Fix the nest box so they
gently roll into a hardware wire cage.
Secure some fake
grass to the floor at an angle to make rolling slow and smooth. We
have not tried this method yet, still in the research stage, but it
seems like the best low budget way of making sure your eggs stay clean.
Will a rooster protect ducks
that are part of his flock?
I think it would depend on
Our rooster seems somewhat
indifferent to ducks. I've observed him leaving the ducks by themselves
to tend to one of his ladies. He might attack a predator that is
threatening his flock and the ducks, but I doubt if he would intervene
if a hawk was trying to eat one of our ducks.
This is the time of year when we start getting a lot of questions about heated chicken waterers.
If you follow the link in the last sentence, you can see all of the
experiments we've made with heated waterers over the years. Our
favorite at the moment is the combination of a heated bucket and our 3 pack DIY Avian Aqua Miser Original kit (without drill bit), constructed as shown in the video above and good down to about 14 degrees Fahrenheit.
We liked this option so
much that, last summer, we were considering turning it into a premade
product available here on our website. However, Farm Innovators
wasn't willing to give us much of a cut on buying their heated buckets
in bulk, and the price we were going to have to charge to make a profit
after paying for shipping twice ($150) seemed too extreme. So we
opted to instead give the idea away to anyone who would like to make
their own at home.
I've had several emails from folks saying that making their own heated
bucket waterer following our instructions is just too hard. Could
we please sell them a premade heated waterer? We do
have ten heated buckets collecting dust on the porch, so I figured we
might as well move them to new homes at a reduced rate. So, until
we sell out, you can
buy a premade heated bucket waterer for $100 using the buy-now button
below. (These are only for shipment within the U.S., and shipping
is free.) I don't know if anyone will be interested, but it's
possible these will sell out fast, so snap them up while they're
Edited to add:
We sold out in the first 24 hours! Mark found two more buckets in the
barn after I first posted, but he had me hold them back just in case he
has trouble constructing any of the first ten. Since he hasn't
streamlined the process, problems can arise, and he only wants to send
out perfect waterers. If you want to be added to the waiting list for
these possible last two heated buckets, drop me an email at email@example.com and I'll let you know this week whether we have extras available. Thanks to everyone who ordered!
A few of you also asked if we thought our EZ Miser kits
would be a good fit with the heated bucket. I'm less keen on this
idea since I think that having the nipple so far away from the heating
element will make it freeze faster. However, if you're only
looking for a heated waterer good down into the 20s Fahrenheit, then
this might be a good (albeit untested) option. And we're willing
to make your premade heated bucket waterer this way if you leave a note
with your order (or email firstname.lastname@example.org afterwards). I'll be very curious to hear your reports on how much cold an EZ Miser heated bucket will handle!
While we're talking
heated chicken waterers, I'm always looking for new, innovative ideas to
share with our readers. Please drop me an email or leave a
comment if you want to share your ideas!
and Bifidobacterium seem to be the top three of poultry probiotics.
Probiotics might be a
worthwhile experiment if we were raising large numbers of Free
Range-Organic-Antibiotic Free chickens to sell for a profit. We briefly
considered trying that back in our early days. The conclusion we came
to was that people in our area would not be willing to pay the extra
amount for the increased quality. I'm not sure a medium sized chicken
grower could operate a small probiotic lab and still be cost effective?
Posted early Thursday morning, October 9th, 2014