away... I currently store my chook food in a metal garbage can, and feed the hens twice a day.
Posted Thursday evening, July 30th, 2015
Donald --- When we first experimented with this, we were thinking of turning it into a product. 5-gallon buckets are too bulky to mail easily, so we chose the 2-gallon size. Since we chose to give away the information, there's no reason not to use the 5-gallon version. If you give it a try, I hope you'll report back and let us know how it goes!
Posted mid-morning Monday, July 20th, 2015
Brittany --- Please email your entry to info@avianaquamiser.com. I'd love to see your coop!
Posted mid-morning Monday, July 20th, 2015
Brittany Where to send?
Where do I send the picture?
Posted Wednesday night, July 15th, 2015
Is the 2 gallon bucket used instead of the 5 gallon for any reason? Have you tried the 5Gal by same manufacturer?
Posted late Tuesday night, July 15th, 2015
brandon --- I know what you mean. It's been rainy and humid here too, and we had to clean out some caked feed in a store-bought automatic feeder recently. I'm afraid I don't have a solution, other than to keep an eye out during this type of weather and clean it out as necessary. If the feeder is somewhere that it can get rained on, of course you'll want to shield it from rain. But just humidity in our region can cause the feed to mold, unfortunately.
Posted at lunch time on Monday, July 13th, 2015
Julie --- If you want to catch them, I think your best bet is to watch and see where they roost at night. If it's low enough to reach, it's pretty easy to snag chickens off a branch after dark. Just wear gloves and long sleeves in case they scratch!
Posted at lunch time on Monday, July 13th, 2015
wild chickens coming into my yard. I want to trap them and provide more naturaly sources of food. Any help?
Posted at lunch time on Thursday, July 9th, 2015
I built a similar feeder and used a screw in top it seemed to work fine except when I got home yesterday and went to feed I had mold growing in there how and what is a good way to prevent this and is anyone else having the same problem as mee any help would be appriciated it also has been raining here in Kentucky for the past 3 weeks and it seems like it won't stop
Posted terribly early Thursday morning, July 9th, 2015
  1. Gray --- I'm not entirely sure I know what you mean by the hole in the stomach area still being open. But that might mean that the chick wasn't entirely ready to hatch, or that high humidity had made the chick flabbier than it should have been at hatching. Sorry I can't be more helpful!
Posted Monday afternoon, June 29th, 2015
jeannec --- I'm pretty sure she means a T when she says 3-way. (A fitting that lets three pipes attach together.) But I could be wrong! If she drops back by and leaves a picture, that would be great.
Posted Monday afternoon, June 29th, 2015
jeannec Nipple Waterer

Re: Comment by Tracy — Sunday afternoon, January 25th, 2015

"I raised a few wyandotte chicks last summer. It was a great experience. I made several waterers throughout this time. My favorite was a 1-3 gallon bucket with 4 nipples. It was my favorite until we hit a -20° Fahrenheit snap. I had an aquarium heater in the bucket, but the nipples still froze up because of the metal parts in them. I will probably go back to this for summer, but I am trying out 3"-4" standing pvc with a 3 way piece at the bottom. The angled side open for drinking, the top with a removable cap for filling, and the bottom sealed. No metal parts to freeze with fish tank heater. I may not get the extreme cold again this year, but I will be prepared for next time."

Tracy, I like your idea (for Northern Nevada where it gets down to zero or below one to several times every winter) but I'm not sure exactly what you mean with the 3-way at the bottom? Does the 3-way encompass the top, the middle drinking part and the bottom? Is it a splitter? Or are there 3 drinking trays? I wonder if you could post a picture(s)? Or tell me where I might go to see some? Most grateful for your help.

Thanks, jeannec

Posted at teatime on Friday, June 26th, 2015
We have hatch several clutches. My last batch of eggs I had several with the hole on the stomach area still open. I'm unsure what would cause this. Could temperature, humidity, or something else cause this.
Posted late Wednesday evening, June 24th, 2015
Anonymous --- You're right. That's why I included this caveat in the post: "These figures assume you're raising heritage breed birds --- Cornish Cross chickens need more food faster." Broilers are a whole different kettle of fish!
Posted Monday afternoon, June 22nd, 2015


These amounts won't work for broilers. It takes about 2.5 lbs of feed for each pound of meat bird produced. So a 10 lb broiler is going to take about 25 lbs of feed, that is lots more than what is listed.

Posted late Saturday afternoon, June 20th, 2015
Sabrina ---Good question. I got this straight out of his book as well, but can't remember which edition of the book it was. Definitely not the first since there were, I think, two updated sections at the back.
Posted at lunch time on Monday, May 25th, 2015
I have 10 roosters in my pen. There just done growing. Once a week one rooster disappears. There are only a few feather and the wings left. The predator would have to get past two 4-5Ft fences. What killed my roosters????!!!!
Posted Sunday afternoon, May 24th, 2015

I heard a little noise coming from the chickens at 5 am. The chickens are reddish brown and I saw a darker color from my window. Somehow a huge owl got inside my temporary chicken pen. It must have forced its way under the chicken wire somehow. The top is covered by chicken wire other than a small gap where 2 pieces come together. 2 out of 5 18 week old hens were killed. The owl was spooked by my appearance and was trying frantically to get out. I was able to cut some of the Ty raps to open the pen door to let it out. It took some convincing on my end but it finally flew out. After I saw the owl crouch down and blast up into the air a couple of times in the pen I knew I didn't want that huge beautiful bird coming at my head!

Posted early Tuesday morning, May 19th, 2015
Is this Joel Salatins current broiler mix recipe? I have his Pastured Poultry Profits book and he said that he also added Brewers Yeast. That book was written 20 yrs ago though, so perhaps he stopped using it.
Posted Monday evening, May 18th, 2015
Kelly --- That particular bird is a barred rock. However, dominiques can look quite similar.
Posted at lunch time on Monday, May 18th, 2015
Kelly F Image question
The speckled juvenile hen in the photo for the Top 10 Chicken Breeds, what breed is that hen? I have one just like her named Betty, and could not for the life of me figure it out. Thanks!!
Posted Thursday evening, May 14th, 2015
Tanya --- Fascinating! I hope you'll come back over and keep us posted once you have a few experiments under your belt.
Posted Monday afternoon, May 4th, 2015
Tanya dark cornish

I just came across your website talking about using Dark Cornish to cross for a homestead meat bird. We are just embarking on this project this year after a year of research. We came across old material talking about a developed cross called the Corndell. It is a cross of Dark Cornish and Delaware. We decided we want to bring this back.

However we are sticking with our convictions for a true homestead meat bird. We are going for quality, not quantity. Our goal is to develop a meat bird, free ranging with free access to produce, which will reach 5-6lbs at 12-14 weeks.

In addition to using Dark Cornish and Delaware, we are also throwing Light Brahmas into the mix. We will mix and match to see what will be best. I cant wait for these birds to reach breeding age so i can start hatching and growing :)

Posted mid-morning Wednesday, April 29th, 2015
Her Majesty and I have a 1 acre lake (that's what I call it because of the depth). We started by adopting 4 Pekin ducks, 3 girls and a boy. Started them off in the barn for a week so they should know where they live. Duck wrangled them to the water and that was the end of it. Never got them back into the barn. I'll spare you the 'chasing ducks around on a John boat throwing bait nets trying to catch them' stories; yes there is more than 1. Our property is completely fenced. Some critter, maybe a weasel (closest thing ID'd on critter cam) took out two of our flock in 1 night. We reinforced fences, tightened everything up, closed up all the bottom gaps and pretended we were good. My great idea was to get two more Cayugas, both girls. Then we had the idea to get some of those motion detection activated red lights to put around the place. Cool, we'll try it. Some time later we had another Pekin (our drake) murdered. Down to 3 girls. With a combination of more lights and a newly rescued Great Pyrenees from a local rescue group, we have not had a 'duck incident' for the past almost 3 months. There is a little more mud on the floor. She (our Pyrenees) does spend some time outside after hours of darkness barking, hindered by the fence. We have heard presumably a coyote mom and group of pups at the edge of the fence that decided to move on once yelled at in the middle of the night by our Pyrenees. We have suffered 0 losses since adding the rescued pup to our pack. She spends more time outside than in and has free range (doggie door) so when she feels the need, she's out on the perimeter. Good Luck with your ducks! We are planning on running a just-above-ground electric line to supplement our fence against anything that can squeeze through a 4x4 hole.
Posted at lunch time on Wednesday, April 15th, 2015
I have 4 chickens and one day when I was out one of my two dogs who likes to eat chicken food got the door open somehow. My dogs are fine with the chickens when I'm out there but alone they chased the chickens. I came home and two of my chickens were perfectly fine a little annoyed but the other two were missing. There were a few feathers here and there but absolutely no sign. I doubt there would have been any predators if the dogs were out. Then several days later a body of one of my chickens shows up in the yard. She seems almost wet and is missing a lot of her feathers. The other chicken is still missing. My yard is completely fenced in, my dogs were not outside when the body showed up. Any Ideas?
Posted at lunch time on Thursday, April 9th, 2015
Dwight --- It looks like one number or the other was a typo, but I can't recall which now! :-)
Posted at teatime on Monday, April 6th, 2015
I'm curious, did I miss something? Your figures don't seem to add up when figuring the space requirements. 150 snails per 125 sq. ft. looks like 0.83 sq. ft. per snail, not 1.5 sq. ft. per snail... What am I missing?
Posted at lunch time on Thursday, April 2nd, 2015

Casey --- You shouldn't have a problem making a heated waterer using one of our kits, but it's tougher to retrofit one of our premade waterers. You can see all of our experiments with heated waterers here. More specifically, this is our current favorite version, and we still have a few of these premade for sale. Our previous favorite was this one, made with heat tape and two five-gallon buckets.

That said, none of these options will work at the -40s Fahrenheit. The nipples on the heated bucket waterer tend to start freezing at the low positive teens and the heat-tape waterer in the high positive teens. For really cold conditions, we just use premade Avian Aqua Miser Originals, which are easy to bring inside overnight. I hope that helps!

Posted mid-morning Monday, March 30th, 2015
BW --- Great idea! That sounds a lot better than an electric heating pad, and I'll bet chickens would love it! We may have to do that for next winter. Any chance you have a photo you'd like to share of your setup? If so, please email it to anna@kitenet.net and we'll put it on the blog so other readers can put on their own thinking caps.
Posted mid-morning Monday, March 30th, 2015

Anonymous --- Keeping the room around the incubator warm will definitely make it much easier to raise the humidity levels inside your incubator. Amanda's tips above are also very handy --- I hadn't thought of them before, but they sound like they should work well!

As for taking the chicks out one by one or waiting, it's all about humidity levels. You must keep the humidity high in the incubator during hatch, and if the exterior air is too dry, you can cause problems by opening the incubator repeatedly. That said, I prefer to take chicks out once they've hatched so they don't accidentally harm other chicks who aren't yet out of the egg. So it's up to you and your ability to manage humidity. Good luck!

Posted mid-morning Monday, March 30th, 2015
Eric --- That's a great idea! The only thing I know about catalpa worms is that they are, I believe, what defoliated my father's tree in South Carolina. That's definitely something to research, and might explain why catalpas are a common yard tree in farm areas around here.
Posted mid-morning Monday, March 30th, 2015
Thinking of growing worms on trees, have you considered catalpa worms?
Posted Sunday evening, March 29th, 2015
Where is t/"RSS button"?
Posted at teatime on Saturday, March 28th, 2015
Hi, I wanted to learn more about the blood ring & what it means. Thanks for t/pics, very helpful.
Posted at teatime on Saturday, March 28th, 2015
Hi im new to using the incubator, my incubators humidity only goes to 50 at max, will i have to keep my room warm for the humidity level to get higher te first few days? Also when chicks start pipping out one by one, are we supposed to take them out of the incubator as soon as they are out? Or wait for all to peep out?
Posted Wednesday evening, March 25th, 2015

I would think if you are trying to give the chickens a warm location to play in just setting up the window and insulating the other sides would help a lot. Think of your new cold frames but for chickens. They would get a nice solar heater where they could take their dust baths and a place to warm up.

I did thin unintentionally this winter with a "shelter" between my coop and barn (for the chicken's to run in). I used a cattle panel and put some tarps over 3/4 of it. Then some clear plastic over the last part. As a result the chickens had a sunny dry place that they used heavily. I saw many deep dust bathing locations in there.

Posted Tuesday afternoon, March 24th, 2015
Casey A. Butler heated water
Hey, I'm a city chicken keeper. Girls in tractors.Limited to 4 hens. I was going to get the original 3 pack due to space saving. Can I heat the original with heat tape or a deicer of types? We live in Northern MI. This winter we hit -40s repeatedly and so I really want to not have water worries along with my "are my chickens freezing?!" worries. Thanks for any help!
Posted at lunch time on Tuesday, March 24th, 2015
Anonymous comment 4
Pawpaw (Asimina Triloba)is pollinated by the Monarch Butterfly, Carrion Beetle, Carrion Fly, Lady Bug, and many more insects attracted to rotting meat (look at and smell the flowers). The trouble is that wild patches tend to be of a single seed genetic mono-culture with multiple trees suckered up off the roots of a single parent, so you'll collect pollen from one area to take to a different area to pollinate. Hand pollination is useless unless you get pollen from different set of genetic parents. Grafting scion wood into a patch from another patch from another area can increase cross pollination. These areas may be any distance not possibly connected underground by the roots, say 50 feet with no pawpaw trees in between. Check out the Ohio Paw Paw Festival near Albany, OH.
Posted late Monday morning, March 23rd, 2015
Curious --- We followed Carol Deppe's lead and chose Ancona ducks.
Posted early Monday morning, March 23rd, 2015
Curious photo
What kind of ducks are these?
Posted late Wednesday evening, March 18th, 2015
I thought I would share my tips on raising the humidity those last few days. I have a humidifier right next to the incubator. I also placed shallow pans of water (I use cake pans) as close to the incubator as possible, sometimes stacking them on top of each other. And pribably the most effective for me has been getting a large towel warm and hanging it up as close to my incubator as possible.Hope this helps, I know how frusterating controlling the humidity can be.
Posted late Tuesday afternoon, March 17th, 2015
julie --- Usually when I hear about a rooster overmating hens, I say that it's because there are too few hens for the rooster. However, 19 hens should spread him pretty thin! Instead, I'm guessing they don't have enough space to roam, which often makes even hens peck at each others' feathers.
Posted at lunch time on Tuesday, March 17th, 2015
N. Sue Grinstead Why I like my E Z Miser

Why I like..no Why I love my E Z Miser.My flock of feathered friends are very special to me. They entertain me with their antics and sing to me during the day.My girls run to meet me when they see me coming like a long lost friend. My feathered friends provide my family with one of the most healthy foods available,eggs.Naturally I want the best for them.Using the EZ Miser they can have the cleanest water available at anytime.I have peace of mind knowing the needed water will be clean and healthy. Having the water dispensed as they need it alleviates the spills that creates a dirty, muddy environment. Having cleaner, disease free eggs ,chickens and pen is very important in successful chicken farming.I guess what I liked most about my EZ Mizer was the ability to assemble it myself. Since the chickens were my contribution to our little farm I took pride in easily constructing the best source of water available to my feathered friends.

Posted at lunch time on Thursday, March 12th, 2015
julie comment 36
I have 19 hens and 1 rooster and all the tail feathers and feathers off the hens back and bottoms are plucked off is this from the rooster and how do I stop it
Posted at lunch time on Monday, March 9th, 2015
cindy --- I hear your frustration --- hatching your own eggs can be so daunting the first time around! By now, hopefully your chicks have hatched --- if they haven't at least pipped by day 23, I'd do a float test and then pull the plug. Here's hoping it all worked out for you!
Posted at noon on Monday, March 9th, 2015
cindy comment 15
Thus Is My First Time Trying To Hatch Eggs in The INCUBATOR Today Is Day 22 I Have 4 Eggs That SUPPOSE To Hatch Only 1 Started So Far Nothing Yet With The Other 3 I Can't Get My HUMINITY To Go Up Past 45 I Have The Water Chambers And Also A Wet Wash Cloth IN It is it Normal that some eggs take longer? If they don't start hatching could I try and open the eggs to see of the chick is even alive? I am so frustrated about this please help
Posted Friday night, March 6th, 2015
angie silvera comment 1
Glad they are starting to lay again!
Posted at lunch time on Friday, March 6th, 2015

Debra --- During the early stages, improper humidity isn't going to cause much of a problem. I generally weigh the eggs every couple of days, and use that to determine whether I need to increase or decrease the humidity. The danger of extended periods of low humidity early on is that you could make the eggs lose weight faster than you want them to, which would give the chicks inside less room to develop.

Only when you're getting ready to hatch do you need to boost the humidity up to the point that you'll need to add a washcloth to the bottom.

Posted Monday afternoon, March 2nd, 2015

Ducks don't like change...any sudden change can stop a ducks production...sudden food change,,, really anything! Even something like not getting as much water as they are used to. If you don't have a bucket in your coop they can dunk their heads in that would be stressful to them also... That's where chickens have an advantage.. much more resilient to changes.

Posted late Wednesday morning, February 25th, 2015
Debra Grubbs Low humidity
I am using the Octagon 20 Advance and placed the eggs in today. I have both water troughs filled and still can not get the humidity past 39%. I have opened the incubator several times today and don't want to open again until tomorrow. Should I put the wash cloth in there at that time to increase the humidity? Is there a danger to the low humidity at this early stage?
Posted Tuesday evening, February 24th, 2015
Shirley --- I suspect that those people are talking about a related red sex-link variety. Golden Comets are a hybrid of a White Rock female and a New Hampshire male.
Posted mid-morning Monday, February 23rd, 2015
Nazir Seedat Pastured Poultry
This man has lots of wisdom that can be shared. I have ordered his book before I begin with this venture.
Posted early Friday morning, February 20th, 2015
Shirley Question

Why do some people say that the golden comet comes from a RIR rooster and RIR white hen? Is this correct? Thanks

Posted at teatime on Wednesday, February 18th, 2015
angie comment 1

It's so hard to find a good broody hen,,, I had a really broody hen for a few years... but here's the weird part,, she would sit around 8 eggs and only hatch out 2 or 3 typically,,, but when she sat duck eggs she would hatch every one of them! I though it was the bloodline but I tried several,,, My best fail proof incubators are muscovy ducks ,, they sit and hatch everything , great moms! Plus their eggs are outstanding,,, so is the meat. The worst thing about them is clipping the wing once a year or they might fly away.

Posted at teatime on Wednesday, February 11th, 2015
les cats
Why are there no responses to stray cats... they have hammered me time after time.. trapping works well.. even got a small doxin dog and spray painted him green and released.. he hasnt been back as thje owners now know to keep it home ;)
Posted Monday evening, February 9th, 2015

I'm trying to grow most of my ducks and chickens food... a crop I've had great success with is greens... I can grow mass amounts of them , they are so easy,they are cool weather crops, so they are perfect when there's not much grass. I grow them covered and uncovered. The poultry love them! When I feed a bucket of greens they barely touch their regular food.

Posted late Sunday afternoon, February 8th, 2015
Richard --- Interesting --- I hadn't heard of the device you're talking about. Without a name to google, though, I can't be sure they're not still out there.
Posted mid-morning Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015
Richard Paul Killing chickens

60+ years ago me had a tool that was like e pruning tool. You Put the blade in the mouth and the blade went up into the brain. Is anyone making these today?

Posted Monday afternoon, February 2nd, 2015
I raised a few wyandotte chicks last summer. It was a great experience. I made several waterers throughout this time. My favorite was a 1-3 gallon bucket with 4 nipples. It was my favorite until we hit a -20° Fahrenheit snap. I had an aquarium heater in the bucket, but the nipples still froze up because of the metal parts in them. I will probably go back to this for summer, but I am trying out 3"-4" standing pvc with a 3 way piece at the bottom. The angled side open for drinking, the top with a removable cap for filling, and the bottom sealed. No metal parts to freeze with fish tank heater. I may not get the extreme cold again this year, but I will be prepared for next time.
Posted Sunday afternoon, January 25th, 2015
saheed onayiga layer mash formula

I wuld appreciate it if common and proper laying birds feed formula could be analyse to me. 2nks Saheed onayiga

Posted at teatime on Wednesday, January 21st, 2015
Anonymous --- We haven't used push-in nipples because they tend to be much lower quality, and we like our waterers to go the distance. So I can't tell you for sure whether they'd work in this application or not.
Posted late Monday morning, January 19th, 2015
Cindy --- It's hard to know what might be going on without seeing your chicks. It's normal for one chick to start hatching before the others, but the fact that it didn't make it out of the egg suggests that something went wrong with your hatch. I'd recommend letting it run for a couple more days just in case someone hatches out, then doing an autopsy so you'll know what went wrong for next time. My incubation handbook will give you a lot more details.
Posted late Monday morning, January 19th, 2015
Cindy harris comment 11
I just lost a chick starting hatching yesterday had a hole in egg but no progress in 24 hours lots a rolling and chirpingI didnt know if I should help checked on it its no longer breathing. The chick was breathing hard earlier is that normal or was it struggling for air? I removed one of the plugs from incubator but them I was having trouble with humidity. This was my first attempt to hatch by incubator so any pointers would help . Did I open lid too much? I still have eggs that should be hatching now but no noise or movement.
Posted Friday night, January 16th, 2015
Anonymous comment 7

Can you use the push in nipples vs a screw in type?

Thank you

Posted Wednesday evening, January 14th, 2015
chiken person --- Very good point about adding a thermostat to any light shining on the nipple! A Thermocube is relatively inexpensive and should do the trick nicely.
Posted late Tuesday morning, January 13th, 2015
chiken person chiken whater
I live in Minnesota where temperature can reach -50. The only way to keep chicken nipple not frozen on the bottom is to have 250watt light bulb. I use 5gal bucket and heat tape with insulation. on the bottom light bulb pointing on nipples. Then extra thermostat for the bulb. Put thermostats everywhere or pay hi electrical bill like $100 month in winter. The problem fire hazard, hi electrical bill and if bulb die on you that's it.
Posted in the wee hours of Wednesday night, January 8th, 2015
Oreste --- Thanks for your interest. We only sell our chicken nipples as part of our premade waterers or kits. The least expensive and simplest option is our Avian Aqua Miser Original kits. I hope that helps.
Posted late Tuesday morning, January 6th, 2015
peter snailfeed
that looks very promising ive been looking for ways to commercially propagate golden snail as substitute for expensive fishmeal can anybody help me please? tnx
Posted in the wee hours of Sunday night, January 5th, 2015

I am sorry you don't have a phone number to call. I don't see a way to choose how to buy just 5 of those nipples. And what is their price?

Thanks for your attention.

Posted late Sunday night, January 5th, 2015
Bernadette Laberge-Walker comment 1
Looking forward to it.
Posted at lunch time on Sunday, December 21st, 2014
Michael Hatfield chicken missing/death
I am staying at my Sons house and he had 5 chickens and one came up missing.We found remains next day in neighboring backyard. All we found was the legs that were ripped from the body. /There is a dog next door and I am thinking it is possible that the chicken got over there and the dog killed it. Is it possible for me to send a picture via text to someon there. I can take a pic with my cell and send it to you. Very puzzleing.....
Posted at noon on Thursday, December 18th, 2014
I wonder if there's some way to hook that heat connection up to a solar panel?
Posted Sunday evening, December 7th, 2014
I just completed my transaction for an EZ Miser and I simply cannot wait to receive it!!
Posted Tuesday evening, December 2nd, 2014
Brandy comment 15
Thank You, Anna. I wasn't sure how big the bucket was. With my husband always out of town on business, the kit isn't much of an option since I am not handy with a drill...but 1-2 of these would probably work very well for my flock. Thanks!!
Posted Tuesday evening, December 2nd, 2014
Brandy --- On a hot summer day, you might need to fill your EZ Miser two or three times a week, but in cooler weather, it would last much longer. Of course, with a five-gallon bucket (made with one of our kits), you could go weeks between fillings even in the summer. I hope that helps you decide!
Posted mid-morning Monday, December 1st, 2014
Brandy comment 13
How often will I be refilling the EX Miser for 5 hens and 1 Roo? Would it be better to buy the kit and use a bigger bucket?
Posted at lunch time on Saturday, November 29th, 2014
Amy Opossum?
We have been having a lot of visits from Coopers and Red Tail hawks in our suburban yard lately, so at first, I thought when I found one of my chickens dead that a hawk was the culprit. I have 8 chickens and only one was dead. And it was in the middle of the day. When I inspected it, I noticed that her head was missing completely, her spine had been ripped out and all of her organs except her gizzard were missing. Her crop was torn open, but remained untouched otherwise. No blood. Whatever attacked her went in through her back. It didn't eat any of her breast meat at all. When I looked at your list, I thought maybe an Opossum, even though I have lived here 20 years and have never seen one. My yard has a 6 foot fence all around it. This is the first time in 4 years we have had an "incident" like this. The first time, it was two chickens inside what I thought was a varmint proof coop. We think that time (little bloody footprints) that it was a Fisher Cat. This time, I am not sure. What do you think?
Posted in the wee hours of Monday night, November 25th, 2014
Emily comment 1
If the problem is the smoothness of the box can you take sandpaper and rough it up a bit?
Posted Monday evening, November 24th, 2014
laura --- Thanks for your interest! All of the waterers on this page require no assembly, but the kits on a different page will require you to build the waterer yourself.
Posted early Monday morning, November 17th, 2014

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