The Omlet Blog

How to start keeping chickens 

Chickens in their Omlet Walk in Run with Omlet Chicken Perch

Wondering how to start keeping chickens? Chicken-keeping is an exciting endeavour for people from all walks of life, and in any location. Garden flocks are growing in popularity across the globe – winning the hearts of millions of chicken owners. Most people don’t realize that chickens are actually full of personality, can bond with their owners, and are very enjoyable as pets. They can learn basic tricks, are excellent at pest control, and make beautiful additions to gardens as living art. And, as an added bonus, hens can provide fresh eggs for your family on a daily basis. 

Ready to take the plunge into keeping poultry as pets? With the right products from Omlet and some preparation, keeping chickens can be an easy and enjoyable hobby for your entire family. 

Chicken-keeping basics

We’re excited to help you get started keeping chickens! And, we’re sure you have lots of questions about chickens and their care. Learning is part of the fun of keeping chickens, and we’ll provide you with the knowledge you need to be successful from the start. 

Choosing the right breed 

Like many pets, there are many different breeds of chickens. Some are “good layers”, meaning they produce lots of eggs, and some are “ornamental”, being prized for their unique looks and characteristics. Hens come in various sizes and colours, and most breeds get along with others should you decide to keep a mixed flock. 

Starting with hens vs. chicks

Some people choose to start with adult hens rather than with young chicks. There are benefits to each, but first-time chicken keepers will likely find the most success with adult hens. When you start out with hens: 

  • You know the gender of your birds, whereas most breeds of chicks cannot be sexed until they’re older 
  • Adult hens will already be laying eggs 
  • Chicks require a minimum of 6-8 weeks in a special pen called a “brooder”, and must have a heat lamp or brooder plate during that time 
  • You can pick adult hens from a flock based on personality and colour, while chicks will take time to develop these traits 
  • Chicks shouldn’t be left unattended for long periods of time, such as out-of-town trips, while hens are self-sufficient when left in a secure coop and run with enough food and water 

Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide if you want to start with chicks or hens. Keep in mind that chicks are heavily reliant upon their human caretakers – for everything from food, clean water, and a constant heat source. Adult hens are much more resilient and require less of your time, so if you’re completely new to chickens, it’s usually easier to start with adult hen

Lay the groundwork 

Consider where you’re going to house your hens. You’ll need to find as level of a place as possible in your  garden to set up their coop, and ensure that their area is free of any potentially dangerous vegetation. Chickens are marvellous insect-eaters, and will also gladly help with landscaping if left to forage around. Check to make sure your flock doesn’t have access to any plants that are toxic to chickens

If your chickens will be in one place consistently, you’ll want to choose bedding for the base of their run. Wood chips, coarse sand, or hemp bedding can be used to line the bottom of your flock’s run to keep them out of the mud. 

Use a plastic chicken coop

Now that you’ve decided on what type of chickens you want to keep and where you’d like to keep them, it’s time to get the most important piece of chicken-keeping equipment: their chicken coop. 

A quality chicken coop of any type is an investment, but a plastic chicken coop will last much longer than a wooden chicken coop. Not only that, but plastic coops are immensely easier to clean than wooden coops, and require no upkeep. 

Omlet’s Eglu Cube will never rot, need repainting, or re-roofing like traditional wooden coops. Plastic chicken coops are quickly replacing their wooden predecessors now that the chicken-keeping world knows not all chicken coops rot. 

Most chicken keepers are not fond of coop cleaning day, but the Eglu Cube has flipped the script on this previously dreaded task. In just minutes, your Omlet chicken coop can be cleaned with minimal effort. Simply remove the bedding tray, dump into your compost or garbage, and spray the tray with a pressure washer or a chicken-safe disinfectant to wipe clean. Refresh the bedding, replace the tray, and your chickens’ coop is sparkling clean once more! 

The Eglu Cube might be Omlet’s largest chicken coop, but that doesn’t mean assembling it is hard. In fact, the Eglu Cube is easy to assemble and is ready for your hens as soon as it’s put together. And, with options like wheels and handles that can be added quickly during assembly, your chickens’ coop can be fully mobile. 

Invest in a sturdy chicken run

If your hens need a space to call their own, you can opt to attach a run to the Eglu Cube. Their run can be extended in increments with our Eglu Cube Run Extension Packs. Or, if your space allows, consider a Walk In Chicken Run for your flock. 

All of our chicken runs have anti-dig skirting that helps prevent predators from tunnelling in, and are constructed of heavy-duty welded wire instead of flimsy mesh. Omlet chicken runs are designed to withstand the elements, predators, and weather events. Add optional chicken run covers to give your hens shelter from rain, snow, sun, and wind. Or, add a cover for your Walk In Run to fully shield your flock from the elements.

An automatic coop door is a chicken-keeper essential

One of the best things you can add to your chickens’ setup for both you and your flock is an Autodoor. This coop concierge lets your hens out in the morning and tucks them in at night –  so you never have to worry about getting out of bed or being home by a certain time. And, the unique horizontal opening mechanism of the Autodoor by Omlet adds an extra layer of security to your chicken coop. Predators will be stumped by the sturdiness of our firm-sealing Autodoor. 

The Autodoor can follow a schedule determined by the sun or the clock. Simply program your Autodoor on the easy-to-use control panel to follow whichever type of schedule you prefer. Multiple daylight options can be chosen, closing at or before dusk, and opening when the sun rises or shortly after. The time schedule is easy to follow, allowing you to select specific hours for the Autodoor to open and close. 

Add an optional coop light to give your flock a soft glow to help them head in for bed. The coop light comes on 5 minutes before the Autodoor is scheduled to close. Chickens naturally gravitate toward light when the sun sets, so a night light helps stubborn hens in particular find their way to the roost when it’s bedtime. 

Chickens need entertainment, too

Chickens are low-maintenance pets, but still enjoy entertainment. Mental and physical stimulation is great for helping your hens stay healthy and happy. Plus, added accessories make it that much more enjoyable to watch your hens play and exhibit their natural behaviours. 

Let your hens play with their food 

Omlet has a variety of chicken toys and accessories. Accessories like the Chicken Peck Toy are great for elevating snacktime and keeping the bottom of the run clean. Keep scratch grains and other small treats inside the peck toy to make rations go farther and reduce waste. 

The Caddi Treat Holder is perfect for serving fresh veggies and leafy greens, or homemade chicken treats to your hens. Hang the Caddi Treat Holder from any run, and bring it inside to refill with your flock’s favourite treats. 

Perches add levels of fun 

Like most bird species, chickens enjoy perching to get a better view of the world around them. The Freestanding Chicken Perch can be placed anywhere, and is easy to move anytime. Convenient and sturdy screw pegs anchor the Freestanding Chicken Perch in the ground for stabilized perching. The screw pegs can easily be unscrewed for relocating the Freestanding Chicken Perch to keep your hens on their toes. 

If you have a Walk In Chicken Run, Omlet’s PoleTree Customisable Chicken Perch is perfect for adding a variety of levels to your flock’s space. Add perches of various lengths, treat holders, and peck toys to hang from pre-drilled holes in the ends of the PoleTree’s smooth eucalyptus wood perches to customise your chickens’ experience. The PoleTree is perfect for utilizing aerial space in a Walk In Chicken Run, and adds visual appeal to create a truly unique environment for your flock. 

Omlet and your chicken-keeping adventure

We want you to enjoy your chickens from the moment you bring them home and for years to come. That’s why Omlet has invented products that not only keep your flock healthy and happy, but are designed to bring you closer to your chickens. The Eglu Cube, Walk In Run, and Autodoor are all thoughtfully and purposefully crafted to keep flocks safe and content while making chicken keeping easy and enjoyable for their owners. Let Omlet help you get started on your chicken-keeping adventure, and enjoy the journey to the fullest. 

How to start keeping chickens - Omlet's Eglu Cube Chicken Coop in Omlet Walk In Run

This entry was posted in Chickens

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