Avian Aqua Miser: Automatic, poop-free chicken waterers

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EZ miser spout on a 5 gallon bucket hanging from coop roof

Installing an EZ Miser spout on a 5 gallon bucket takes about a minute to drill the hole and pop in the gasket.

Apply soapy water to the gasket hole and spout. Do not skip this step!

Push the spout in with a small tilt and then twist it back and forth as you continue to push until it stops.

It looks better than just installing a nipple on the bottom of a bucket.

Posted early Wednesday morning, July 22nd, 2015 Tags:
Hen cam chicken blog image

I've talked about what I consider the best chicken cam on the web before, but just realized how awesome their blog is.

Each post is packed with interesting information and beautiful photographs.

Posted early Wednesday morning, July 15th, 2015 Tags:
strawberry that taste like chicken?

Maybe in the future Monsanto will design a new strawberry to look and taste like a chicken McNugget?

Image credit goes to CivilEats on Twitter.

Posted early Wednesday morning, July 8th, 2015 Tags:
draw bridge type of chicken coop door opener

This is the first draw bridge coop door opener I've seen.

It has the added benefit of working as part of the entrance ramp.

The motor is a common electric car window mechanism that can be found on Ebay and the Youtube video has a nice component animation that explains each piece and where it goes.

Posted early Wednesday morning, July 1st, 2015 Tags:
ramshackled coop contest

We were on a very low budget when we built this pallet chicken coop.

One of these days we'll build a bigger and smarter coop. In the meantime let's have a Most Ramshackled Coop Contest!

Send us a picture of a ramshackled coop in the next 30 days and we'll pick the most funky one for a free EZ Miser kit.

Posted early Wednesday morning, June 24th, 2015 Tags:
Pastured pullets

Our chicken-grazing system usually runs like clockwork. Our laying flock lives in our northern chicken coop and grazes in the woods all winter. In the spring, I start rotating them through pastures at around the same time we hatch or buy new chicks.

Seedy pasture grassThe chicks live in their outdoor brooder in the backyard until they're about a month old and start scratching up the garden. Then they go in the south chicken coop, which is beefed up to be mostly predator-proof. At that time, we start rotating our younger birds through those four pastures, mimicking the path of their parents in the other pasture setup.

The trouble is, this year our laying flock simply refused to stay in their pastures. The solution seemed to be to swap them over to the south (chick) coop, where they all settled down and started acting like good hens and ducks.

But that left us with nowhere predator-proof to graze our chicks once they grew out of the backyard. (The northern coop isn't set up to keep out rats, raccoons, and all of the other annoyances that like to eat chickens before they're fully grown.) After attempting to keep the pullets and cockerels out of the garden with temporary fencing to no avail, we moved them down to the north pasture area anyway...but kept them in their brooder.

Pullet running out of the brooder

The technique has worked quite well so far. As a plus, we can get two weeks out of each pasture when chicks are this age since we can start with the brooder at one end of the pasture then move it to the other end the next week. The photo above shows a pasture nearly completely used up at the end of the week.

Chicks on pasture

And here the flock is in the next pasture on their list. I've let the grass grow taller than I usually do since it was so dry in April and May that I was afraid if I cut the vegetation, it wouldn't grow back. Hopefully our recent rain and a dose of chicken manure will get new grass growing before the flock comes back around to each pasture again.

Moving chicks to a new pasture

Move on to the next pasture, boys and girls!

Posted early Thursday morning, June 18th, 2015 Tags:
Chicken waterer sale

Do you need an extra waterer to ensure your chickens thrive in the heat? To perk everyone up out of the summer doldrums, I've marked two of our bestsellers on Amazon down considerably for the next week.

The premade EZ Miser is only $49.99 for a limited time. And the 2 pack EZ Miser kit is marked down to $37.99 for a limited time.


Posted Monday afternoon, June 15th, 2015 Tags:
HVAC actuator coop door opener

Any type of HVAC damper actuator can be configured as a coop door opener.

This Youtube video walks you through the steps and wiring details.

Using a heavy duty actuator like this closes the coop door with enough force to prevent any raccoon or monkey from pushing it up.

Posted early Tuesday morning, June 9th, 2015 Tags:
using PetSafe electronic pet feeder as a coop door opener

One of the nice things about converting a PetSafe electronic pet feeder into a chicken coop door opener and closer is the fact that it has a built in timer to control your opening and closing time.

You'll need a small structure with a pulley mounted like in the picture and some heavy duty string or fishing line.

The door should be light and travel freely in an up and down motion.

Posted early Tuesday morning, June 2nd, 2015 Tags:
EcoGlow repair instructions

The power cord on our EcoGlow chick brooder broke at the nub.

I'm pretty sure the reason it broke was the way we wedged the brooder power cord up against the wall of a plastic tub. I don't think it was meant to bend at such an extreme angle with pressure.

I used a coping saw with a knife to free the nub from the plastic case. There's not much wire to work with, so make sure when you cut it that it doesn't fall back in the hole.

Posted early Tuesday morning, May 26th, 2015 Tags:
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I just purchased your chicken nipples and bit, but I have a question since I'm new in the chicken world. Do chickens need direct sun almost all day to lay eggs or are they happy with a few hours in the morning and streams of sun through the trees. They are out in there pen from 8am until dusk.


Comment by suzanne roemer late Wednesday evening, July 27th, 2011

Especially in the summer, chickens will actually gravitate toward the shade. They do like to have some sunny spots for dust-bathing, and like more sun in the winter.

The longer the day length, the better your chickens will lay. But that doesn't mean they need to be in direct sunlight during that time, just that there needs to be enough light to keep them awake and active.

Comment by anna late Saturday afternoon, July 30th, 2011

My chickens go out of there way to try and find sources of the stuff, I have Styrofoam (polystyrene actually) insulating the outside of my package heat pump. They finally figured it out and have peck/eaten a large chuck out of one section, maybe 1 ft in diameter. They have found the stuff before, and they didn't seem to have any adverse affects, I try to keep them out of harms way. I assume they will be fine this time, and I have blocked them off from the area. but my question is, Should I eat the eggs? I have 2 buff orpingtons and a white silkie(the bad influence).They are known as betty white and the golden girls. the buffs had just started laying a few days ago. Any ideas?

Comment by David L at noon on Thursday, February 9th, 2012
I've heard from other people whose chickens go after styrofoam. I figure it can't be good for them, so I'd do my best to keep them away from it. As long as the chickens are healthy, though, I doubt it will affect the eggs, but I don't really know!
Comment by anna Thursday evening, February 9th, 2012
i have a week old chick that was doing fine until yesterday. Now he is not eating and just standing around or sleeping. I put him in a box by himself with a heating pad. I have been trying to get him to drink water with probiotics and electrolites. Does anyone have any suggestions?
Comment by Anonymous at teatime on Thursday, June 21st, 2012
Anonymous --- I'm so sorry to hear about your sick chick! Unfortunately, chicks sometimes just dwindle away, especially if they had some trauma in the egg or soon after hatching that didn't show up at the time. That said, solitary confinement in a warm place sometimes helps them bounce back, so it sounds like you're doing just the right thing.
Comment by anna early Sunday morning, June 24th, 2012
I cook for my chickens.I have four girls. in the morning they get laying food and cracked corn then I give then lettuce and bread they go gaga for it. in the afternoon they get a combo of rice flax seed sucker seed canned green beans. they don't get anything green in Michigan in the winter unless I give it to them. they never got the memo that they don't lay in the winter. their pen is protected and there is no snow in their pen i live my girls.i live in the city and have never had chickens before
Comment by Linda Monday night, March 25th, 2013
Linda --- Sounds like you've got happy chickens!
Comment by anna late Monday morning, April 1st, 2013

I was contemplating buying a hydroponic system for Fodder production (green forage) for my horses. With the rising, and unrelenting price of fuel to make the hay, hay has become very expensive ($5.50-7/bale)with NO end in sight. I wanted to be sure that my horses would eat this type of forage readily. I started to grow it in my DARK- no light available- cellar. Fodder can be grown without any light source, but it will be white and not green. I did, however, use a grow light for 2hrs/day. This made the fodder very green. It took a little bit of trial and error to get the water amount needed just right, but it worked. The animal consumes everything in the tray at the end of the week, seed casing, roots and all. There is no dirt, and the animals do LOVE it. Since fodder can be fed to ALL livestock, I fed to my ducks, chickens, and horses throughout the winter. basically as a treat, as I was only using seed starter trays, and my cellar isn't that big to have the number of trays I would need on a single layer all over my floor. ;) You need to soak untreated seed- Barley works the BEST! And, 85% of it is digestible, so they get a lot of good nutrition from the fodder, unlike hay which is 15% digestible. Protein levels of barley fodder equal that of corn, so you can save on feed! Steps- 1) soak seeds 15 minutes in 5 gallon bucket with 5% solution of bleach or peroxide:water ratio. You just need to make sure all the seed is covered. (you can use this solution to clean your trays after your seeds are soaked, so after the 1st day, don't throw it away. Literally, it takes only 10-15 minutes/day to maintain this feed source! 2) Rinse and fill up with only water- seeds need to soak 24hrs additional. 3) then drain again, after the 24hrs. 4) Place soaked seed inside your trays. 7lbs of DRY seed/day will fill a 12' long channel, and feed 4-6 horses and 100 chickens for the day. SO measure, and adjust the amount of seed you need, to account for how long your trays are and how many animals you need to feed. whether this is going to be your feed source, or if you are just giving them a treat. 50 for the 2nd day, I usually just use a spray bottle to water the seeds- enough to thoroughly soak them, but not enough for a lot of standing water. Then, spray every other day, put in 2cups water/tray every other day, starting on day 3. 5) Each day do a tray- with just enough for each days use. This gives you fresh fodder daily. Each tray takes 7 days to reach the right height. 6) Turn grow light on, if green fodder is wanted, for maximum of 2hrs/day. Materials needed: 5 gallon bucket; (2) 5 gallon buckets with lid are ideal! Spray bottle Water bleach or peroxide scrub brush to clean out trays before 1st use, and after every use to kill and inhibit fungi and mold growth 7 seed starter trays liquid cup measure SEED from seed distributor (online) and place to dry store seed. Garbage can with lid works great! Grow light bulb and brooder lamp works great! Spot where water run off/spillage won't damage property. I placed trays near our sump pump.

You can make your own feed, know what your chickens, ducks, and other animals are getting as a seed (you can be sure that there are no GMO's in your feed, and thus end up in your belly) And, they get fresh feed which they gobble up!

Comment by Heather Thursday afternoon, May 15th, 2014

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