Sunday, April 26, 2015

How We Manufacture The BriteTap Chicken Feeder

BriteTap Convertible Chick & Chicken Feeder

Check out this two minute video that shows how we manufacture our new chick and chicken feeder.

The threaded feeder tube is unique because it lets backyard chicken owners raise the shield the same way that a nut moves up a bolt.  The shield prevents chicks from standing on the feed tray and pooping in their food. When the chicks grow up and leave the brooder, the shield prevents rain and snow from spoiling the food and is a perfect feeder for scratch, grit, mealworms and oyster shells.

The mold used to make the feeder tube is complicated because of the size of the treads on the outside for the shield as well as those inside to accept the lid. A hydraulic device creates the the hollow core and then is removed when the plastic has set.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Fast Egg Recipe Everyone Will Love

A country ham and broccoli frittata cooked in a cast iron skillet
Readers of this web site know that we're always looking for fast dinner ideas so that we can get the kids to music lessons, sports, religious school and the countless other activities on the modern family calendar.  The difficulty is in finding recipes that meet all these requirements:

  1. Quick- 30 minutes max on nights when we need to get out of the house in a hurry.
  2. Nutritious - balanced one pot dishes that include a protein and a vegetable.
  3. Customizable - My kids just don't like eating the same things. We're always looking for a basic dish that can be customized so that everyone gets what they want.
  4. Homegrown - use fresh eggs from our chickens or veggies from our garden.
Fresh Eggs From Our Chickens. Thanks ladies!

Frittata (Open Faced Omellete) 

The word frittata comes from the Italian word frigerre which means fried.  It originally meant an egg fried in a skillet, but has come to mean a style of omellete that is cooked more slowly and served open faced.

What makes a frittata especially nice is that any meat or vegetable ingredients can be added to the pan while the eggs are cooking. As a result, you can create sections of the frittata that appeal to distinct tastes. It's similar to ordering a pizza and having pepperoni on one half of the pie and mushrooms on the other.

Importantly, you can use any ingredients you have on hand. The frittata shown below was made using country ham and broccoli, but it could have just as easily been made with packaged sandwich ham, salami, or bacon, feta cheese, cooked leftover shrimp, spinach, or string beans etc. It's really whatever you like eating and have in your refrigerator.  
We used leftover country ham to make our frittata
Your meat ingredient should be cooked in advance. If your vegetable ingredient is raw. Cook it quickly in the microwave while your getting the rest of the frittata together.

Recipe Ingredients:

  • Six eggs
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • A few grinds of pepper
  • A tablespoon of butter or oil
  • At lease one meat ingredient (already cooked and roughly chopped)
  • At least one vegetable ingredient.
  • A non-stick frying pan or, my favorite, a cast iron skillet

  1. Turn on your oven to broil and set the temperature to 400 F.
  2. While the oven is heating get out your ingredients.
  3. If your vegetable ingredient is raw, roughly chop it and put cook in the microwave until tender but not overcooked.
  4. Whisk the eggs together.
  5. Add a few grinds of pepper and the grated parmesan cheese.
  6. Place a skillet that is sized so it can fit into your oven onto your stove top and bring it to medium temperature.
  7. When the pan is hot, coat the bottom and sides with the butter or oil.
  8. If everyone is eating the same frittata, put all the ingredients into the egg mixture and pour it into the pan.
  9. If you are customizing the frittata, pour the eggs into the pan and quickly add the ingredients in sections corresponding to whatever individual people want to eat. You need to do this quickly to pull off this trick.
  10. Cook for about 5 minutes on medium till the eggs are done on the bottom but runny on the top.
  11. Place the skillet into your oven and cook for another 3 or 4 minutes. You want the eggs on top to be completely cooked and and have a light brown color.
  12. Slice into wedges and serve.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Book Review: A Kid’s Guide To Keeping Chickens

There are a number of good books on the market today that help chicken owners create and manage a small backyard flock. Some of these books are for newcomers and others for pros. Some focus on one specific aspect of poultry keeping such as chicken health or coop design, and some are general guides. However, there’s always been a gap in the chicken book market. That is until now.

Melissa Caughey’s A Kid’s Guide to Keeping Chickens is the first truly comprehensive and accessible book on the topic written for kids.  The book is a general guide to chicken keeping and covers all the same topics one would expect to find in a book written for adults. These include, selecting chicken breeds, raising chicks, feeding and watering, etc.

However, the author has paid careful attention to creating a book that is accessible and engaging to young readers.  Child friendly text is organized into topics that are generally 2-3 paragraphs in length. This makes it easy for kids to read the book in short increments and not be overwhelmed by the information. 

This text is accompanied by plenty of photos and illustrations that are laid-out on the page in a way that makes it easy for kids to understand and remember the concepts presented. For example, the section on daily chores, communicates the tasks that need to be done each day using a series of captioned photos that are arranged sequentially on the page to form a daily timeline.  This makes it super easy for kids to understand what needs to be done over the course of the day.

General chicken keeping information is paired with fun craft projects that teach kids how to draw a chicken, color Easter eggs etc. The book also includes DIY projects for young “makers” such as how to build an herbal wading pool for chickens or how to create a mealworm hatchery. They make for fun activities on days when the weather keeps kids indoors and parents need an activity to occupy all that kid energy.  

Another nice touch by the author is the inclusion of recipes for egg dishes in a separate section at the back of the book. It’s empowering for kids to be able to create their food. Using eggs produced by chickens they raise themselves takes this to an even higher level.

This is a beautifully executed book and we recommend it to parents who want to keep backyard chickens.  Based on our reading, we feel the sweet spot for this book is children aged 10-13. They’ll be able to read the book with little or no assistance from a parent. Kids 8-10, will probably need  assistance from Mom or Dad depending on their reading ability and comprehension.

A Kid’s Guide to Keeping Chickens is available for sale at, Barnes & Noble, Target, Wal-Mart and Powell’s.

Melissa Caughey is also the author of Tilly's Nest, a blog that provides information about backyard chickens.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

The Way To Pick A Chicken Today

This video of baby chicks just says "welcome to Spring." So cute!

A Way To Pick A Chicken Today from ChickenWaterer on Vimeo.
Also, the new BriteTap convertible chick & chicken feeder is now in stock. To learn more about our newest product for backyard chicken owners, check out the information on our Chicken Feeder Web Page.