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Thursday, June 8, 2017

How to keep chickens from cracking and eating eggs

Once a chicken gets a taste of egg yolk it’s hard to stop them.

There are just three options, catch the culprit(s), try and break the habit or invest in a nesting system that removes and protects the eggs from the chickens as soon as they are laid.

Next, to collecting the eggs as frequent as possible, the easiest solution is probably to just identify the perpetrator(s) and make a big pot of chicken stew.
This is not always easy and does take some detective work.
Depending on the size of your flock, there may be more than just one.
You might just luck out by checking the beaks for possible egg yolk residue.
If you just have a few, try the process of elimination by isolating them as best as possible to identify the culprit.
Rotate them through a temporary holding pen and nesting box. As you remove one hen from the flock for a couple days at a time and the issue stops you will know you have the culprit.
If you find one nest(s) that seems to be hit the most and you have a wall or post directly in front of the nest, consider going high tech with a surveillance video cam and see if you can capture the perpetrator in action.
Surprisingly it may not actually be a chicken but another egg seeking predator, such as a rat or snake that you may only capture on video.
In using a video, you might need some type of ID system to mark the back of the head of the hens if there’s not already distinguishing features.
Some water based face paints dabbed on the comb or feathers, or a number when they are on the roost will help to provide the positive ID.
If you have a large flock and want to try breaking the habit, some decoy eggs might work. These can be either wooden or plastic eggs. Some have even used golf balls.
The concept is to collect the fresh eggs soon as possible and replace them with a decoy egg. As the chickens peck the decoy eggs hopefully they will discover they are wasting their time and will give up.
Others indicated they have had success by taking a regular egg and poking just a large enough hole to remove the yolk and egg white and then replacing it with mustard.
If you're just tired of messing with broken and cracked eggs and want to upgrade your nesting boxes consider roller egg nesting boxes.
The name basically says it all. The egg rolls forward into a covered compartment as soon as they are laid to prevent them from being seen by the chickens.
You can find roller egg nesting box plans online if you want to try and build them yourself. You can also find galvanized metal roll-a-way egg nesting boxes online, such as the ones from

The galvanized nesting boxes are an initial investment but they are built for many years of use. The key is to find them made without any plastic parts that will eventually break off.
If you need to purchase new lumber to build the nesting boxes from plans, really sharpen the pencil and figure out the material cost.
With the price of new lumber, these readymade galvanized ones may not be that much difference.
You will have a labor factor on either type, as you will either be building wooden ones or assembling the metal ones. But there’s no measuring or cutting so assembly won't be as much labor time.
Metal nesting boxes are also easier to clean and disinfect than wooden nest in case you ever have an infestation problem.
The nesting boxes can be lifted and taken outside to pressure wash and disinfect.
Roller nesting boxes do take some changes in the way you work with them. They are designed to use little nesting material or none at all so that the eggs can roll forward into a covered compartment.
As odd and foreign as this might sound, doing completely away with nesting material also means less chance of infestations.
The nesting boxes from Cottage also come with a wooden training egg to encourage the chickens to begin nesting.
If your chickens are accustomed to nesting boxes with bedding, you can start out with full nesting material, to begin with, and then gradually pull out the material until you have completely eliminated it.
The quicker that you can capture the eggs into the roll away compartment the faster you will be able to have your eggs protected.

Kick Scooters, Kick Bikes are easy and fun to ride for all ages

Scooters look like a bicycle but have an open standing foot board in place of the seat and pedals. Riders propel using one foot to push back.
US kick scooter bike enthusiast is finding USA Amish made kick scooters to be a great equivalent to the European models.
They can enjoy the benefits of a kick scooter without having to pay the hefty prices for the imported European models.

One of the more popular European 26/20 aluminum kick bikes is not even available in the US.
The US Amish made LA MX 26/20 Aluminum Kick Scooter may not look as sleek as the Finnish Max 26/20 model.

However, for the price and many of equivalent features it defiantly is something to look at.
US Amish scooters use wheel sizes ranging from 12" up to 26”.
The larger sizes even have aluminum racing rims and high-pressure tires.
These are a far cry from those little Red Radio scooters that many of us grew with as a kid.
Larger wheeled kick scooters are also more practical over the small aluminum sidewalk scooters.
The Amish scooters can take you down standard bike paths and just about anywhere else that you might ride a standard bike.
You can also get from point A to point B in about a third of the time as walking.
A push scooter or kick bike is called such because the rider uses a push and kick back motion with one leg to propel forward.
There's no seat or pedals, just an open footboard to stand on and kick from.
Standard bicycles with their narrow seats are not the most comfortable for some people to ride, especially as they become older.
Climbing on and then trying pedal and balance a traditional bike is also an issue for many who have aging issues.
Many who enjoyed biking have just given up the prospects of ever riding again.
Kick scooters just might allow those to enjoy biking once again.
They are easy to step on and off the platform, even with a full skirt.
Like most things one product does not fit all
One group of Kick Bikers who enjoy the sport of racing kick bikes want them just for off road extreme sports.
This is one of the exciting aspects of kick biking that has made the European models so popular.
Like fine European automobiles, European manufacturers promote their kick bikes for racing in extreme sports.
The Amish kick scooters are probably not the best suited for this type of off-road use.
They are built for the more casual and conservative users.
History of the Amish kick scooters
The Amish kick scooters have been used by the Pennsylvanian Amish since the mid-1970s.
From Amish children to adults you will see Amish families in Pennsylvanian using these kick scooters for trips to school, town, and work.
You may have even seen them on some of the recent television shows about the Amish communities located in Pennsylvanian.
Local Amish church leaders prescribe the rules on how the Amish will use transportation devices and how they will be designed.
For whatever the reason, they have banned the use of a peddled bicycle in the Pennsylvanian Amish communities.
In one Amish community in Pennsylvanian, the Amish Bishop will only allow his members to use the smaller 12" scooters.
In that area of Pennsylvanian, you will only see the smaller scooters being used by both children and adults.
Other Amish communities such as in Ohio and Indiana allow standard bicycles.
Kick Bikes may provide a good work out
For those who would like to up their calorie burns over walking but are just not into running or riding a traditional bicycle, a kick scooter just may be the answer.
You can walk alongside a kick scooter, step on and scoot and then walk again as many time as you want to alternate your workout routine.
Kick scooters are not required to maintain a certain speed to balance either.
They are very low to the ground so that a person can just step off when they rather walk a bit or jump back on and speed up the calorie burn.
Kick scooters may also provide a good core body workout with the motions required to push off and scoot. If one leg gets tired the rider can switch over and kick push with the opposite leg.
Those who have had a partial stroke or knee injury may find that a kick scooter allows them to keep one leg more stationary while they use their good leg to propel.
The Amish kick scooters provide the lowest ground clearance on the market.
This is very important in having less fatigue while not having to use the foot and leg to reach as far down as pushing back off a higher platform.
This also may cause less stress on the stationary leg and knee that often occurs when the body must stoop further down in order for the propelling leg and foot to touch the ground and cycle through the push.
Push scooters may appear hard to use, but were probably one of the first bikes that we learned to ride as a kid.

For those who just want to have a nice ride, learning the glide pattern is when you hit the sweet spot.
Find your Amish Kick Scooter at Cottage Craft  Cottage Craft Works is a unique online general store providing high-quality Amish made products that are still being made with the quality and integrity of things that were reminiscent of the 1950s and 1960s

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Stainless Water Hydrant Resist Air, Water, Soil Corrosion

Commercial quality stainless steel water hydrant resists corrosive atmosphere elements from saltwater coastal areas and acid corrosive soil conditions.

Made with a heavy duty stainless steel standpipe, stainless foot valve, stainless valve rod and stainless cam lock handle the Amish USA made 401 Freezless Water Hydrant is truly a stainless-steel hydrant while others may have a stainless-steel pipe and rod, they still use a brass foot valve that is problematic in some alkaline soils.

Corrosive conditions either by salt water or high acid containing soil conditions can destroy traditional galvanized pipe and brass foot valve water hydrants in very short time. Making them very costly and an inconvenience to replace especially when they are surrounded with a concrete slab or in the dead of winter when the frost line is difficult to penetrate for replacement.

Traditional water hydrants can also become very difficult to open and shut especially by children and women who routinely use them for daily animal watering and gardening.

Commercial applications such as parks and RV resorts depend greatly on frost proof water hydrants and generally find that the traditional water hydrants can become a maintenance nightmare when they are available for public use.

The Amish made 401 Freezless Water Hydrant available at Cottage Craft solves many of these problems.  It was designed by a plumber in Holmes County Ohio who had been serving area farmers and homeowners for over 30 years. On the typical water hydrants, he noted the failure rates were occurring from the galvanized pipe, the plunger rod, or the brass foot valve causing the need to replace the complete hydrant.

Holmes County Ohio is home to one of the largest Amish population in the Nation.  It also has pockets of high alkaline soil. 

John also noted that it was the Amish women and children who were doing most of the livestock watering and gardening as daily chores and seen the struggles first hand they were having operating the traditional hydrant valve handles.

John designed the 401 Water Hydrant and engaged an Amish manufacturing company to make them.  He designed a cam operated lever system that would open the valve with very little effort.  He also made the lever part out of stainless steel for rustproof years of service.

Instead of the typical iron or soft brass rod used in most hydrants to connect the top to the foot valve he used stainless steel. Then instead of galvanized pipe he also used stainless steel. To make the hydrant more bullet proof from corrosion the foot valve was also made from stainless steel. This obviously increased the cost but that is in keeping with the refreshing way that Amish people do things and why the 401 Freezless Hydrant is a good investment for the long term.

You see the Amish are just not as interested in making products as cheaply as they can, their focus is on making good strong dependable products that will last and not leave the consumer feeling as they were cheated after just a few years.

For over the past 10 years Cottage Craft has been the only company online offering the 401 Hydrant and out of those 10 years has only needed to send out one replacement valve gasket.  A solid indication of just how well this hydrant works even in commercial applications.

Cottage Craft is an emporium of old-fashioned quality made products. The owners have spent years on the back roads in Amish communities seeking out functional products for the farm, home, and garden. Ninety percent of the products the company features are USA Amish made in small Amish shops and factories. Most of the products are still made and handled by the Amish shop owners who have an outstanding reputation for high-quality products like things that were being made in the 1950s and 1960s

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