Sunday, December 30, 2012

Greens For Chickens Plan Ahead for Winter

This last week the seed catalogs began rolling into our mailbox. I suspect many of you also received garden catalogs  and may be thinking about your 2013 garden. With that in mind, we decided to write an article about growing greens for your chickens but with a bit of a twist...

In summer, finding extra greens to feed chickens is generally not a problem. We give our chickens all the less-than-perfect lettuce, cabbage, peas, tomatoes etc. from the garden and keep the nice looking stuff for our plates. 

However, as we move into the Fall and Winter season, finding anything to give our flock becomes more of a challenge. So here's a guide to help you plan your Fall & Winter 2012 garden so you have plenty of time to consider how to arrange your garden. You can plant a garden primarily for your family with the chickens getting the extras, or you can set aside a small patch specifically for your girls.

Brrrrrr......It's Cold Out Here



When To Plant For Fall & Winter

Generally speaking, you should plant your Fall/Winter crops 8-10 weeks before your first frost date.  (You can find the first frost date for your area at the Victory Seed Company web site.)  

You should be mindful of the days-to-maturity for the varieties you grow.  Work backwards from you first frost date to ensure that you are giving any vegetables you intend to grow sufficient time to mature.  Since the days are shorter in the fall, it's generally recommended that you add about 2-3 weeks to the days-to-maturity estimates printed on seed packets.  Another strategy to manage to manage the constraints of days to maturity, is to buy seedlings for your garden from your local garden center, rather than trying to plant them from seeds. This give you a bit of a jump on the season.


Kale is particularly frost resistant

Extending The Harvest Period

Prolonged periods when the temperature is below 32 degrees Fahrenheit will kill cold tolerant vegetables. You can increase your harvest period by using season extenders (greenhouse, cold frames, straw mulch, row covers etc.) to keep your crops warm and protected from driving rains.  Where we live, our temperatures rarely go below freezing.  With a greenhouse, we've been able to harvest fresh chard, kale, miners lettuce and other vegetables all winter long.  

If you're climate is less for forgiving, you'll generally need to harvest as the temperatures dip below freezing.   But there are some exceptions; once mature, some crops can be left (stored) in the garden even when goes below freezing.  These crops include most of the root vegetables such as carrots, parsnips, beets, salsify, oriental radishes and cabbage.

All the vegetables shown below can be grown when the weather is cool.  The vegetables shown with an asterisk are the most hardy.  These veggies can withstand temperatures as low as 28 degrees Fahrenheit for a few weeks and still make it. 
  • Arugula
  • Broccoli(*)
  • Brussels Sprouts(*)
  • Beets(*) - for fall harvest or can be stored in the garden.
  • Cabbage(*) - can be stored in the garden.
  • Carrots(*) - can be stored in the garden.
  • Chard- For Fall harvest
  • Chicory
  • Chinese Cabbage(*)
  • Kale(*)
  • Miners Lettuce
  • Mache
  • Parsnip(*) - Can be stored in the garden.
  • Parsley (*)
  • Peas
  • Radish(*) - Can be stored in the garden.
  • Salsify - Can be stored in the garden.
  • Spinach(*) - For fall harvest
  • Turnip - Can be stored in the garden.
  • Upland Cress

Saturday, December 29, 2012

How To Increase Egg Production In Winter

Why Chickens Lay Fewer Egg In Winter

If you've had chickens for more than one season, you already know that egg production declines dramatically in Winter.  Many backyard flock owners assume that this is in response to lower temperatures but, in reality, it's a response to lower light levels. 

Chicken's sense light thorough their eyes and this stimulates a gland in their eye to produce a hormone that controls egg production. Normally, chickens begin laying eggs in the spring when light levels exceed 14 hours per day. This timing gives baby chicks the best opportunity to survive since Spring and Summer are periods when food is plentiful. Conversely, egg laying slows or ceases when light levels fall since this is a harbinger of leaner times to come. 

The difference in light levels between Winter and Summer will be most pronounced in northern latitudes where daylight hours vary the most.  The difference is due to the tilt of the Earth's axis.  Below are the number of daylight hours in December and June for three cities that represent northern (Boston), central (Nashville) and southern (Austin) latitudes. As you can see, in Boston there's a 7 hour variation between Winter and Summer hours of daylight. In Austin, this variation is only 3 hours.




Man Made Sunshine


For those in northern climates, who want to boost egg production in Winter, the answer is to create a little artificial sunshine. A chicken's photo-receptors distinguish between the sun and and a light bulb, so running a fluorescent or incandescent light inside the coop can re-start egg laying during the winter months.

Using an incandescent light provides an additional benefit as these lights also throw off quite a bit of heat. A 40 watt bulb placed inside the coop can keep the temperature of the coop above freezing.  If you have a BriteTap poultry waterer or other chicken waterer that can freeze in the Winter, placing the waterer inside a coop with a light will also keep the waterer from freezing up.  More eggs and no frozen waterer is a double plus in our book.


Leghorn Drinking From A BriteTap Chicken Waterer




Sunday, December 23, 2012

Should You Wash Your Eggs

As a matter of general practice, we've washed our eggs prior to placing them in the refrigerator.  We've also known that many other backyard chicken owners  do not wash their eggs because they believe they stay fresher when left in their natural state.  To determine the best practice, we reviewed some of the scientific literature on the subject and make a recommendation to readers of this blog.  

If you don't want to read the full post, skip to the end where we make our recommendation and provide what we believe to be practical advice to backyard chicken owners. 


Egg photo by Sun Ladder

Some Background About Eggs & Bacterial Contamination

Eggs are designed to limit the possibility of bacterial contamination. This makes intuitive sense because eggs must protect the chicken's embryo during incubation.  These  natural protections include:

  •  The shell - made from calcium carbonate, the shell functions like a ceramic container that acts as a hard barrier to bacteria. The shell also is made of proteins that are antimicrobial so the shell acts both as a mechanical and chemical barrier. Although the shell appears solid, it contains thousands of small pores that allow air to pass through the shell so that a chick embryo can survive. Unfortunately, these can be a doorway for bacteria to enter into the egg itself, so eggs are further protected by the following mechanisms....
  • The cuticle - During the last stage of egg formation, a layer of protein and carbohydrates is deposited on the surface of the shell before it passes out of the chicken's oviduct. The cuticle, sometimes called the bloom, "plugs" the pores in the egg shell and helps prevent bacteria from penetrating the egg. The cuticle still allows oxygen to pass into the egg, but provides a barrier that keeps the bacteria out. However, the effectiveness of the cuticle can be compromised.  Washing the surface of an egg may remove surface debris and bacteria, but it also reduces, or eliminates, the cuticle, the eggs natural protective cover for the pores. (More on this subject later when we discuss egg washing)
  • Egg Whites - the egg white, or albumen, provides a series of defenses against bacteria should it find its way into the egg through a pore.  The egg white inhibits the growth of bacteria because it does not contain sufficient nutritional value for bacteria to thrive. If bacteria enters the egg it has nothing to eat unless it gets to the yolk. Fortunately the white also is fairly viscous so it inhibits the bacteria's ability to move around. In sum, egg whites fight bacteria contamination by limiting their ability to get the the yolk and giving them little to eat when trapped in the albumen.
Cross section of an egg shell. Image from PoultryHub.org

Visually Clean Eggs Aren't Clean

While eggs are designed to protect their contents, it's important to recognize that the outside shell of the egg is not clean.  Chicken's eliminate waste from their body by excreting it from their intestines through an organ called the vent. This same vent is the door which is used when a chicken lays an egg. In this case, the egg passes from the chicken's oviduct and through the vent before being deposited in a nest box.

As you can imagine, using the same organ to pass waste and lay eggs has profound consequence for the cleanliness chicken eggs. Even eggs that look clean to the naked eye are contaminated by a layer of bacteria on their surface. Once in the nest box, eggs can pick up additional bacteria from mud, bedding or any other materials that are tracked into the nest box by the comings and goings of chickens.  Again, the shell and the cuticle protect the content of the eggs, but the surface of the egg above the cuticle is generally loaded with bacteria.


Chicken Reproductive System. Image from PoultryHub.Org


The Benefits of Washing Eggs

The primary reason to clean eggs is to remove the layer of bacteria that sits on the surface of the shell. This can significantly reduce health risks posed to humans:
  • If there's little bacteria on the shell surface, there's little bacteria that can penetrate into the egg if the shell is accidentally cracked or damaged prior to consumption. 
  • If there's little bacteria on the shell, there's a lower chance that humans will accidentally transfer that bacteria from the shell to other food when cooking.

Why Not Wash All Eggs?

So why not wash the eggs and get rid of this bacteria? As it turns out, it's not so easy to wash eggs properly. One can actually do more damage then good if eggs aren't washed and stored the right way. 

Washing removes much, but not all bacteria, and once the egg is washed the remaining bacteria have an opportunity to do increased damage because the protective cuticle is now compromised. Here's how it can happen; if an egg is washed in water that is colder than the egg itself, the interior contents of the egg contract. This causes a vacuum to form inside the egg that pulls water and any remaining bacteria on surface of the shell through the pores and into the interior of the egg. So eggs need to be washed under very specific temperature if they are to remain safe.

The process by which the eggs are washed is also important. In the past, commercial egg washing was done by immersing the eggs in a tank of water with detergents and sanitizers.  This method has been largely abandoned because it was discovered that the water could become highly contaminated and actually increase contamination by transferring bacteria through the wash water. 

Modern commercial systems wash eggs in an in-line process that is fairly complicated:


  • First, the eggs are lightly sprayed with warm water to loosen any droppings or debris on the surface.
  • Then, the eggs are moved on a conveyor to a washing station where they are washed using jets of water and brushes. The water temperature is controlled so that the water is at least 20 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than the temperature of the eggs themselves. This prevents the aforementioned problem of pulling bacteria from the surface of the shell into the egg. Current best practice is to wash at a temperature between 100 and 113 degrees Fahrenheit.  (Research suggests that above 113 degrees the temperature completely destroys the cuticle.)
  • The eggs are also washed in water that is low in soluble iron and with detergents and sanitizers that are recognized as safe and of a known pH. The iron content of the water turns out to be fairly important because some water will penetrate the shell during cleaning and if it is high in soluble iron, the iron can interfere with the albumen's natural ability to inhibit bacteria.
  • Next, the eggs are dried quickly with warm air to prevent bacteria from being carried into the egg by any moisture sitting on the surface of the shell as it cools.
  • Finally, the eggs are immediately transferred to a refrigerator for storage.
A commercial In-Line Egg Washing Machine


Why We Think Egg Washing Should Be Limited for Backyard Chicken Owners

In a commercial production environment where best practices are employed, washing eggs is a safe and effective method for preventing food borne illness.  However, achieving best practices is probably difficult, or impossible, for most backyard flock owners:
  • It's probably safe to assume that most of us don't have a good way to know or control the temperature coming out of our kitchen faucets. When cleaning eggs, backyard flock owners are really guessing that the temperature is right. As with all guesses, where going to get it right sometimes, but not every time. 
  • It's probably also safe to assume that you most of us don't know the iron content of our water. This is probably not a big issue for city folks using municipal water, but the same can't be said for folks in the country using well water. As mentioned earlier, iron that enters the albumen can lower the eggs natural defenses against bacteria.
  • It's also a safe bet to assume that egg cleaning materials -- sponge, brush etc. -- are not being monitored or cleaned regularly so they may can be an unexpected source of contamination.
  • Egg drying procedures are likely to also be lax or inconsistent. Backyard chicken owners may be placing eggs into the refrigerator before they are thoroughly dried. The moisture on the now unprotected shell can act as a conduit for any remaining bacteria to penetrate into the center of the now unprotected egg. Best practice would be to dry the eggs with a towel and then allow them to completely air dry before placing them in the refrigerator. 
While none of the above is impossible for the backyard chicken owners, we think that consistently implementing best practices is unlikely. As a result we've come around to the idea of washing only those eggs that clearly require it to remove large quantities of dropping and debris from the surface. Such eggs would be particularly unsanitary to place in the refrigerator unwashed. 



Pancake drinking from a BriteTap chicken waterer in our coop

Recommendations

Our recommendations for keeping your eggs safe are a combination of preventative measures and what we believe are pragmatic hygiene practices:
  • Keep bedding and nest boxes clean and free of mud and droppings to reduce large scale contamination.
  • Collect eggs at least once per day to prevent eggs shells from becoming cracked in the nest box and opening up places where bacteria can penetrate the interior of the egg.
  • Discard any eggs that are clearly cracked as they are highly susceptible to contamination.
  • Wash only those eggs that are contaminated by large quantities of dirt or droppings. By large quantities, we mean dirt and/or droppings on the shell surface that is clearly visible. 
  • Wash these eggs using a clean paper towel in water that feels hot to the touch but is not scalding. For perspective, the maximum recommended temperature to wash eggs is 113 degrees. Most people would find 130 degrees very uncomfortable, so use your senses to regulate the water temperature recognizing that your senses are a very imperfect tool. (By the way, hot water heaters in the U.S. are generally set at a temperature of 130-150 degrees Fahrenheit) 
  • Once the eggs are cleaned, immediately dry them with a paper towel. Make sure they are fully dry before placing them in storage cartons. 
  • On the other hand, refrain from washing eggs that look clean to the naked eye. As we stated above, all eggs pass through the a chicken's vent and pick up bacteria along the way. Clean looking eggs aren't really free of bacteria. However, we believe that the risks of damaging the egg shell or cuticle during cleaning, and thus introducing bacteria into the egg, is higher than just placing the egg into a carton unwashed. This is based on our assumptions regarding the the average persons ability to consistently wash eggs under "best practice conditions." Therefore, we don't recommend cleaning eggs unless they are so filthy that placing them in the refrigerator would pose a higher risk than than cleaning them.
  • When handling eggs, understand that the shell is contaminated and act accordingly. Wash your hands after handling eggs, particularly when preparing food that will be served uncooked as you can contaminate these foods after touching unwashed eggs.

We make these recommendations understanding that reasonable people can come to different conclusions.  In the United States, the USDA requires egg producers to wash eggs prior to sale. In most of Europe, the opposite is true. 

Let Us Know What You Think

Please leave a comment and let us know whether you currently wash your eggs. We'd also like to know if any of the information in this article will influence your current practice with regard to egg washing. 
_________________
Article posted by ChickenWaterer.com, manufacturer of the BriteTap chicken waterer.


Some sources to look at for more information:

Opinion of the Scientific Panel on Biological Hazards on the Request of the Commission Related to the Microbial Risks of Washing Table Eggs, The EFSA Journal 269, Sept 7, 2005.

Washing table eggs: a review of the scientific and engineering issues. M.L. Hutchinson et al., World Poultry Science Journal vol. 59, June 2003.

Small Scale Egg Handling, Anne Fanatico & Betsy Connor, National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service, 2009.








Saturday, December 15, 2012

As Seen In Urban Farm & Chickens Magazines

Thanks to these publications for featuring the BriteTap waterer in their new products sections!




Clean Water

The BriteTap chicken-waterer shields your flock's water from dirt, debris and droppings so the water always stays clean. A chicken drinks from special valves located on the bottom of the waterer that release water directly into the chicken's mouth when it pecks at the valve. The waterer comes paired with a 2-gallon, insulated water-supply tank that provides a two-day supply of water to as many as 16 chickens.





Sunday, December 9, 2012

How To Build A Chicken Coop

We often get asked how to build a chicken coop, so in this posting we'll cover some design elements we think are worth incorporating into your own design. The coop shown in the posting is one we built several years ago and has stood up to the test of time.

  • Shape & Windows - Our coop has a double roof line and screened window areas on the top and bottom of the coop. The overall shape of the coop and the placement of the windows is designed to create a high degree of air circulation. This is important because chickens release a large amounts of moisture in their breath. In a coop without adequate ventilation, excessive moisture can can make the environment unhealthy for chickens. However, our coop is design to encourage air to circulates within the coop bringing fresh air in through the bottom window and moist stale air is driven out via the top window. Our coop is located in a relatively warm climate, so the screened windows are left completely open all year round. For folks in colder environments, we recommend adding a shutter over the window that allows you to partially close the windows in winter. We say partially close, because even in winter, you should remove excess moisture from the coop.  Credit where credit is due... The overall shape shown here is take from the book Fresh Air Poultry Houses that was published in 1924. This book can still be purchased on Amazon.

Two plan views of our coop showing the shape and double roof line

  • Cleaning Pan - This feature makes cleaning our coop a snap. The pan sits at the bottom of the coop and is normally covered in a layer of straw. When the straw becomes dirty, we open a door located on the front of the coop (see photo) and pull out the pan. We then dump the soiled straw into our compost bin and replace the pan in the coop. If the pan is particularly dirty, we hose it down prior to returning to the coop. The "pan" is made from plastic material that is used as roofing material and looks very similar to corrugated metal roofing.  
Front view showing latched front opening for the cleaning pan as well as the upper and lower screened windows
  • External Access to Nest Boxes - The back wall of each nest box is actually a door that can be opened from outside the coop. To gather eggs, just open the door and reach into the nest box. We purchased plastic nest boxes from an online supplier, but there's no reason you can't make these out of wood if you prefer to save a few dollars.

  • Ground Control - The coop itself is built 1 foot off the ground. This keeps the chickens warmer in winter since the coldest air tends to settle closest to the earth. It also keeps the chickens environment drier since water can't seep into wooden floor boards.
  • Big Back Door - The back side of our coop is essentially one giant door. When we want to add more bedding to the floor of the coop, we open the back door and toss it in. It also makes it easy to get inside the coop with a sprayer should we need to treat the coop for mites. The door hangs on several pegs and is held shut with metal latches.
View of the back of the coop with the door removed.
View of the back door hung on the pegs and the latch closed to lock the door in place.

If your coop has some unique design features, please share them with other readers by posting a comment.



Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Don't Use Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) In Chicken Water

Claims About Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is a folk remedy that is said to improve overall wellness and cure a variety of human diseases from arthritis to mental exhaustion.  ACV is also said to improve overall poultry health and there are now many sources on the Internet that promote adding ACV to your chicken's water. 

Below are two typical examples that explain the supposed benefits of ACV:


"Apple Cider Vinegar has been given to chickens for many years since it has numerous health benefits and supports the immune system. It is particularly good at times of stress when the immune system is low. ACV is full of vitamins, minerals and trace elements. It helps lower the pH level in the stomach, helping digestion and making it less friendly for harmful pathogens. ACV detoxifies the blood and helps remove mucous from with the body. This is particularly useful since chickens are particularly prone to respiratory problems and ACV can be of benefit in helping birds clear their airways..."
"Apple Cider vinegar is rich in vitamins, minerals and trace elements found in apples, especially potassium. It will normalize pH levels in the stomach, improve digestion and the assimilation of nutrients. A few more benefits of oral apple cider vinegar are: 
  • Reduces intestinal and fecal odor.
  • Aids in digestion.
  • Helps break down minerals and fats.
  • Assists the animal to assimilate protein.
  • Assists the animal to convert food better.
  • It lowers the pH of the digestive tract which will make the environment less welcoming to pathogens and, therefore, reduce common infections and increase resistance to disease." 

The Human Evidence 

Because ACV has been so widely touted, we decided to dig in a little on this topic to see if we could learn more about ACV. In particular, we were interested in finding any research that might support these claims and data that would allow us to make dosing recommendations to readers of this blog and to users of the BriteTap poultry waterer.

Unfortunately, the claims made about ACV are not well documented. This is true both of consumption by both humans and poultry. Let's take a cursory look at some of the human evidence first....

A 2007 study on 11 humans who took 2 tablespoons per day of ACV showed that their blood sugar levels dropped by 4-6%. This indicates that ACV might be helpful in treating diabetes. However, the study should be looked at as one that suggests that further research should be conducted, not one that firmly establishes the benefits of ACV.

A study of people who ate salads dressed with oil and vinegar showed six days a week had lower rates of heart disease than those that didn't. However, it wasn't clear that the vinegar was the reason.

Other human studies suggest potentially conflicting results of using ACV. One study associated consumption of ACV with lower rates of throat cancer. However, a second study associated ACV consumption with higher rates of bladder cancer. 

For more information about the above mentioned studies, check out the article on Apple Cider Vinegar at WebMD.

The Impact of Acidified Water on Poultry

As far as we can tell, there have been no specific studies documenting the impact of adding ACV to poultry water.

What research does exist, documents the impact of adding an acid such as acetic acid (found in ACV), lactic acid, or formic acid to water.  Below is a summary of some of these studies:


  • A study by J.A. Byrd and others on adding various acids to poultry water published in the the March 2001 issue of Poultry Science1 showed that adding acetic acid (the acid found in vinegar) to poultry waterer 8 hours prior to slaughter, lowered levels of salmonella and Campylobacter bacteria in the animals crop. For commercial meat producers, lowering the bacteria level in a bird's intestinal tract is of benefit because this would lower the potential for food contamination during processing. However, such a benefit is normally not sought by backyard poultry enthusiasts. The study did not attempt to measure any other impact of acetic acid on poultry and so no other conclusion can be drawn.
  • A Study by P. Chaveerach published in the May 2002 issue of Poultry Science2 showed that when added to water, acetic acid (such as that found in vinegar) could kill Campylobacter. However, the study was conducted by placing bacteria, water and acetic acid in a test bottles and then measuring the growth or decline of the Campylobacter over time.  The study did not measure whether transmission rates of Campylobacter could be reduced using acidified water in real world conditions where the bacteria might also be spread via fecal contamination of feed or bedding.  Nor did the study measure the impact of using a cleaner watering system such as the BriteTap on reducing overall transmission rates.  As a result, the study has little practical application for backyard chicken keepers.
  • A study done by L.F. Kubena published in the February 2005 issue of Poultry Science3 showed contradictory evidence to that published by J.A Byrd (see above). The Kubena study indicated no impact of water/acid treatment on Salmonella in the intestinal tract of chickens. However, the study noted that the test conditions differed between the two studies. Specifically, the chickens in the Kubena study were fed minimal amounts of feed (food deprivation) for nine days as part of a forced molt. This difference may have accounted for the different results shown in the two studies. In our opinion, not much can be extrapolated to the experience of backyard poultry keepers from the Kubena study.
I could use a drink right now. How about you girls?

Our Recommendations

At present, we don't understand the benefits or the risks of adding ACV to poultry water. It's possible that ACV might improve poultry health in one regard and diminish it in another. (Such was the case with the human study that showed ACV potentially lowering rates of throat cancer while raising rates of bladder cancer.) 

One thing that is certain..... 

The broad claims made about ACV on the Internet are grossly exaggerated and are not supported by sufficient evidence. Specific claims about ACV's ability to lower pathogens in the gut are misleading in our opinion because the claim implies that you can improve your flocks's health by adding ACV to the water.  In fact, the only research on this matter relates to lowering bacteria levels prior to slaughter to reduce contamination during processing. We don't believe this is a benefit most backyard chicken owners are seeking.

Here are our recommendations:

  1. Leave the ACV in your kitchen cabinet and supply your birds with plenty of clean water.
  2. Change water daily to make sure its fresh.
  3. Use a waterer like the BriteTap chicken waterer since it completely shields your chicken's water from known contaminants such as dirt and droppings.
  4. In the summer, add some ice cubes to the water supply to keep the water cool. This encourages birds to drink more and thus keeps them hydrated.
Chickens drink from special valves located on the bottom of the BriteTap Waterer.

Posting sponsored by ChickenWaterer.com, makers of the BriteTap automatic poultry waterer. The BriteTap waterer shields water from dirt and poop. The water stays clean and there are no messy pans for you to wash out.


(1) Poultry Science. March 2001. Effect of Lactic Acid Administration in the Drinking Water During Preslaughter Feed Withdrawal on Salmonella and Campylobacter Contamination of Broilers. 

(2) Poultry Science. May 2002. In Vitro Study on the Effect of Organic Acids on Campylobacter jejuni/coli Populations in Mixtures of Water and Feed.


(3) Poultry Science. February 2005. Effects of Drinking Water Treatment on Susceptibility of Laying Hensto Salmonella enteritidis During Forced Molt.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Chicken Jokes

With daylight hours growing shorter, here are three chicken jokes to add some light and cheer to the season....


Joke#1
The farmer's son was returning from the market with the crate of chickens his father had entrusted to him, when all of a sudden, the box fell and broke open. Chickens scurried off in all different directions, but the determined boy walked all over the neighborhood scooping up the wayward birds and returning them to the repaired create. Hoping he had found them all, the boy reluctantly returned home. "Pa, the chickens got loose," the boy confessed sadly, "but I managed to find all twelve of them." The father beamed, "Well, you did real well, son, you left with seven."

Joke#2
A young teacher complained to her friends about how badly she was being paid. "We really get a poultry amount each month," she said. "You mean paltry," corrected one of her friends. "No. I don't," replied the teacher, "What I earn is chicken feed."

Joke#3
A salesman from KFC walked up to the Pope and offered him a million dollars if he would change the Lord's Prayer from "give us this day our daily bread" to "give us this day our daily chicken." The Pope refused the offer so two weeks later, the man offered the Pope $10 million to make the change. Again, the Pope refused the man's generous offer. Another week later, the man offered $20 million and the Pope finally accepted. Gathering his officials together the next day, the Pope said "I have some good news and some bad news. The good news is that we have just received a check for $20 million. The bad news is that we've lost the Wonder Bread account."

Monday, November 26, 2012

Two Boys Create Egg Business

Two brothers from Missouri (Aged 16 & 20) have built a business from the ground up selling fresh eggs locally.  Starting with just six chicks, the boys now manager over 12,000 chickens, showing how a local producer can compete with the big boys.

To read more about this, check out this article published in the Missourian newspaper.


Saturday, November 24, 2012

Perfect Holiday Gift - Vintage Chickens Ceramic Mug

This beautiful ceramic mug featuring vintage illustrations of popular chicken breeds is now for sale at the ChickenWaterer web site. 

The perfect holiday gift for your favorite backyard chicken owner. Just $14.95 plus shipping and handling. Buy now.

Left Side View
Front View
Right Side View

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!


Happy Thanksgiving to all readers of this blog and to current 

and future BriteTap chicken waterer customers.


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Chicken Waterer Thanksgiving Discounts

The following discounts are available at our website till Midnight, Monday November 26, 2012.

$10 Discount on the BriteTap Combo Pack
Normally $59.95, now discounted to $49.95.
The Combo Pack is a complete chicken watering system. It includes the BriteTap Chicken Waterer paired with a 2-gallon water cooler that acts as the water supply tank. Learn More.



BriteTap Combo Pack

$3 Discount On Our Vintage Button Collection
Normally $12.95, now discounted to $9.95.
These stylish buttons are perfect for decorating your jacket or bag. The collection of 8 buttons features vintage illustrations of 10 heirloom chicken breeds. Learn More.
Vintage Chicken Buttons
Detail View of White Cochin Button