“There’s 4 personalities in every group of chickens”
Last month we spoke to Mark Chandlers who told us all about his wonderfully ingenious use of our Walk In Chicken Run, which saved his plants from predators. We caught up with our happy customer again, who’s decided to give our Eglu Cube Chicken Coop a go…only this time, for chicken keeping! Here’s what Mark and his four hens Bella, Greta, Evangeline and Mrs Wilkie thought about their brand new home.
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And the latest to wish me well on my journey was the good folk from Omlet when I began assembling my new Eglu Cube. I sat down and carefully read the instructions. And then I carefully fell asleep. I remembered why I was rubbish at school. I have the attention span of a Gudgeon. Much better watching someone else do it, so I went online to watch the YouTube clip of someone building an Eglu, and it was brilliant.
Actually, it’s not hard to build really. I finished the job by myself in an hour and a half. Two people would be handy but mainly so you have someone to chat to. All you need is a Phillips head screwdriver, a song in your heart and a modicum of common sense. For my Cube, I bought the Automatic Chicken Coop Door (easy to install and worked the first time) and a three-metre run. I didn’t buy the wheel kit because eventually the Cube will be built into a larger Walk In Chicken Run.
What Omlet has done here that is so clever is to make one of the more challenging parts of keeping chickens really easy. That is, building their home. The rest isn’t difficult but does need some effort and research. Where do I buy my chickens from? What sort of chickens do I buy and what do I feed them? While there are around two hundred answers to each of those questions, I honestly believe the best answer to housing backyard chickens is the Omlet system based around the Eglu Cube.
Once built, I was off to buy some chickens. That afternoon Bella, Greta, Evangeline and Mrs Wilkie were safely ensconced in their new home. So a few things you need to know about keeping chooks:
- Everyone has a story about keeping chickens and how their flock met an untimely, often grizzly, end. Why people feel compelled to tell you this, I have no idea. I wonder if they do the same thing when their friends have a baby.
- There are four basic personalities in every group of chickens. The escapee artist, the greedy one, the nervous one and the one everyone loves.
- Chickens love to be let out for a roam but while three of the four will just putter about, the escape artist will take off in a straight line without ever looking back. You’ll usually find it in the next town somewhere living under an assumed name.
- Chickens love company.
- Sometimes, for no apparent reason, they’ll start a cackle-a-thon as if they’re in danger. So you go out expecting to see a goanna (unlikely if you’re in the UK) or a Wedge-tailed eagle (Australian readers only) or a Carpet python (again, unlikely) only to find them arguing over a worm. Although I’m starting to suspect it’s because of item 4.
It’s a few weeks in now and we’re getting fresh eggs every day while every other day we’re retrieving Evangeline from the next suburb. Although to be clear, she’s never hoofed it from the enclosure, only when the group are free ranging. Also, I’m now getting what was a trickle at first and now a steady stream of people visiting to check out the Eglu. “Hi, yes it’s called an Eglu. Yes, it is very clever. Oh, I agree, the chickens do look happy. Oh, you kept chickens once yourself. They were slaughtered by the Saracens you say. Fancy that! You don’t see many Saracens here in Australia, what are the chances? Cleaved right in half, well I never”.
The Eglu Cube is easy to order, easy to build, versatile, functional and looks stylish. Everything has been cleverly thought through and is exceptionally well built. And there’s no better example of that than the food and water containers. On social media groups specialising in keeping backyard poultry, 65% of the questions are about which food or water bowl is best. Answers range from the ludicrously simple, such as an ice cream container, through to all sorts of Heath Robinson contraptions. The Omlet food and water containers have already endured heat, rain, hail, bush turkeys, wind and splaw-footed visitors steeping on them. And they have always, and still, work perfectly.
This entry was posted in Chickens