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


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Best Egg Drop Soup Recipe

During the holiday season everyone is focused on preparing elaborate family meals. After all that cooking, it's nice to have a super quick, super easy, and light meal that doesn't require much energy to prepare.  

Here's a recipe for Japanese Egg Drop soup that perfect for backyard chicken owners who generally have a few eggs on hand.

Japanese egg drop soup is very different in texture from the egg drop soup normally served in Chinese restaurants.  The Japanese version is made without corn starch so it does not have the same thick consistency as soup from the Chinese restaurant. When whisked into the broth, the eggs in Japanese egg drop soup form gossamer clouds in the bowl. In our opinion, the much lighter Japanese egg drop soup is far superior and worth trying, even if you're usually not generally a fan of egg drop soup.

Please note that the recipe calls for dashi stock. Dashi is a powder that's mixed with water to create a traditional Japanese fish stock in much the same way that bullion cubes are used to make beef or chicken stock.  Dashi is sold in Asian markets. If you can't buy it, just substitute vegetable or chicken broth in the recipe.

Dashi Comes As A Powder and is Reconstituted with Water


Japanese Egg Drop Soup (4 Servings)

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups dashi stock
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 small piece of ginger root thinly sliced. Or use 1/4 teaspoon dry ginger powder.
Recipe:
  • Bring the dashi or other stock to a boil.
  • Add the salt, soy sauce and ginger and allow to simmer for 3 minutes. Bring liquid to a low simmer.
  • Beat the eggs into a froth using a whisk.
  • While stirring the soup gently, add a little bit of the egg at a time to the hot broth. It should cook instantly and float on the surface in paper thin, almost gossamer ribbons.
  • Ladle into individual soup bowls and serve.
Japanese Egg Drop Soup

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Chicken Waterers & Winter Freezing

Chickens need access to fresh, clean water in order to stay happy and healthy. During the winter this becomes more challenging, particularly for those flock owners who live in the coldest climates. Over the years, backyard chicken owners have developed strategies for dealing with cold temperatures and these strategies can be used to keep your waterer operational in the winter.

The strategy that will work best for you really depends on the climate in your area and your access to safe electrical power.


Winter Time Means It's Time To Think About Your Chicken's Water Supply

Moderate Winters

If you live in an area that rarely experiences freezing temperatures, you may not need to do anything special during the winter.

  • Insulate The Water Supply Tank. If you are using a 
    BriteTap® chicken waterer, start by pairing it with a insulated water supply tank.  The BriteTap waterer can be attached to many types of water containers but most easily attaches to an insulated cooler such as those sold under the Igloo® and Rubbermaid® brand names.* These coolers are well insulated and will keep the water supply from freezing for a long period of time. Tepid water (70o F) stored in a well insulated cooler can keep water liquid for 12 hours or more in sub-freezing conditions. As chickens drink from the BriteTap waterer, warmer water will be drawn from the tank into the BriteTap waterer and this will extend the amount of time before water inside the waterer freezes. Depending on the temperature in your area, you many be able to fill the BriteTap watering system with tepid water each day and have the water remain liquid during the day when chickens need access to it. Refill the waterer with fresh tepid water the following morning, taking care to make sure you've melted any ice that may have formed in the BriteTap waterer during the evening. 
  • Bring Your Waterer In During the Evening. In many locations, evening temperatures are below freezing, but daytime temperatures are warmer. A simple and cheap strategy for flock owners in such locations is to bring the BriteTap waterer into the house or a heated garage during the evening and to return it to the coop or pen the following morning.
  • Let The Chickens Body Heat Warm The Waterer. Another solution that will work in some locations is to place your waterer inside the chicken coop. The chickens body heat may be sufficient to keep the temperature of the environment around the waterer above freezing. 
Cold Winters

If you live in a place where even daytime temperatures are routinely below freezing, keeping your chicken waterer from freezing is more of a challenge, particularly if you use a poultry nipple chicken waterer.
  • Frequent Water Changes. If you are at home during the day, the simplest solution is to change the water several times during the day. Just spill out any cold water and replace it with fresh, tepid water. The frequency with which you need to do this will depend on the outside temperature. We recommend checking every 2-3 hours in the beginning until you get a sense for the length of time your waterer will go before freezing. Owners of the BriteTap waterer who use an insulated water supply tank  can expect tepid water to stay liquid 4-5 hours in weather conditions ten degrees below freezing (22o F). Frozen water is crystal clear, so check your BriteTap waterer carefully to make sure ice has not formed inside and also test the valves to make sure they haven't frozen.
  • Bring In the Power. Owners of traditional plastic and galvanized chicken waterers can use either a bird bath de-icer or a heated base to keep their chicken's water from freezing. However, such solutions will not work for the BriteTap water because they don't directly heat the water in the waterer itself. To heat the BriteTap waterer with electricity, we recommend placing the BriteTap inside your coop and then using a 40 or 60 watt incandescent light bulb to heat the environment inside the coop so that the temperature stays above freezing. Several manufacturers (Lux, Allied Precision, Thermocube) sell thermostatically controlled units that plug into your electric outlet. These turn on the light whenever the outside temperature falls below freezing. If you decide to use an electric solution to keep your chicken's water from freezing, make sure that you comply with local electrical ordinances to ensure that your power connections are safe. Since electrical codes differ from town-to-town, you should check with your local government's building department, or consult with a licensed electrician before adding power to your coop.
It's Frozen. Now What?

If the water inside your BriteTap waterer freezes don't worry. Just run lukewarm water from your faucet over the outside of the waterer until the ice melts. This will take from 5 to 15 minutes depending on how much water is frozen inside. Check to make sure that there is no ice in the threaded section of the BriteTap that connects to your water supply tank. When thawing your waterer, don't use boiling water to melt the ice because the sudden change in temperature might damage the plastic material.

Once all the ice has melted, re-fill your BriteTap waterer with tepid water and place it back in your coop or pen.

*Igloo® and Rubbermaid® are respectively the trademarks of Igloo Products Corp., and Newell-Rubbermaid, Inc.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Buttons Featuring Vintage Chicken Illustrations

Express yourself with custom buttons featuring vintage illustrations of popular chicken breeds. They're perfect for decorating your bag or jacket.  

Each button measures 1.5" x 1.5" and shows a full color, high resolution, image of the rooster and hen of the breed. 

Sold individually for $2.25 or for $12.95 for the collection of all 8 vintage chicken buttons (a 25% savings versus buying them individually)

Featured Breeds

  • Barred (Plymouth) Rock
  • Buff Orpington
  • Rhode Island Red
  • Silver Polish
  • White Cochin
  • White Leghorn
  • Wyandotte
  • Silkie, Frizzle & Sultan Bantam
They are available for sale at the ChickenWaterer.com web site and are a great gift for yourself or your favorite chicken lover.

Front & Back of Barred Rock Button
Front & Back of Buff Orpington Button
Front & Back of Rhode Island Red Button
Front & Back of Silver Polish Button
Front & Back of White Cochin Button
Front & Back of White Leghorn Button
Front & Back of Mixed Bantams Button
Front & Back of Wyandotte Button

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Poultry Nipples And Water Pressure In Chicken Waterers

Background on Water Pressure & Commercial Poultry Watering Systems

Commercial poultry watering systems generally draw water from the municipal water supply. Since municipal water is delivered under high pressure, commercial watering systems incorporate water pressure regulators to reduce the water pressure to a level that allows the poultry nipples used in these commercial systems to operate effectively.  

Specifically, the water pressure needs to be reduced to under 1 PSI (Pounds per Square Inch of pressure) for the poultry nipples to operate effectively -- a major reduction in water pressure from the typical water pressure of 20-100 PSI that is delivered by municipal water pipes.


Simplified Diagram of a Typical Commercial Poultry Watering System

Watering Devices For Small-Scale Poultry Owners

Poultry nipple watering systems such as the BriteTap chicken nipple waterer provide an inexpensive alternative to commercial poultry watering systems because they eliminate the pressure regulator. Rather than drawing water from the municipal water supply pipe that is under high pressure, water is drawn from a water supply tank.

The water pressure in a tank system depends on water level in the tank. The higher the water is filled, the greater the pressure. It is possible to know the water pressure in your poultry watering system by simply measuring the height of the water column. For example, if the water is filled to 12 inches above the poultry nipples, then the water pressure created by this depth of water is 0.43 PSI, well below the 1 PSI maximum for poultry nipples.

Using the same method, it's easy to determine the water level that would create 1 PSI - the maximum pressure for which poultry nipples are rated. This turns out to be 28 column inches of water.

Below is a table that shows the water pressure level at various water column heights.


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.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

How Poultry Nipples Work

Poultry nipples, sometimes called chicken nipples, are one-way valves that allows water to flow out, but don't allow air or other materials to flow in.  As a result, the chickens water supply can't be contaminated by dirt and droppings.

Poultry nipples operate as follows: 


  1. When a chicken pecks at a stem on the bottom of the poultry nipple, it rises up and causes a gap to form between an interior wall of the nipple and the stem. 
  2. This allows water to flow around the stem and out through the bottom of the valve. 
  3. When a chicken withdraws it's beak, the stem falls, closes the gap between the side wall of the poultry nipple and the stem, and shuts off the flow of water. 

Although there are differences between various poultry nipple models, they all operate on this same basic principles. The below drawing is taken from a 1967 patent application and is typical of the type of poultry nipples that are produced to this day. The stem of the valve is labeled #27 in the drawing. The stem rests against a ball bearing #19 that sits in a rounded channel #18. When seated in the channel as shown on the left side of the diagram, the ball bearing creates a water tight seal. Above the ball bearing is a second stem #20 with a channel running down the interior #23. In the closed position the hole is covered so water from the pipe #10 can't enter into the valve.


Drawing from 1967 Poultry Nipple Patent Application by Kenneth Wilmot


Now compare the left hand diagram with that on the right that shows what happens when a chicken pecks at the lower stem to drink. The lower stem rises, pushing up the ball bearing and also the top stem. Water rushes down through channel #23 into the chamber and out through gap #17. The water is then dispensed directly into the chickens mouth.

When the chicken withdraws its beak, the mechanism goes into reverse; the lower stem falls, and the ball bearing and top stem also fall. This cuts off the flow of water. 


Leghorn Drinking from Poultry Nipples on the BriteTap Chicken Waterer


Commercial Poultry Watering Systems & The Backyard Poultry Keeper

Poultry nipples are used extensively in the watering systems used by commercial poultry operations. However, these commercial watering systems were designed for owners with thousands, or tens of thousands of chickens. Commercial systems incorporate water pressure regulators, high pressure flushing valves, electrical anti-roosting devices and other components that are suitable for large scale poultry keeping, but too complicated, too expensive, and too large for backyard poultry keepers.

The BriteTap™ poultry nipple chicken waterer is designed for small-scale chicken keepers, but incorporates many of the benefits of large-scale commercial poultry watering systems. However, the BriteTap waterer does so at a fraction of the cost. The BriteTap waterer features the following:

  • A closed-system design that includes poultry nipples.  This design shields the chicken's water from dirt and droppings so it stays sanitary and owners don't need to clean the waterer on a daily basis.
  • Clean-Out plugs on the ends of the waterer allow owners to clean the interior with a bottle brush. These clean out plugs are an inexpensive replacement for the high pressure flushing mechanisms used by commercial poultry watering equipment.
  • Clear plastic construction so owners can see the interior of the waterer when cleaning it rather than relying on high-pressure flushing equipment required in large-scale systems.
  • Anti-roosting is achieved by designing the BriteTap waterer so that the BriteTap waterer sits very close to the wall of the water supply tank. Chickens don't have space to roost on the BriteTap waterer so they can't soil it with their droppings. The design eliminates the need for mechanical or electrical anti-roosting devices.
  • Easy set up and maintenance - The BriteTap can be mounted to any food-grade plastic container or to a standard water cooler. Set up takes just a few minutes and does not require special tools or rigging as is the case with commercial poultry watering systems.
For more information about the BriteTap waterer, visit http://www.ChickenWaterer.com


BriteTap Poultry Waterer Key Components

BriteTap Waterer Mounted to A Rubbermaid Water Cooler. Just unscrew the coolers spigot and replace with 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.