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The Omlet Blog Category Archives: Coops

Create More Space With Your Eglu Cube

Man standing in front of Omlet Eglu Cube Chicken Coop with Run

The Omlet Eglu Cube Chicken Coop helps make your chicken keeping lifestyle simple and fun! The double insulated walls ensure your chickens are always warm in the winter and cool in the summer, and the easy to clean surfaces make maintenance a breeze! But perhaps one of the best features that the Eglu Cube offers is its versatility!

Designed to fit flocks of all sizes, the Eglu Cube is the perfect coop for both the novice and seasoned chicken keepers alike. And if you are looking to create more space with your existing Cube, we’ve got everything you need to know!

Do my chickens need more space?

Whether you have 2 or 10 hens, you want your chickens to enjoy as much free range space as possible. Chickens aren’t that much different from us when it comes to space, and the more places we can explore, the happier we are! And the same is true for chickens! And we all know that happy hens = yummy eggs!

The Eglu Cube is the perfect hen house for all chicken keepers as it can house a wide variety of flocks:

  • Up to 10 bantams OR
  • 8 medium size hens OR
  • 6 large breed hens

While the Cube itself is a perfect size space, allowing for even more room to roam is super beneficial to your feathered friends! Why? Because chickens like to have “personal space” just as much as any other animal! And at Omlet, who are we to stand in the way of a chicken and their space?

Versatility of Eglu Cube vs. traditional wooden coop

Our product designers carefully constructed the Cube with very unique features that allow for an easy housing system for both you and your hens! We know chickens and our mission with our designs is simple – provide a safe and easy to manage product that brings you and your animals closer and happier together.

So let’s take a look at just how versatile the Eglu Cube really is! We created the rear door panel to give you seamless access to the inside where you will find everything that you and your chickens will need. The separate nesting box creates a private space for the hens to feel comfortable and safe and also allows for chicken “alone time”.

Unlike traditional wooden coops that need to be painted and treated regularly, the Eglu Cube is completely maintenance free! A quick spray down with the hose to clean the messes and you will start to wonder why you haven’t been chicken keeping longer.

Walk In Runs and extensions

Are you looking to expand your flock? Or perhaps just add more space for your existing chickens to peck and play? Either way, we are here to help. Thanks to the modular and versatile design of the Eglu Cube, you can very simply create a henertaining playground for your chickens!

Walk In Chicken Run: The Omlet Walk In Run is truly customizable to fit any flock! Made from a strong and sturdy steel mesh, you can confidently place the Eglu Cube in the Walk In and let your chickens roam free without worry of any predator intrusion. The Walk In Run also provides a perfect way for you to actively engage with your feathered friends! Yes, even your 6ft tall friend can comfortably hug your hen as the run is designed for chickens – and humans! – of all sizes!

Chicken Run Extensions: Need even more space? No problem! The Omlet Chicken extensions were designed for exactly that purpose! With options of 3ft or 6ft widths and 3ft to 24ft lengths, you can literally customize your run to your specific needs. But what about when it rains? No need to worry! We have you, and your chickens, covered with the weather protection run covers! Rain or shine, your chickens will be just fine in the Walk In Run and Extensions!

Autodoor

The advancement of technology has made life easier for us, as well as our animals! And chickens are no exception. If you’re looking for the safest and most convenient way to let your chickens in and out of the coop, look no further than the Omlet Automatic Chicken Coop Door – the best hands-free chicken door on the market!

Chicken keepers everywhere love this door for its ease of operation and the added security it provides. Designed to fit both the Eglu Cube as well as a traditional wooden coop, the Autodoor can be operated by a light sensor or a timer. No longer do you have to jump out of bed in the morning or rush home at night to manually handle the coop door! Enjoy your life more freely knowing that your flock is perfectly safe with the Autodoor feature!

Wheels

A chicken coop on wheels? What more could any hen ask for?! By adding wheels to your Cube, you are able to find the perfect pecking spot in your backyard by moving your hen house anywhere!

And when the temperatures start to get colder, simply move the Cube closer to your house! Not only will your hens get the extra protection from your dwelling, but you also won’t have to walk too far in the cold to check on your chickens. 

We know that you have many options when it comes to choosing a coop home for your chickens. That’s why we created the Eglu Cube to be everything a chicken keeper on any level could ever want or need. And with all of the extra accessories and options, your backyard beckons to be a spacious playground for your feathered friends!

Girl running around Omlet Eglu Cube Chicken Coop with her chickens

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How Easy Is It to Assemble an Eglu Cube Chicken Coop?

Girl putting together easy assemble Omlet Eglu Cube Chicken Coop

A quick search on the internet will provide a plethora of chicken coop options to purchase. But not all coops are created the same! At Omlet, our product designers know that keeping chickens is fun and simple, which is exactly why they created the easy to assemble and quick to clean Eglu Cube Chicken Coop.

Why you need an Eglu Cube

While wooden chicken coops have traditionally been used to house hens, there are better options available! Before you go buying a mini-house lookalike, take a read over all the reasons the plastic Eglu Cube is the best option:

  • The material your coop is made of matters! The Omlet Eglu Cube is made of hard, durable plastic making it resistant to termites and parasites. Unlike a traditional wooden coop that needs to be treated, painted, and reroofed regularly, the Eglu Cube doesn’t require any of that maintenance – think of all the time and money you will save!
  • The easiest to clean coop on the market! The product designers made this coop with clean-up in mind so all of the surfaces are easy to wipe down in minutes. No more need to worry about smelly chicken coops! In fact, all of the Eglu parts are easy to remove and even pressure wash clean if needed. Your hens will thank you for a sparkly clean and hygienically healthy home!
  • It’s a weatherproof wonder! Chicken keepers from Florida to Fargo can attest to the outstanding weather performance of the Eglu Cube! Carefully designed with a unique double-wall insulation system, the Eglu allows your chickens to stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer. When tested against a traditional wooden coop in the cold winter of Germany, we concluded that a winter ready chicken coop like the Cube can make all the difference between a cozy night’s sleep and one spent shivering to keep warm!

Hassle-free Cube = hassle-free chicken keeping

Some people may object to keeping chickens for reasons that include smell, time commitment, and space. But the reality is that these are all just chicken myths, and with the right products and preparations, chickens are low-maintenance pets. The Eglu Cube from Omlet helps to make that job easier!

SMELL

So you think chickens in your backyard might create a bad smell? Well, the truth is, chickens are actually clean animals. The smell that many are afraid of isn’t from the chickens themselves, but rather from the chicken droppings. But, with the easy to clean Eglu Cube, you can spray down your coop in minutes and avoid any unpleasant odors.

TIME

Like any animal, owning chickens requires a time commitment! Just like cats and dogs, they need daily food and water and physical and mental stimulation. Other than that, they are self-sufficient animals! Investing in the Eglu Cube allows you to save even more on time with its easy assembly! We had the novice chicken-keeper in mind when designing this coop, so we created a product that is super easy to put together. In fact you just need one tool to get started!

SPACE

Probably one of the biggest myths in owning chickens is that you need to have a huge backyard to house your hens! For the average chicken-keeper, a regular sized backyard will do just fine! The great thing about the Eglu Cube is that you can opt to add wheels to the coop allowing for it to be movable by one person to another location. What chicken wouldn’t like a house on wheels?

Step-by-step guide 

Choosing the right chicken coop can be the hardest part of chicken keeping. So now that you have decided on the Omlet Eglu Cube, let’s take a look at the 7 simple steps to assemble your hen’s new house!

  • STEP 1: Grab a screwdriver and a friend. Yes, that’s all you need to put together this super easy to assemble coop! All of the materials are included in the boxes upon arrival, so you simply need to lay everything out to get started. If you want, you can even watch this tutorial video to follow along each step!
  • STEP 2: Now it’s time to construct the frame! With the help of a friend, follow the detailed step-by-step instruction manual to build your coop base. Made from heavy duty steel, this frame is not only strong but will keep your chickens safe and secure.
  • STEP 3: Now it’s time to get rolling! If you opted for the wheel accessories, this step includes their installation. The moving mechanism of the Eglu Cube wheels was created to allow for one person to move the coop with ease!
  • STEP 4: Time to install the run – a chicken’s favorite part! The size of the run you buy depends on how many chickens you plan on keeping. The goal should always be to give your chickens the most space you can – either free range in the backyard or with a bigger walk-in chicken run. And if you find it hard to decide which is best for you, just contact our customer service and we will be happy to help!
  • STEP 5: You’re almost there! Now it’s time to assemble the cube house and attach it to the frame! Made from 100% recyclable and UV stabilized polyethylene (super strong plastic!), you will have peace of mind knowing your chickens are in the best built hen house on the market. 
  • STEP 6: It’s accessory time! One of the greatest benefits of the Omlet Eglu Cube is all the optional accessories you can add to your hen house! The essential feeder and waterer bins are constructed from the same strong material as the house and designed to be just as easy to clean! You can also add the automatic chicken coop door which allows your chickens (and you!) to sleep soundly at night knowing that predators cannot get in!
  • STEP 7: All that’s left to do now is add your flock! You have just built an efficient and practical home for your chickens that can stay with them for years to come.

Maintenance of your coop

While Omlet products are known for their durability, we always recommend regular maintenance on all products to ensure you will get the most out of them! The Eglu Cube is practically maintenance-free with its super easy to clean design, but there are few things you can keep your eye on when out and about with your chickens to make sure stability and security are 100%. 

  • If you notice any run clips not as tightly secured, it may be time to replace them.
  • If you are a seasoned chicken-keeper and purchased an Eglu Cube before summer 2019, you may start to notice some wear on the previously provided friction stair strips. Consider upgrading your coop with the Eglu Cube ladder grips that not only make it easier for your chickens to walk in and out of the house, but are more durable as well!
  • While the cube house is completely covered and protects your chickens from the elements, many chicken-keepers add run covers for added protection when the chickens are roaming the run. 

One of the greatest gifts of chicken keeping is, of course, the benefit of wholesome, fresh eggs! But chickens can also be very henertaining! After long, you will notice you are loving your chickens just as much as your four-legged pets. So when it comes to making sure they have the best life possible, be sure you get them the best house!

Easy assemble Eglu Cube Chicken Coop

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Eglu Cube Chicken Coops Are Strong

The Eglu Cube chicken coop is built to last – whatever gets thrown at it. The durable, twin-wall chicken house and heavy duty, steel weld mesh is strong enough to protect your chickens from hurricanes, tornadoes, bears, bobcats and more. These case studies are just some of the many stories from happy chicken keepers around the world. 


This Eglu Cube survived a hurricane!

Omlet Eglu Cube surviving Hurricane Ian

All parts for the Eglu Cubes are available as spares so if anything gets damaged you can easily repair it. Contact our friendly customer service team by email or phone, and they’ll be happy to help.

The Eglu Cube chicken coop holds firm against strong winds and hurricanes, and is easy to tie down or move into a sheltered area. After Hurricane Ian hit Florida at 150 miles per hour, Jeremy was astonished to see his Eglu Cube still standing, unmarked in the thick of the aftermath. 

“Our Eglu (unbelievably) survived Hurricane Ian. We are 3/4 of a mile from the Gulf of Mexico near where the hurricane made landfall. Venice is badly damaged. Our neighbourhood, in particular, took a very big hit.

Our entire back yard was destroyed. The fence is a complete loss. Several large (30+ foot) pine trees fell down, including one into the neighbour’s roof and one that snapped the power pole in half. But the Eglu did not have a single scratch. We moved the chickens back in right away.”

Jeremy – Florida, USA.

This Eglu Cube survived a bear attack!

black bear on top of an eglu cube chicken coop

When you live in a rural area, with black bears for neighbours, it’s understandable to be worried about your chickens. But Tom’s Eglu Cube quite-rightly earned his trust when a 300 pound bear was unsuccessful in its attempt to break and enter his chicken coop in Virginia. 

“We live in an area with black bears, coyotes, foxes, and other predators. Over the weekend our Eglu was attacked by a 300 pound black bear and despite the wire roof being smushed with its weight, the Eglu remained intact and no chickens were harmed. We most likely will need an electric fence but we were impressed with the coop being able to withstand the assault. Very impressed! Also, with 2 young children the Eglu is easy to clean and maintain – minimal maintenance required and our boys able to open and close the doors. Outstanding! The best coop we could have with our rural area and lifestyle”

Tom – Virginia, USA.

bobcat trying to break into eglu cube chicken coop

Over in California, Tracy and her sweet silkies also had an unwelcome visitor in the form of a large bobcat. But thanks to the Eglu Cube, Tracy enjoys peace of mind knowing her girls are safe and sound.

“We are the Lloyds, and we live in San Diego, CA. We have four silkies – Elsa, Nugget, Ickey, and Shuffle. They are the cutest and sweetest, little bunch. They like to stick together, and scratch for bugs, worms, and other treats.

The predator in the video is a bobcat, but we also have coyotes, owls, hawks, and more. Our house backs to a canyon, and we have frequent visits from various predators. We have so many visits, that I do not allow my poodles to go outside in the backyard unless they are next to us, and we are actively watching them, but I’m confident the hens are safe in their coop. 

We purchased an Eglu Cube because we love our silkies, and we wanted to keep them safe. Although we still have a motion-sensor camera to monitor, the silkies have been happy and safe!”

Tracy – California, USA.

This Eglu Cube survived a fallen tree!

fallen pine tree on top of the eglu cube chicken house

Thanks to the thick, twin wall house and steel frame, the Eglu Cube chicken coop is unaffected by the roughest of storms and its path of destruction. Anna from Germany saw for herself when a fallen pine tree squared up to the Eglu Cube.

Man, did we have a few stormy days! Everywhere in the neighborhood, trees were falling left, right and centre, and one of them on the edge of our premises, exactly where our Eglu Cube chicken coop is!

The giant pine tree fell across our Cube, but when we came out to check on the hens we couldn’t believe our eyes. The tree was resting right on top of the Eglu, but it hadn’t been damaged at all. As soon as the Autodoor opened, the chickens walked out and started to scratch around as if nothing had happened, and we could collect fresh eggs that same afternoon. 

After some serious chainsaw work we were able to investigate the Cube, finding that only one roof panel was damaged, but we could even bend that back a bit. Unbelievable!”

Anna – Germany

tree fallen on top of eglu cube chicken coop

Months after replacing her rotten wooden coop, Ashleigh was relieved to find her hens unharmed after severe storms had blown down a large tree, crushing her fence, but stopped in its tracks by the reliable Eglu Cube chicken coop. 

“We’ve had storms overnight and went to let the chickens out this morning to find a large tree had come down from the bush behind the house and had landed on our fence and chicken coop. The fence couldn’t withstand the impact, but the Eglu Cube did. We replaced our old wooden coop with the Omlet one a few months ago as the wooden coop was rotting in our humid mountain air, and we’re so glad we did. Not only is it so easy to clean, I don’t think our chickens would have survived the tree falling on the coop. The coop does need some repairs as the run and coop itself have buckled, but I still can’t believe how strong it is.”

Ashleigh – New South Wales, Australia.

Tornado – yep, this Eglu Cube survived one!

crushed eglu cube chicken coop and aerial view of destroyed farm

Despite needing a good clean and a reshape, Lori’s Eglu Cubes survived a direct hit from a severe tornado in Texas, and her hens were unharmed – though a little shaken by the whole thing.

“We sustained a direct hit from a F3 (almost F4) tornado in April. Much of our ranch was destroyed (hay barn completely gone, barndominium, horse stalls and woodshop required demo to slab, house currently unliveable). We lost two cows and many trees. But, we survived in our tornado room with our dogs and our 2 Omlet Cubes and all of our chickens survived. One Cube was completely upside down and the other was trapped by fallen tree limbs and debris. The chickens were trapped by our hawk netting that collapsed with the tree limbs; actually fortutios and I think they would have been blown away – ah, the story they could tell! We were able to turn the one coop upright and get them all in one for that first night. Yes, 12 wet hens can fit in an Eglu Cube!

While the run and skirting are bent up, and I had to remove a few pieces of skirting, they are still functional. The back door on one sustained a hit that broke a small piece of plastic that makes the handle a little loose, but still functional. The Autodoors still work, one of the shade covers survived, as did the food and water bowls! Other than being scratched up, very dirty and with misshapen runs, they are fine! They have since had a thorough washing and if you didn’t look at the bent run, you’d never know anything happened! Thanks for making such a great product!”

Lori – Texas, USA.

So, how strong is the Eglu Cube chicken coop? From wild weather to wild predators, you and your chickens can rest easy with the Eglu Cube chicken coop, designed by Omlet and trusted by thousands of chicken keepers. 

Got an amazing story to tell? If your Eglu has saved your hens from stormy weather or unwelcome visitors, please email us at blog@omlet.us.

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8 Tips for Making Your Pets’ Run More Fun This Fall

It’s that time of year again when we say goodbye to summer and welcome in the cooler, shorter days of Autumn. For many pet owners, Summer is a great opportunity to spend quality time with our animals, playing outdoors and enjoying the warmer weather. However, the change in season doesn’t have to mean that the fun has to stop!

It’s fundamental that you continue to keep your pets exercised throughout the year, and animal runs are great for this, giving your furry friends the freedom to roam within a safe and confined environment. Omlet supply a range of runs for chickens, rabbits and guinea pigs, which are all predator resistant, so you shouldn’t have any concerns about safety in their run this Fall. Although runs are fantastic for providing your animals with more space, adding a few extras over the next coming months can help to keep both you and your pet/s entertained. Here are our top tips on what you can do to make your runs more fun this Autumn.

For Guinea Pig and Rabbit Runs

Set Up a Vegetable Hunt

Cavies and rabbits love their fresh veg, so why not make a game out of it! You can try hiding their favorite pieces of veggies around the run and have them go off to find it. This game will not only be an opportunity for you to spend some quality time outside with your pet, but they get to join in with the Halloween festivities of a scavenger hunt this autumn as well!

Get a Play Tunnel

Play tunnels can be attached to your guinea pig or rabbit’s run to give them a new way to exercise, designed with the natural behavior of these two animals in mind. In the wild, both guinea pigs and rabbits would live in burrows, a hole which they dig to take temporary refuge underground. Watch as your piggy or rabbit has fun bouncing around, in and out of their tunnel.

Use a Shelter

Shelters can be a great addition to your run this season. The Omlet Zippi Shelters for rabbits and guinea pigs are weatherproof, meaning that your pet will be protected from the elements of wind and rain. Both species have a natural desire to seek a hiding space in a hole, so you can be assured that they are having fun, while feeling safe. Furthermore, the Omlet play tunnels have connector rings, which mean these can easily be attached to the Zippi Shelters, creating a fun maze for your furry friends!

Guinea Pig and Rabbit Toys

Who said toys were just for cats and dogs? Try giving a new toy to your small animal, which will help to bust their boredom this season. Toys for guinea pigs and rabbits can simply be hung up in their run and will keep them active, engaged, and curious.

For Chicken Runs

Chicken Toys

Chickens can have toys too! A bored chicken can lead to flock bullying, so at this time of year it’s even more important to keep your chickens entertained. Naturally, as the weather drops, these animals get increasingly restless, with less grass and weeds for them to forage on, as they enjoyed over summer. A chicken peck toy is one option to keep your flock happy, also providing them with mental stimulation.

Make Use of Your Autumn Leaves

The fallen leaves of autumn in your garden or backyard may not mean anything to us but they can actually be a great source of entertainment for your chickens. Build up a pile of crisp fall leaves in your chickens’ run, and watch them have endless hours of fun pecking. You can even add some sunflower seeds to your pile to have your flock hunt for.

Provide Your Chickens With a Pumpkin For Their Run

It wouldn’t be Fall without pumpkins! You can place half a pumpkin in your chickens’ run for them to have as a special treat. Your flock will have no problems pecking at the pumpkin raw, so there’s no need for any cooking; simply slice the top of the pumpkin off and then in half, to place outside in their run. Something to be cautious of here however, is to make sure that you remove any pumpkin remains from the run once finished to avoid any unwanted visitors such as rodents at night.

Get a Chicken Swing

A chicken swing is another way to make your chickens’ run more fun. The Omlet Chicken Swing will have your chicken in their element, as they get to grips with their new toy. Not only will this run accessory provide them with plenty of entertainment, you’ll have just as much fun watching them hop on and off and swing back and forth.

Hopefully after a bit of guidance, you’ll have a few new ideas on how you can make your pets’ run more enjoyable this season! As the end of the season brings colder weather, don’t forget to have a read of the Omlet guides on keeping your guinea pigs, rabbits, and chickens safe and warm when they’re outdoors.

 

 

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Which of My Hens is Laying?

It’s often hard to tell if a hen is laying. Hens do not produce the same number of eggs each week throughout the year, and there may be health- and environment-related changes to egg production, too.

It’s useful to know when a hen stops laying, as you can then give her a quick health check to identify the cause of the interruption. But how do you tell which chicken is not laying eggs? In a coop of six hens, in which the daily average number of eggs is five, it’s not immediately obvious which hens are laying.

which chicken is laying brown hen

Seven signs that a hen has stopped laying

1. Age. This is the most obvious cause of a drop in egg production. Over her egg-laying years, a hen’s production will tail off. This is natural, and it does not mean the chicken has reached the end of its usefulness. All hens play a part in the social order of a coup, and a bird reaching the end of its egg-laying life will still be as feisty, active and lovable as the younger birds – and she’ll still lay the occasional egg.

2. Molting. This occurs every year once a hen is 18 months old (although younger birds may shed feathers, too). The signs are very clear – lots of feathers lying in the coop, and bare patches appearing on the hen. During this time, chickens need to produce lots of new feathers, which is a physically demanding process. Consequently, egg-laying is reduced, and sometimes there will be several days without an egg. The molt tends to occur in the autumn, but it depends on when the hen first started laying. Molting takes 8 to 12 weeks, occasionally longer.

3. Vent. A dry vent – the hole through which the hen lays her eggs – is a sign of no production. In a hen that is still laying, the vent will be moist.

4. Abdomen. Your chicken’s abdomen area should feel soft and rounded. If the area below the breast bone is hard and swollen, this can be a sign of egg peritonitis, a bacterial infection in the chest cavity. Your chicken will still produce a yolk but is free-floating in the abdominal cavity. Affected hens will stop therefore either completely stop laying eggs or only lay soft-shelled, thin, or misshapen eggs.

5. Comb and wattles. A healthy laying hen tends to have bright red comb and wattles. These become duller when she is about to lay, but turn bright red again once she has laid the egg. If the comb and wattles are pale or dull looking all the time, it could be a sign of illness.

6. The food dye test. If you put a small dab of food coloring on a hen’s vent, the color will be transferred to the egg. The color that fails to appear tells you who the non-layer is. This is only practical in smaller flocks, though, given the limited palette of food colorings…

7. No eggs. This isn’t as silly as it sounds! If you only have a few hens, and they are different breeds, you will often come to recognize which eggs are produced by which hen. In this case, the sudden disappearance of one particular egg-type will tell you who’s not laying.

Five reasons why hens stop laying eggs

1. Temperature and sunlight. Seasonal factors play a part in egg production. As the daylight hours lessen in autumn and winter, hens tend to lay fewer eggs. In the depths of winter, the low temperature becomes the cause, as a hen needs all her energy to produce body heat. With her resources diverted to this essential function, egg-laying is put on hold.

2. Stress. Any form of stress will tend to interrupt or stop egg production. Stress can be brought on by several things, including parasites, bullying, injuries and fear (of noisy dogs, for example).

3. Diet. Poor diet can impact egg production, too. If a hen is laying, she needs all the essential nutrients – not just calcium – to produce eggs. Top-quality layer’s pellets will contain everything the hen needs. A hen that fills up on treats before filling up on pellets may become malnourished and stop laying. It’s a good idea to let the chickens feed on their pellets first thing in the morning and last thing at night, and only offer corn and treats in the middle of the day.

4. Broodiness. A broody hen – that is, a hen who has decided to sit on her eggs in an attempt to hatch them – will stop laying. There are several ways of discouraging broodiness, but some hen breeds are more prone to it than others. If all attempts to dissuade her from leaving the nesting box, you have the consolation that after 21 days – the time it would take for a fertilized chicken egg to hatch – the hen’s self-inflicted ordeal will be over and she will resume normal life – including egg-laying.

5. Change of routine. If you move the hen house or introduce new birds to the flock, or if one of the hens dies, the birds’ routine and pecking order will be interrupted. This often causes them to stop laying for a short time, until their social lives settle down again.

Four ways to encouraging laying

1. Comfy coop. The first thing to do is to make sure the hens’ environment is adequately equipped and comfortable. Check for red mites, as an infestation of these nocturnal parasites can stop egg production. Reduce drafts and make sure there is no bullying going on – often a sign of an overcrowded hen house.

2. Light. Some chicken keepers install lights in the coop to encourage laying in the colder months of the year. However, bear in mind that a chicken can only lay a finite number of eggs in its lifetime. If she’s naturally programmed to lay 1,000 eggs, encouraging her to lay regularly throughout the winter will simply reduce her laying life.

3. Eggs. If an apparently healthy hen isn’t laying, she can be encouraged by leaving eggs in the nesting box, or placing rubber ones, or even golf balls, in the spot where she is supposed to lay. The sight and feel of these will encourage her laying instincts.

4. Reduce stress. Discourage dogs from disturbing the hens, and make your run and coop are as predator-proof as possible. Equally important, make sure the run isn’t overcrowded, and provide enough roosting space in the coop for all the hens to rest comfortably.

Disappearing eggs

If your hens are free-ranging, they will sometimes lay an egg in a quiet corner of the backyard. This can become habit-forming, and if she’s doing it in secret, you may reach the incorrect conclusion that the hen isn’t laying.

A healthy hen who does not appear to be laying may be the victim of egg sabotage. A predator, a human thief or an egg-eating chicken might be removing the evidence of her labors. The best way of preventing this is to encourage your hen back to the nest box for laying. In crowded coops, a hen will sometimes seek an alternative laying place if the boxes are all full when she feels the urge to lay.

As a hen ages, she will produce fewer eggs. If you are uncertain of the age of your chickens, there is a simple test you can conduct that might sometimes give you a clue. Place your hand gently on a hen’s back. If she immediately squats down, it means she is still fertile and therefore producing eggs. Hens squat when they are mating, and it is an automatic response.


Although egg production drops as a hen ages, it will often continue throughout her life. The occasional egg from an old hen always reminds you what a wonderful friend she’s been throughout your long time together!

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Why Have My Chickens Stopped Going into the Coop at Night?

Chickens in the Omlet Eglu chicken coop at night

Your chickens’ coop should be a space for your flock to eat, drink, lay eggs, and sleep. It should also be a place for your chickens to feel safe and be protected from the outside elements or any danger. However, sometimes chickens may suddenly decide that they do not want to go into their coop at night, which can be for a number of reasons. Here are some explanations as to why this could be happening.

A Broody Hen

Hens can get broody, regardless of if you have a rooster. Although many hens will decide to stay in the nest of their coop so that they can sit on their eggs, others like to search for a quiet space away from the coop, which can mean remaining outside the coop all night.

Moving a broody hen can be highly stressful for them, so should you decide that it’s best to move your hen inside the coop, due to safety concerns, you need to take great care when doing so. One way to start is by collecting your hen’s eggs regularly (twice a day). Be sure to wear leather gloves when doing so, as a broody hen is likely to be aggressive around you as they are very protective of their eggs. You’ll also want to reduce the light supply when you move her, as the moving process situation will be less traumatic in the dark.

Predators

Predators such as foxes, cats, rats, and badgers could be one reason as to why your chickens have stopped going inside the coop at night. These animals will spook your flock, with smaller predators such as badgers having the potential to gain access inside the coop by climbing over the fencing, or squeezing through small openings in the coop’s wiring.

Luckily, there are a few steps you can take to deter these animals and have your chickens back in their coop every night. One option is to get a motion sensitive light installed, which will scare off any unwanted guests. Alternatively, take a look at the Omlet chicken coop range. All of the Omlet coops are predator resistant, which will reassure you that your chickens will be safe from any night time visitors. With anti-tunnel skirts that lie flat on the ground, and heavy duty steel weld mesh, these features will help to prevent animals from digging in. You can also purchase the Omlet automatic coop door which shuts your chickens away in their coop at night to keep your flock secure, enclosing them until the time you set for the door to open in the morning.

An Overcrowded Coop

Chickens need their own personal space, hence why many chickens are also kept free range. Not only is overcrowding an unpleasant experience for chickens, causing them to avoid the coop at night, it can also lead to further complications such as the build up of ammonia and an increase in disease. The solution? The more space the better! For size reference, the Omlet Large Eglu Cube chicken coop can comfortably accommodate six large hens or up to ten bantams.

Tensions Amongst Your Chickens

A chicken sticking its head out of the Omlet Eglu chicken coopUnfortunately, bullying amongst chickens happens, and isn’t actually too uncommon of a problem. Chickens naturally create a pecking order, whereby the flock will establish themselves in a social hierarchy of strongest to weakest chicken. However, if aggressive behavior continues after the head rooster, or the dominant hen in their absence, has found their way to the top of the ladder, you may be dealing with a bully. Common signs are missing feathers from a chicken’s back, unusual weight loss, reduced egg production, or blood from where the victim has been pecked, all of which could lead to a chicken/s refusing to go into their coop at night.

To stop the bullying, and therefore get your chickens back in their coop at night, first try to establish the cause. Common reasons for bullying can be an injured or ill bird, having a large flock, or your chickens being bored. However, should the bullying continue after attempting to resolve what you believe to be the cause of conflict, you can purchase anti-pecking spray, which will discourage feather pecking. Alternatively, separate the bully from the flock. Isolating the bully for a week may mean that they lose their dominant position in the hierarchy once they are reintroduced.

Mites and Parasites in the Coop

Pests are a very common cause for chickens to have stopped going to their coop at night. Red mite in particular is a likely culprit, a parasitic mite that lives inside chicken housing and lays eggs in cracks near nests. They can make your chickens restless at night, as they live inside chicken coops and crawl onto the chickens to feed on their blood as they sleep. Only active during warmer weather, red mites are also more likely to strike wooden coops.

Red mites are not the easiest thing to get rid of, however, one solution is to purchase red mite treatment, which works by immobilizing pests with its sticky consistency. Rest assured, it’s also completely safe to use in the chicken feeding area, so you do not have to have any concerns about your flock digesting the product.


Luckily, chickens are creatures of habit, so once you’ve identified the cause, you should be able to get your flock back into the coop at night in no time!

 

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How To Maintain Your Eglu or Walk In Run

Omlet Eglu Cube Chicken Coop with Run

The metal chicken runs are designed to be used outdoors for years to come. However, we recommend that you check the run regularly for signs of corrosion, especially if you live somewhere with extreme weather conditions or close to the sea. Corrosion will occur if the coating has been scratched or scraped for example. If you do see some, remove any loose rust and touch up with a weather resistant paint.

Are you a long term Eglu or Walk in Run owner? Omlet products are known to be extremely long lasting, but we do recommend checking over your coop and run every year for signs of wear and tear, and to remember the little maintenance needed to keep your coop in tip top condition and your pet happy and healthy. You may have also missed some of the new products we have developed over the years to make the coop and runs even better. Take a look at ways you can upgrade and improve your Eglu below!

Run Clips

When you carry out your regular deep clean, make sure you have a quick walk around the run and check the security and stability of the run panels. In time, the run clips can age and become weaker. If you notice that run clips are cracking when you open them or move the coop and run, or that there are some clips falling to the ground, you should consider refreshing all the run clips on your coop. 

We have now made it super quick and easy for you to find the right pack of run clips for your Eglu or Walk in Run. 

New Ladder

If you purchased your Eglu before summer 2019, you may not have benefited from the new Ladder Grips we have designed to resolve the problem of some chickens disliking the metal coop ladder, or being too small for the steps. The ladder grips replace the black friction strips, clipping on securely and easily to provide a wider platform for chicks to climb up on. 

You can buy ladder grips for your Eglu Cube here or for your Eglu Go UP here.

Hens walking down Eglu Cube Chicken Coop ladder

Autodoor and Coop Light

We’re sure you haven’t missed the Automatic Chicken Coop door that can be attached straight onto your Eglu Cube or Walk In Run, but have you seen that you can also attach a coop light to guide your chickens in at night? The light is powered by the control panel of the Autodoor, and will automatically come on 5 minutes before the door closes. As soon as the door has closed for the night, the light turns off.

Run Covers

In high winds and torrential rain, old run covers can take a beating. If you have had your run covers for some time and they are looking a bit worse for wear, it might be a good idea to invest in a new set of covers to ensure your chickens continue to be fully protected from the elements. 

Discover our wide range of run covers for all Eglus here.

New hentertainment

We have also introduced new feeders and treat dispensing toys in the last few years, which your chickens are sure to love. 

The Caddi Treat Holder is ideal for larger treats, such as fat balls or vegetables from your garden, and hangs in your run to keep food off the ground and prevent mess on the run floor. The Peck Toys are a rewarding, slow release solution for treat-dispensing which your chickens will be entertained by all day. The Pendant hangs from the run, while the Poppy is put into the ground – perfect if your chickens are fully free ranging.

Chickens pecking the Omlet Peck Toy treat dispenser

We’re here to help

If you are unsure about the condition of your Eglu or your run, please contact our friendly and knowledgeable Customer Service team. They can give you advice on how to maintain your product, making sure it’s in top condition for many years to come! 

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Should I shut the door to my Eglu at night?

Omlet Eglu Cube Chicken Coop shut with Omlet Autodoor - Automatic Chicken Coop Door

Here at Omlet we often receive calls from aspiring chicken keepers who are seeking chicken keeping advice before getting their first birds. Some of the most popular questions we get asked are, what should I feed my chicken with or how can I protect my chickens from predators? One question that keeps coming up is, do I need to shut the Eglu door at night?

Often people ask us this question because the idea of adding another task to their daily routine might be one of the reasons which puts them off chicken keeping. Much like you wouldn’t like to sleep with your front door open, unfortunately for chicken keepers, nor do your chickens, therefore most nights we would recommend you close the chicken coop door.

But having to close the door doesn’t necessarily mean that it would need to be done by the chicken keeper themselves! Have you ever thought about automatic door system? Well luckily for chicken keepers, Omlet has recently launched a new Autodoor which will solve all of these problems.

Even though our Eglus are specially designed to keep your chickens warm in winter with a unique twin-wall insulation system which works in a similar way to double glazing, leaving the door open overnight would let the cold enter inside which might result in having frozen eggs after a freezing winter night and could make your chickens feel unwell. Therefore, we strongly recommend you use the handle on top of the Eglu and simply lift and twist it to close the door in one convenient motion each evening after having make sure all your flock are inside.

As important as it is to close the door to protect your hens from the cold, it is also important to do it to protect them from potential overnight predator attacks. Most predators would wait for the night to attack your chickens therefore by simply closing the door it would protect your flock from being attacked by predators such as racoons, foxes and coyotes.

Having said how important it is to close your chicken coop overnight we understand that not everyone has the luxury of being at home every night to close the coop door especially for people working late shifts that are often home well after the sun sets. That is why we recently launched an automatic chicken coop door that can be attached directly to any wooden chicken coop, wire or the Omlet Eglu Cube Mk1 and Mk2.

Much like a personal chicken coop concierge, the Autodoor will always make sure your chicken’s coop is securely closed at night even when you’re running late. Whether you decide to use the light or time mode, the Omlet secure and safe Autodoor will either open and close at dawn and dusk or at specific times that you have programmed it to. In addition to being designed to be used in different modes the Autodoor has a unique safety sensor detecting any blockages to prevent your chickens from being injured when they decide to stop half way through the door.

Benefits of the Omlet Automatic Chicken Coop Door:

  • Easy to install, no maintenance required
  • Operated by light sensor or timer
  • Powered by battery
  • Works with all wooden chicken coops
  • Improves coop security and insulation
  • Compatible with the Eglu Cube
  • Reliable in all weather conditions
  • Built-in safety sensors
  • Can be used with any chicken run or mesh

To summarise, closing the coop door is definitely the recommended action for every chicken keeper in order to protect their chickens from the cold and predators however this task can easily be completed by an Autodoor.
Check out the review below to see what one of our Autodoor owners thinks of this new product:

Thank you Omlet for a wonderful product and great service. The door arrived quickly, very well packaged and my concerns over fitting it were unfounded as I was able to complete the task completely unaided. The door is easy to operate and means my girls are safely tucked up at dusk and I do not have to get up ridiculously early to open the coop and stop them hollering!” – Wendy

Read more reviews

Chickens outside in their Omlet Eglu Cube Chicken Coop and Run

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The accidental discovery of chickens as support animals

While filming a segment of our television program Coop Dreams, around Austin Texas, we were taken on a field trip to a nursing home that had a chicken coop.  Daily the residents would have ‘Chicken time’ where they could hold, pet and interact with the chickens.  What we witnessed was incredible.  The chickens were amazingly calm and the residents were transformed back in time to when they had raised or experienced a life with chickens.  It was super cool to see chickens and residents so comfortable that they both wound up napping while the chickens were on their laps in chairs…  And that sparked a curiosity.

The birth of Coops For Troops

Moved by what we experienced, we couldn’t stop talking about it and googling everything around chickens involving support and therapy.  We found some amazing information and stories about how chickens can help with:

  • Loneliness – We’ve all experienced and been amused by their crazy antics and personalities.
  • Stress Relief – Whether it’s the vocalizations or the scratching and pecking there is something very calming about sitting with chickens.
  • Depression – A study of the UK organization Henpower shows that – people become less lonely and depressed when caring for the hens.
  • Loss of self-worth – There is a sense of purpose one feels when caring for and feeding chickens.
  • PTSD – Animals have been shown to be great in relieving the symptoms and elements associated with PTSD.

And after those Google searches we decided to launch Coops For Troops (Coopsfortroops.com) where we present veterans and military families with chickens, supplies and an Omlet chicken coop to help them start their journey into backyard chicken keeping.

Sixteen and counting!!!

Currently we’ve presented 16 Coops For Troops packages and are excited to continue passing on the amazing healing power of chickens.

We’ve presented in nine states to date and are sifting through the next round of nominations.  Initially it was going to be a one and done event and a small segment in an episode of our Coop Dreams TV show but the response was so great it has spun into its own TV show.

Not only does this allow us to thank more veterans and deliver more coops but the weekly TV audience allows us to share this benefit to others who may be suffering and are in need of some help and relief.

Our viewers and partners help us to continue to pay it forward.

Coops For Troops episodes can be watched, for free, any day and anytime on our webpage by clicking the Video On Demand tab and clicking the Coops For Troops episodes.  They can also be seen on our Coop Dreams YouTube channel.

The Results

We all know how chicken math works and that doesn’t change if you’re a veteran, a beginner or an experienced chicken keeper and it is so great to see so many of our Coops For Troops recipients grow and add to their flocks and continue to communicate to us how the addition of chickens has helped in quieting some of the symptoms these incredible individuals now carry.

Sooooooo…  On this Veterans Day what can you do?  Spread the word and pay it forward.  If you know of someone in need maybe mention how the help may be found in these incredible, quirky and amazing animals.

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How The Autodoor Makes Winter Easier For You And Your Chickens

We can learn a lot from chickens. They go to bed early, and once indoors they snuggle up together to keep warm. No messing about after hours. As a result, they’re ready for a fresh start as soon as the sun comes up.

The problem is, there’s often no early-rising human around at dawn to open the door of the coop and let the hens get on with a busy day’s scratching, foraging and laying. Equally, you might not be able to be there to lock the door behind them after they’ve headed for bed early in the bleak midwinter.

An open door in the chicken shed lets in the cold, and unless your coop and run are secure, some very unwelcome night visitors of the four-footed kind might come calling…

Omlet Eglu Cube Chicken Coop with Autodoor in the snow

“Someone Should Invent An Autodoor For Chicken Sheds…”

Fortunately, the necessary security-cum-draft-excluder has already been invented. Omlet’s Autodoor attaches directly to the Eglu Cube Mk1 and Mk2 chicken houses. But it’s not exclusively for those models – the Autodoor works with any chicken coop, with a unique and clever design that enables it to be attached to whatever des res your chickens are living in.

Like many ingenious inventions – wind-up radios and wind-up torches come to mind, or solar powered garden lights – Omlet’s automatic chicken coop door opener is very simple. It’s battery powered, with both a timer and a light sensor for maximum flexibility and control. The Autodoor won’t instantly seize up when the temperature plunges, either. It’s been tested to work down to -4 degrees Fahrenheit (-20 degrees Celsius).

The Autodoor is also very easy to install. Its LCD control panel is separate from the door itself, so it can be placed in the best position for the built-in light sensor to do its work.

The door, once closed, is also very secure. It doesn’t use a string and pulley system, so it can’t be lifted up by hungry creatures hoping for a midnight chicken snack. Nor will they be able to squeeze through the tight seal once the door is shut.

Attaching The Autodoor

If your hens live in an Omlet Eglu Mk2 Cube or a chicken coop made of wood, the Autodoor comes with all the fittings you need. You’ll need a few extra attachments if you want to fit the door to a Mk1 Eglu Cube, an Omlet Run or a set up involving traditional chicken wire.

 

The control panel and light sensor attach via a robust cable, so you can choose the best spot for registering the daylight. The sensor doesn’t mean your hens have to be home before the sun hits the horizon, though. You can set it to close an hour after sunset, to suit your birds’ routine. Equally, it can be set to open an hour after first light, if your chickens are used to having a bit of a lazy start to the day. This makes sense when the days are particularly cold – the hens might want to take advantage of their cosy place on the perch for as long as possible before venturing out into the cold frosty morning.

The door will not open in the night, even if passing headlights, a security light or a torch beam shine on the coop. It has been designed to ignore these temporary bursts of light, and only open when there has been consistent light for an amount of time fixed by you via the control panel.

So basically, that’s your chickens’ winter worries sorted.

It’s possible that you have a stoical family member who is willing to be on guard at dawn and dusk every day throughout the cold winter months to open and close the coop door. Lucky you –that’s real chicken dedication! 

For everyone else, the Autodoor does all the work for you when you’re not around. Or, let’s face it, it gives you the excuse and peace of mind to enjoy a weekend lie-in without having to brave the elements on morning chicken duty!

Hens in Eglu Cube Chicken Coop with Automatic Chicken Coop Door in winter

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The Autodoor Has Arrived!

Did you know that over 60% of chicken keepers aren’t getting enough sleep?! Omlet has the solution as they launch the New Automatic Chicken Coop Door.

In the last decade chicken keeping has become a hit with families wanting a slice of the good life, propelling hens into the top ten list of pets.  The reasons are clear: a supply of fresh eggs that’s the envy of your friends as well as teaching children important lessons of where their food comes from suggests that chickens really are the ultimate pet.  

However, a recent survey found that over 60% of chicken keepers wish they could spend longer in bed in the mornings with many admitting they would be willing to pay up to $400 for a solution that could prolong their lazy mornings in bed! 1 in 6 couples even admitted to regularly arguing about who should let the chickens out. What will save the country’s chicken keepers from tiredness and possibly even divorce?

Introducing the brilliant new Automatic Chicken Coop door opener from Omlet. Designed to work with the best-selling Eglu Cube as well as any wooden chicken coop. Omlet’s Automatic Chicken Coop Door Opener is battery powered and combines both a timer and a light sensor, giving you the ultimate flexibility and control.

Omlet’s Head of Product Design, Simon Nicholls, said:  “We know our customers love their chickens and always want the best for them, that’s why we designed the Autodoor so that the hens could get up when they want, which can be quite early in the summer.  It was also important to ensure that it works as well at closing the coop at night and in all weather conditions too, so we carried out extensive testing in several different countries over 2 years to perfect the design.”

The unique integrated frame and door design comes with everything you need to attach it to your chicken house or run and has been tested to work down to -20 deg C. Like a personal chicken coop concierge, the Autodoor will always make sure your chicken’s coop is securely closed at night even when you’re running late.

Sharon Burton, who has kept hens for 4 years in Oxford, believes the Autodoor has even saved her marriage! “There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for my chickens. I buy them the best food, I sprinkle dried flowers in their nest box to keep it fresh, but I always felt guilty if I didn’t hop straight out of bed at the crack of dawn to let them out and whenever I asked my husband Paul to do it he would pretend to be asleep! When Omlet asked me to test the Autodoor I was delighted, it’s saved my marriage!”

Omlet’s new Automatic Chicken Coop door opener is available now to order! Prices starting from $189.

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How to Prepare your Chicken Coop for Winter

A chicken keeper and her dog outside in the snow with an Eglu coop

The temperature is already dropping rapidly, the nights are drawing in and we are just weeks away from the first frost. Although the fresh air and crunchy leaves may be loved by some, the signs of winter being just around the corner can be a worry for chicken keepers. 

Now is the time to act! Get your chickens’ coop ready for the colder months before the freezing temperatures hit, and you will be able to rest easy knowing that your girls are warm and healthy throughout winter. 

Take a look at some of our top tips for getting your chicken coop winter-ready…

Move your coop closer to the house

This is a simple step for making it easier for you to look after your girls and give them their daily health checks, which are even more important in the colder months. Choose a lightweight coop with wheels, like the Eglu, to make it even easier to move it around your yard.

An Eglu coop covered in the snow

Upgrade your wooden coop to an Eglu

The main benefit to an Eglu Cube Chicken Coop for chicken keepers in winter is the twin wall insulation found in the design of the plastic house. This works in a similar way to double glazing, by creating a barrier between the cold air outside the coop, and the air inside. The air between the two walls conducts poorly, which means inside the house stays at a consistent and warm temperature throughout winter, whatever the weather is doing outside. Chickens are very efficient at keeping themselves warm, all you will need to do is make sure the coop door is shut at nighttime. 

Autodoor

…and to make sure your chicken coop’s door is always shut at dusk, even if you are not yet home, the Automatic Chicken Coop Door is a convenient solution for the Eglu Cube or wooden chicken coops. You can set the Autodoor to close at a specific time or light percentage to suit when all your girls have gone up to bed and the sun has set. The Autodoor runs off batteries and has been tested to work down to -10 degrees celcius so there is no worry, however cold it gets outside! 

The other benefit to the Autodoor is that it will open again at dawn so you can head off to work early before the sun rises and your girls need to be let out, or you can stay in bed for even longer at the weekends without going out in the freezing cold to let your chickens out of their coop! 

“The nights are drawing in and I couldn’t be happier knowing that my girls are safely tucked up in bed with their Omlet Autodoor closed behind them. The Autodoor has given me peace of mind, flexibility and a well needed lie in! Couldn’t recommend it enough!” – Hayley’s Lottie Haven

Run covers

Chickens are very good at coping in cold temperatures, but don’t like getting wet, so it would be kinder for them to be protected from the elements when in their run by our clear covers and windbreaks. Available in a variety of sizes to suit your run length, the clear run covers protect your girls from wind and rain so they can continue to play whatever the weather, whilst still allowing light into the run. 

A close up of an Eglu coop outside

Extreme temperature jackets

When the temperature drops below freezing for multiple days in a row during the very depths of winter, it might be wise to give your chickens extra warmth with an extreme temperature jacket. Poorly or older chickens, will definitely benefit from this extra support.

Hentertainment

Prevent chickens getting bored when rain stops play with a variety of fun and interactive toys they can play with in all weathers. The Chicken Perch provides an easy outdoor perch which can be installed in their run (and protected by the run covers) for when your chickens can’t perch in their usual spots around your yard. The Chicken Swing provides hours of fun and again, can be easily installed in any run. While the Peck Toys and Caddi Treat Holder offer enriching entertainment as well as a rewarding flow of treats.

Added extras

Prevent your chickens’ water from freezing with a water heater to ensure they have access to flowing water at all times. It is also recommended to provide extra layers pellets and treats during winter, as chickens will need more energy to keep themselves warm and lay their eggs in the colder months.

 

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How to Protect Your Chickens from Red Mite

Looking inside wooden chicken coop 2

The Red Mite Problem

Red mites, or Dermanyssus gallinae, are without a doubt backyard chicken keepers’ worst enemies! They are nocturnal creatures living in cracks and crevices of the coop, and they only come out at night to feed on chicken blood. Most long term chicken keepers will have encountered these parasites, and can confirm that they are more destructive and difficult to get rid of than all other pests combined. 

Getting Rid of Red Mites

If you have diagnosed a red mite infestation in your wooden coop, there are a few things you can do to try to get rid of them. Start off by giving your coop a really deep clean. Strip the house down as much as possible to get into all corners, nooks and crannies, and scrub with warm water. You will need to replace any felt or fabric parts and carefully clean perches, feeders and drinkers and other loose objects in the coop. Make sure that you get rid of all bedding that might have been infested. 

If you can still see mites crawling out of crevices in the wood when the coop is drying, try hosing the coop and all loose parts down with a pressure washer. Leave to dry for 10-15 minutes and blast it over again to get rid of even more mites. Repeat until there are very few mites emerging after every wash. 

Still not completely clear of mites? Time for the anti-mite products. Mix a mite specific concentrate with water using the manufacturer’s guidelines and apply this to the coop. Go heavy on areas where it is likely that the mites are hiding (corners and end of perches are particularly affected areas), but it is important that you treat the whole coop. When the wood is completely dry, apply plenty of red mite powder on your chickens, their bedding and their dust bath before you let them back into the coop.

Lenham Wooden Chicken Coop versus Omlet Eglu Cube Chicken CoopIn summer you will need to re-apply the powder every few days, and it in many cases getting ahead of the mites will mean deep cleaning the coop with detergents on several occasions over a period of two weeks. When autumn comes the mites become dormant and will not feed on your chickens, but they are unfortunately likely to reappear when the temperature rises again in spring.

Preventing Red Mite Infestations

When it comes to red mites, prevention will always be better than cure, and one of the few things you can actually do to keep these little creatures from hurting your chickens is to have a coop that doesn’t make life easy for them. 

The smooth plastic surfaces of the Eglu chicken coop leaves very little space for the mites to hide.

The smooth plastic surfaces of the Eglu hen house leave very little room for the mites to hide. There are no corners or holes that you will not be able to reach with a hose or a pressure washer, which means that a thorough cleaning of the Eglu should probably remove all dust, dirt and possible pests.

Because it is so easy to disassemble your Eglu, cleaning is made super easy compared to cleaning a wooden chicken house. In fact, we have heard of people burning their wooden houses off as a last resort to get rid of small mites! With your Omlet Eglu chicken house, however, you can simply unscrew the side panels and remove them to give your chickens’ homes a thorough cleaning. For a complete cleaning, you may also want to take the back door panel off. In the Eglu Cube chicken house, the back door panel is easily lifted off to provide full access to the inside, where you will find everything you and your chickens need. By cleaning your Eglu regularly, you prevent red mites from becoming a problem for you and your chickens, and you do not have to spend all the time and all the money on cleaning and disinfecting as you would if you had a more traditional chicken house.

Over the last 15 years, the Eglu chicken houses have been the solution for many people who have grown tired of constantly trying to get rid of blood mites from their wooden chicken houses. Here are some of the things that current Eglu owners have told us about fighting blood mites:

“I’ve thought about having an Eglu for two years but this summer’s red mite infestation was too much. I hate using chemicals/insecticides around my hens so I took the plunge and I’m really pleased.”  Sue

“After having some terrible experiences with mites we decided enough is enough and time to buy a “mite free eglu” as advertised. We have been slightly put off by the price previously but now I wish I had one from the start! I couldn’t rate the omlet eglu cube any higher! What used to take 2 hours to clean and scrub a chicken coop now takes 10 minutes! We have not had any lice infestations since having the cube I absolutely love it and so do our chickens, just wish we had bought one sooner!” Amie

“The most important feature to me is the hygienic, easy clean & wash nature of all the surfaces. I would never buy a wooden house again having struggled with mites which hid in all the joints and gaps of the boards. There is nowhere for the mites to hide on the Eglu and cleaning is quick and easy. I’m certain that there isn’t a better house available for healthy hens.” Neil


Does the thought of mites make you itch? Watch our video about two neighbours having very different chicken keeping experiences this summer, showing some of the struggles that chicken owners with mite-infested coops are faced with:

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Should I Buy or Build a Chicken Coop?

“I can build something better for less.”

As an Omlet Ambassador I’ve heard that line hundreds of times at trade shows and expo halls all across the United States. However, as a former DIY luxury chicken coop builder and longtime Omlet Coop owner I would like to set the record straight and explain why on Omlet Coop is the best purchase a backyard chicken tender can make.

This was my pride and joy:

A luxury coop that is Pinterest worthy and constructed of the best materials I could get my hands on. It has a radiant barrier roof that I shingled! It has a skylight in the middle that is UV blocking and tinted so as to only protect against the harsh and hot Texas sun. We used metal bracing on every corner to make sure we were squared up and secure. There are hundreds of screws holding up the double layer of hardware cloth. Literally, hundreds of screws. I used pressure treated wood that was rated for ground contact and further sealed with deck sealant. I used fiber cement siding that was rated to withstand hail impact and wind thrown objects. No expense was spared in building the Fort Knox of chicken coops that I thought would last a lifetime. I even ordered special chicken shaped handles for the coop doors:

Why is an Omlet Coop a better buy than building a DIY coop?

Experience should not be underestimated when lives are on the line

  • Omlet was founded in 2003 and has been innovating since. That is over 16 years of experience in building chicken coops. That is 16 years of predicting and preventing predators from getting chicken dinners. The average DIY’er that I meet at trade shows or talk to on forums such as BackYardChickens.com is a first-time chicken owner who hasn’t witnessed the creativity and determination of predator animals such as raccoons, foxes, and even neighborhood dogs.
  • Included in the price of each and every Omlet coop is 16 years of research and development to give us chicken tenders the best possible home for our flocks. That is 16 years of perfecting the Omlet Coops that get delivered to front doors all across the World. I cannot emphasize this enough because it is the most important factor in why I chose Omlet over DIY’ing another coop. It is not 16 years of making the same old coop over and over again like you’ll find at Tractor Supply or the local hardware/feed store. It is 16 years of constant innovation and stalwart dedication to making the safest coop on the market. While you read the rest of this please ask yourself whether you think a few google searches, a Facebook group, or in my case a Pinterest post can compete with 16 years of on the ground experience with thousands of models sold and tested across not just the US but the world at large. Think about the chickens you will soon be bringing home to live in the coop. Do you trust their lives to a weekend DIY project? Also, if you have kids and they are involved with the chickens then please consider the trauma of them waking up some day to find that a raccoon has turned their favorite hens into a recreation of a CSI episode with a headless hen as the victim. The cost may be steeper up front, but I can personally assure you that it will be more than worth it in the end for the peace of mind, the portability, the cleanliness, and so many other reasons.
  • DIY may seem like the cheaper route but I can assure you that the first time you wake up to find your favorite hens dismembered by a racoon or de-feathered and half eaten by a fox the last thing on your mind will be how you saved a couple bucks here and there. Why go through the heartbreak of losing hens and then spend the next couple days having to drain your wallet to renovate and repair the coop? Also, once a predator gets into your coop once they will keep coming back for more. They will poke, pull, and attempt to gain access in any way possible since they now know that an all you can eat chicken dinner is just inside. Why not stop them the first time so they never even consider coming back?

Materials

  • The most commonly encountered coops on the internet are constructed of wood. Wood can either be treated or untreated. Treated wood is wood that has been infused with copper products under extreme pressure in order to give it a few extra years of protection against Mother Nature.
  • However, treated wood does not protect against the ammonia rich droppings left behind by fluffy chicken butts. Chickens do not urinate and defecate separately like us humans do. Instead they combine the two acts and their droppings are highly concentrated and highly corrosive to many materials. This results in an accelerated rate of decay and decomposition of any and all wooden components of a DIY coop. This is a hugely important point to consider because decaying wood is similar to rotten wood in that it is incredibly fragile, and fragility is not something any chicken owner wants when it comes to their coop. The only way to circumvent this is to be diligent in replacing decaying panels as soon as you notice the first signs of decay. Mind you, this requires purchasing more materials, expending more of your time performing the labor to remove the decaying parts and reinstalling the new parts, and adds undue stress to your flock as you tinker with their home.
  • Of note, there are various sealants and paints that can be used on both treated and untreated wood, but my firsthand experience showed that these only served to prolong the inevitable as they too decayed. Furthermore, I would caution against their use as they can become a health hazard for your flock. Chickens will eat just about anything they can fit into their beaks so as the paint and sealant begin to crack, chip, and flake off the chickens will pick at the cracking paint or sealant and will quickly eat any flakes they can knock off or catch on the ground. I am not a veterinarian, but it certainly doesn’t take one to warn against the well-known dangers of ingesting paint.
  • Omlet coops are made out of a high-density plastic polymers that are non-porous and designed to be durable against both Mother Nature and any mother hen. The corrosive droppings from your chickens do not affect the durability of the Omlet coop and will not cause it to degrade or deteriorate with wood. It will stay strong for decades or more without any need to repair, replace or renovate.
  • Chicken wire, I would like to just say to stay as far away from this as possible because every week I hear from people who used chicken wire only to discover their coops broken into and flock decimated. Chicken wire is good at containing chickens but is absolutely worthless for keeping predators out. Raccoons can reach their hands through it and can pull it apart in under an hour. Coyotes, foxes and neighborhood dogs can easily bite and pull it apart. Snakes slither right on in without trouble.
  • The other wire that people commonly use is hardware cloth. This is what I used when I first built my own coop and it does work for a while. However, over time it will sag, and it is not meant to bear weight well. It can prevent predators most predators for a while but it is far from impenetrable and without proper installation and constant checks it can easily fail and need replacing.
  • The run components are made from welded steel panels. I could go further into detail about these, but I think the picture below is worth a thousand words:

Portability

  • It was a sad day when I had to leave behind the Pinterest quality barn-inspired coop because we sold the house and couldn’t haul off the coop without hiring a forklift and crew to load it onto a flatbed.
  • Thankfully, that will never happen with Omlet Coops. They are portable when fully assembled and they are also so easy to disassemble and flat pack that I can now fit our multiple coops and run attachments into the bed of my pickup truck with ease. In fact, I had to do just that when we moved from Tulsa, Oklahoma to Austin, Texas.

Modular and Expandable with ease

  • One of the hardest parts about designing and building a DIY coop is that you have to know how many chickens you want from the start. That may seem like an innocuous task but there is a phenomenon known to chicken owners as “chicken math.” It is something I have encountered first hand and been a victim of. In what started with 3 chickens has now since expanded to 31 chickens and counting. Our barn inspired chicken coop was meant to house 5-6 hens at a time and any sort of expansion would be extremely costly and require cutting into, and compromising the structural integrity of the original coop to attach any expansions on it.
  • Our Omlet coop expanded with us and we are already saving up for another full-size WALK-IN-RUN to add. Attaching any sort of expansion or add on is literally a 10-minute job. Due to the modular structure of the Coop and the Walk-in-Run all that has to be done is clip on the new expansions to the existing ones.

Cost

  • The total cost of the Pinterest coop that I build was around $1600. It fit 5 chickens comfortably and held up for just short of 2 years before we started to have to replace parts and deal with decay.
  • Chicken coops from Tractor Supply range from $250 to over $1,000. However, most of these have wooden components that will break down and need replacing so you will have to throw money at it regularly to keep it functional.
  • There are a handful of plastic polymer options at TSC but none of them allow for attaching a run, or any sort of modular upgrades that will allow you to grow your flock or custom tailor your coop to your yard. Therefore, you will end up spending well over the cost of an Omlet coop for something that is not designed to fit together and is not as adaptable and flexible as a product from Omlet’s ecosystem.

Peace of mind knowing all of the “What if’s” have been accounted for.

  • As stated above, Omlet has more experience in this field than any DIY’er. They have answered all of the if, and, buts, and what ifs with first hand experience. The peace of mind that comes with being able to purchase an all in one coop that will last for decades, keep the flock safe, and be adaptable to your future needs is worth more than saving a few bucks by risking all of that.

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Deep-cleaning an Eglu with a Steam Cleaner

Using a steam cleaner to clean any Eglu can be a very effective way. It will not affect the plastic, whereas all surfaces are cleaned, disinfected, and all killed mites, insects and dust are blown away by the power of the steam. As a bonus the surfaces will be dry in no time, because the plastic is warmed up.

Deep-cleaning an Eglu Go once or twice a year is extra easy if one follows these steps:

1. Take of the top panel (lid)

2. Unscrew both side panels and bumpers, and take these off as well. For a complete cleaning you may want to disconnect the run as well.

3. You now have access to all inner and outer surfaces. Clean them thoroughly with the steam cleaner, if required using an old dish brush as well.

4. Clean the bumpers, panels and top lid in the same way.

5. Re-assemble the run and the coop.

This cleaning method has been used for several years now by our Dutch team-member and is guaranteed to keep your Eglu in top condition, without damaging any parts!

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Ultimate Chicken Keeping Checklist

If you’re a first time chicken keeper getting started this spring, you will likely be wondering what exactly you need to take care of your new pets. Some things will depend on your garden and how many chickens you will be getting, and others are a standard essential for all chicken keepers. We’ve put together this handy guide for everything you need, plus there is a checklist at the end for you to use when shopping.

girl and chickens in an eglu cube large chicken coop

The Coop

First things first – housing. Your choice here will mainly depend on the number of chickens you plan on getting. At Omlet, we recommend a plastic chicken coop to reduce the risk of red mite infestation and to keep your girls completely weather protected. The traditional wooden chicken coop may look nice but they are harder to maintain, keep waterproof and red mite free.

Our Eglu chicken coops not only look great (available in purple or green), but they are also completely weatherproof, twin-wall insulated, and super easy to clean, making it virtually impossible for red mites to survive.

The Eglu Go Chicken Coop and Go UP Chicken Coop are a good starting point if you are only planning on getting 2 to 4 chickens. The house is the same, with a pull out droppings tray, nesting area, roosting bars and easy open back door, the only difference is that the Go UP comes on a stand with a ladder up to the coop, making the run taller, giving more space for hentertainment and allowing your chickens to roost off the ground.

The Eglu Cube Chicken Coop is our largest coop. It is suitable for up to 10 smaller bantam breeds such as Pekins, 6-8 medium sized hens like the Rhode Island Red or 4-5 large breeds like the majestic Cochin. The Cube also has a back door and pull out droppings tray, plus a side egg port for you to easily collect your eggs from the nest box (which is big enough for 3 chickens to lay at once).

The Run

The Eglus are available with a fox resistant chicken run made from strong steel weld mesh, impossible for predators to break. A unique anti-tunnel skirt sits flat on the ground and prevents animals from digging in. Choose your run length based on how many chickens you will be getting and how often you will be able to let your chickens free range. If you start with a smaller run to begin with and realise later on your chickens need more space, we have chicken run extensions available, or you may want to consider a larger Walk in Chicken Run to give your chickens lots of space and make it easier for you to spend time with them and look after them.

A number of accessories are also available for your Eglu run including wheels and run handles to make it quick and easy for one person to move the coop and run to another area of your garden.

Something else you may want to consider for your garden set up is Chicken Fencing. Although, not predator proof, chicken fencing allows you to section off an area of your garden to keep your chickens in one place. This is especially useful if you have a larger garden that you don’t want your chickens to get lost in, or if you have a vegetable patch or flower bed to protect. This is best used when you are home or at a time when you know foxes are not about in your area, so you know your girls are safe free ranging outside of their coop run.

chicken perching on omlet poletree chicken perch

Hentertainment

Like any other animal, chickens can get bored and need good sources of what we like to call hentertainment to keep them occupied when you are not around.

Our Chicken Peck Toys slowly release treats over time while being pecked and offer hens great boredom busting fun. The Omlet Chicken Perch can be placed anywhere on any chicken run, and allows your hens to fulfil their natural desire to perch from the highest point available while in their run during the day. 

If you have a larger run or enclosure, you can accessorize it with the amazing PoleTree Chicken Perch Tree. The main pole of the PoleTree attaches to the roof of your run, and you can then add as many poles, perches and accessories as you like, creating an amazing poultry playground!

Weather Protection

For spring and summer time you may want to consider a shade for the run to give your chickens a cooler area out of the sun where they can chill out.

For winter, an Extreme Temperature Blanket is ideal for keeping the coop warm when temperatures drop below freezing for multiple days in a row. There are also a number of run tarps and wind breaks available so your chickens can still enjoy time outside while being protected from the elements.

Food

For laying hens you will need to provide layers pellets which offer the protein content they need to stay healthy and regularly lay eggs. A fully grown chicken will typically eat about 120 grams of layers pellets a day. You will also need to provide grit which is essential for helping chickens digest their food, as they do not have teeth.

Corn is a great treat for hens but should be limited as it is high in fat. Other treats, such as fruit, green veggies and cereals should also only be given in limited supply to avoid chickens filling up on those rather than the layers pellets.

It also important to ensure fresh water is available at all times – checking and refilling it daily.

Our Eglus all come with a feeder and drinker but you may want to consider buying extra to offer another area in your garden for when they are free ranging, especially important for chickens who don’t like to share with their coop-mates!

Bedding

There are lots of different types of bedding available on the market, and which you choose is entirely dependent on your personal preference. Some to consider include dust extracted wood shavings, straw, chopped cardboard, Aubiose and Easichick.

Cleaning

When you give your chickens’ droppings tray and bedding area its weekly clean, you might want to consider sprinkling some Diatom Powder around to prevent any bugs making a home in your chicken coop, and adding some BioDri to bedding will help to sanitize the litter, make it last longer, and reduce the growth of bacteria.

Deep clean your whole coop once a year with a disinfectant such as Johnson’s Clean ‘n’ Safe to ensure the coop is spotless.

Last but not least: Chickens!

When you have everything in place and are ready to get some chickens, we strongly recommend looking to charities to rescue an ex-battery hen. While these hens may be a little more wary of their new home and the strange environment they are not used to, they will soon come round and settle in and be a great layer for you and your family.

Ultimate Chicken Keeping Checklist

  • Coop
  • Run
  • Fencing
  • Run wheels/handles
  • Run shade and covers
  • Toys; perches, treat dispensers
  • Feeders and drinkers
  • Layers pellets
  • Corn
  • Grit
  • Bedding
  • Diatom powder
  • BioDri
  • Chicken-safe Disinfectant

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When Your Eglu Looks Like An Igloo

A lot of chicken keepers are worried about their chickens during cold winter days. Chickens are usually well adapted to the cold and as long as their coop is dry on the inside, they feel happy and warm in the Eglu.

Of course there are a few things to look out for and prepare for during the winter, so we have spoken to Stefanie, who is going through her second winter with the chickens in their Eglu Cube this year. She tells us about the preparations and adaptations she makes for when the weather gets icy and how she and her chickens get through the season.

Omlet: How long have you been keeping chickens and how many have you got?

Stefanie: We have been keeping six chickens since February 2018.

 

Omlet: What is your favourite thing about keeping chickens?

Stefanie: I love that we have our own, freshly laid eggs every morning.

Omlet: You live in an area of Germany that usually gets very cold and snowy in winter. How cold can it get in winter and how much snow do you have at the moment?

Stefanie: We live in Lohberg, in the south of Germany. The temperatures are usually between -5 and -15 degrees centigrade in winter (5f), so it does get very cold here. We currently have around 50cm of snow, which is normal for this time of year.

 

Omlet: What changes did you make to the Eglu Cube to get it ready for winter?

Stefanie: We use the Extreme-Temperature Jackets and run covers during the winter as they help keep the cold out.

 

Omlet: Do you change the daily food and water routine during the winter?

Stefanie: We make sure to feed them more regularly and keep an eye on them to make sure they definitely eat enough. They eat a lot of fresh lettuce, and I like to give them warm food to help them keep warm. Keeping an eye on the water is extremely important as it easily freezes.

 

Omlet: Do the chickens use the run more or less in the winter than they do the rest of the year and do your chickens like snow?

Stefanie: My chickens don’t like snow at all, so that’s why they mainly keep to the covered areas of their run, where it’s dry.

 

Omlet: Do your chickens lay eggs in the winter?

Stefanie: Our six girls don’t lay as much as they usually do during other times of the year, but even though we have a lot of snow, we still get around two to three eggs every day.

Omlet: Do you add a light source to your coop?

Stefanie: Yes, we do have a light in the coop as it gets dark very early these days.

 

Omlet: As chickens love scratching and foraging for food, do you give them some other entertainment when it’s snowy and icy?

Stefanie: Yes, we tend to spread some corn in the covered areas of their run. This keeps them entertained and offers them a chance to scratch naturally.

These are great ideas to keep your chickens happy and healthy during the winter. Have a look at our video of top tips for chicken keeping in winter:

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Eglu Cube vs Wooden Chicken Coop: Which Will Stay Warmer?

 

Hens stood in the snow next to Omlet Eglu Cube Chicken Coop with weather protection

On a cold winter’s day, when there’s a heavy frost or a thick blanket of snow do you ever wonder how your chickens manage without central heating and a mug of cocoa? It’s natural to worry if your hens will be comfortable when the temperature dips below freezing.

Unsurprisingly, chickens will look for shelter when the weather’s bad so the first thing you can do to keep your chickens cosy is make sure they have a winter proof chicken coop. In this respect choosing the right chicken coop is similar to choosing your own house. You wouldn’t want drafty windows and doors, a leaky roof, and paper thin walls – and neither do your chickens. Many coops that are bought are fine during the summer, but unfortunately when winter comes they can leave their occupants shivering. We set about testing two very different chicken coops over the course of 3 nights in the Bavarian Forest in Germany. A place that gets more than its fair share of snow and ice.

The first chicken coop was typical of the type sold all over the internet. On first impressions everything fits together well and it’s attractively painted, it comes with a roosting bar and a nesting box and a run. It appears that this is a perfectly good chicken coop. However, on closer inspection it’s worrying to find that large sections of the wooden panels are only 5mm thick. There’s no insulation and nothing in the instructions regarding the suitability of the coop for year round use.

The second coop was the Eglu Cube Chicken Coop by Omlet. This chicken coop is part of the Eglu range which all feature a twin walled construction providing an insulating layer all round the coop. Similar to the way ice chests are made, it feels extremely robust and heavy duty. You could say it’s agricultural quality in a hobby chicken coop. It looks the part – but would the Eglu keep the cold out and the warm in?

Omlet Eglu Cube Chicken Coop next to wooden chicken coop in the snow

 

Identical digital thermometers were placed inside the Eglu and the wooden coop which would take readings both inside and outside the coops during the night.  Cameras were also placed inside the coops to record the chickens. After the chickens went to bed the front doors were closed, in fact the Eglu Cube came complete with a rather fancy Automatic Chicken Coop Door which gently closed behind the last chicken.  

As it got dark the outside temperature dropped to -3.8℃.  While it was getting colder outside, it was getting warmer in the Eglu Cube Chicken Coop. Around an hour after the chickens had gone to roost the temperature inside the Eglu Cube was 8.3℃ and it stayed there all night. That’s a plus 12℃ temperature difference.

Unfortunately it was not as cosy in the wooden house. As the temperature outside dropped so too did the temperature inside the wooden coop. At 11pm it was -2℃ inside the coop. That’s only 1℃ warmer than the outside temperature. In fact the inside of the wooden coop stayed below zero for nearly the whole night, warming to just above zero by 7am.

If it was freezing inside you might be wondering how on earth the chickens survived. Chickens, as with all other warm blooded animals, have temperature-regulating mechanisms to keep their body temperature at a constant level (around 41-45℃ in a healthy adult hen), so they can cope with a certain amount of cold. Just like wild birds, chickens will fluff up their feathers when it gets cold; this traps a layer of air which insulates the chickens against the cold. This is why it’s so important that chickens don’t get wet during cold weather, as this prevents them from being able to fluff their feathers up. In addition a drafty coop will make it hard for them to trap this layer of warm air too.

They will also tuck their head under their wings and huddle together with their coop companions to keep themselves warm. On the in coop camera recording you could clearly see how the chickens select a roosting place, and then fluff up their feathers.

So if the chickens in the wooden coop were able to keep themselves warm even though it was freezing inside there’s nothing to worry about? Not quite, a coop that’s not insulated or draughty will place extra demands on your chickens because of the heat being lost. Chickens in a cold coop will have to increase their metabolism to turn food and fat reserves into heat at a faster rate than hens in a cosy coop. If the heat loss is extreme, or a chicken is not fully fit then over the course of several cold nights there is a risk that all the energy reserves are used up resulting in the chicken being unable to keep it’s body temperature high enough with potentially fatal consequences.

What this test shows is that properly insulated, winter ready chicken coop can make all the difference between a cosy night in the coop and one spent shivering to keep warm. As an added bonus hens that use up less energy keeping warm are more likely to keep laying.

Graph comparing warmth of Omlet Eglu Cube Chicken Coop with wooden chicken coop

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Jo changed her wooden coop for an Eglu Go UP

Jo Page is a veterinary nurse who also runs the blog My Little Country Lifestyle, where she shares stories from her countryside life in the South West of England. Jo recently upgraded her old wooden chicken coop for an Eglu Go UP, and has written about her first weeks with the new coop:

“As a veterinary nurse I take the welfare of all my animals very seriously. As humans we have bred animals and birds to suit our wants and needs and on occasion this does mean they aren’t able to survive or thrive without human intervention.

The hens are also not ‘only a chicken’ they are birds I have chosen to keep for the benefit of fresh eggs and it is my responsibility to ensure their needs are met.

The Eglu Go UP is worlds away from the make shift house they had when we moved and much more superior to the coop and run at our previous house. Both were predominately made of wood and we have already had to dispose of one chicken house due to a red mite infestation which we could not clear. Red mite bite the chickens at dawn and dusk, can make them anaemic and effect egg production. They thrive in damp woody environments so traditional wooden chicken coops are a breeding haven for them.”

 


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How to Insulate a Chicken Coop

boy sits in snow with his chickens and eglu

Insulating your chicken coop and getting your flock ready for winter is vital for their health and happiness. Most chicken breeds cope well in moderately cold temperatures as long as they have a well-insulated, dry coop. Chickens normally acclimatize to the cold weather, so if you have an insulated coop such as an Eglu Chicken Coop, you won’t need to fret during the cold months. In fact, chickens are able to adapt to the cold much better than hot weather! But with a little extra planning and preparation, you can ensure that your flock not only endures the winter, but thrives in it. 

Why you should use an insulated chicken coop 

Whilst chickens tolerate the cold well, ensuring your chicken coop is insulated during the cold months can promote their health. Whether you live in a state such as Alaska that is cold all year round, or experience warm summers followed by cold winters it’s vital you choose a coop suitable for the weather.

Our range of Eglus are designed with warmth as a core aspect. With a unique double-wall insulation system, you’ll find that our coops work in a similar way to double glazing. Your hens’ body heat is trapped inside whilst ensuring cold air cannot get into the sides of the coop. When comparing Eglus to a traditional wooden coop, you’ll discover that the Eglu provides far more insulation. 

The insulation of our chicken coops is not the only benefit they provide. They are easy to assemble, easy to clean, portable and simple to attach to chicken runs. This will allow you to give your flock the space they need to roam during the day, as well as a cozy spot to sleep at night.

How to easily insulate your chicken coop

Whilst our chicken coops are naturally insulated, in really cold temperatures you may wish to insulate their home even more. Our Eglu Extreme Weather Protection are designed to perfectly fit your coop for added insulation. The temperature blankets are filled with a heat trapping recycled material that is breathable whilst keeping your pets warm. They are simple to fit to your Eglu and are easily secured with bunjees. 

However, if you do not have an Eglu there are other ways to insulate your coop:

Weather protection & insulation for wooden coops

Your chickens’ coop must be waterproof! Most chicken breeds do well in the cold so long as they are dry. Chicken coops should also be insulated enough to remain warm inside even in the cold of winter. Here are our tips for insulating a chicken coop:

  • Keep your coop and run dry – you can use coop covers and tarps to do this.
  • Spray foam insulation – you can hire someone to insulate your chicken coop with spray foam to help trap heat inside your hens’ nest.
  • Fiberglass insulation – using fiberglass insulation is an easy way to add DIY warmth.
  • Wool blankets – adding wool blankets to the smalls can help to keep the coop insulated. 

Ventilation whilst keeping cozy

A well-ventilated chicken coop will ensure that plenty of fresh air gets inside the coop. This will keep the odors down and avoid moisture build-up. Whilst you want to stop chilly drafts, a chicken coop without ventilation will retain moisture along with heat. And while some air circulation is good, make sure the coop is draft-free.

Elevation to reduce dampness

Height can also be an issue when making sure chicken coops are insulated. Coops should be raised off the ground to prevent the base becoming damp. For larger flocks, the Eglu Cube is an excellent choice for both insulation and elevation. If your coop doesn’t have legs, you can place bricks under the coop to allow air to circulate and reduce dampness. Always make sure you place or build your chicken coop and run-on high ground that won’t flood during heavy rainfall. 

Size of the coop

It seems counterintuitive, but chicken coops can actually be too big. When the coop is too big for the size of the flock you have, your chickens won’t create enough body heat to warm up the space. This is why it’s so important to understand how much space your chickens need, when deciding which coop to buy. Chickens huddle together and keep each other warm, so they don’t need much space in their sleeping quarters. Try not to open the door of the coop at night when your chickens are roosting as it can compromise your insulation. Be mindful that this pent-up body heat is keeping them warm, so make coop and egg checks quick! If you have a large coop or barn and just a few chickens, you can place a large cardboard box on its side, half filled with chopped straw or wood shavings in a corner to help them conserve their body heat.

Keeping your chicken run insulated

It’s important that at least part of your chicken run is covered during winter months. Using weatherproof chicken run covers will help reduce how much snow can build up inside the run. You can also build a greenhouse-style addition to your coop, covering it with clear plastic, which will help convert sunlight into warmth. To prevent areas under the run from becoming too muddy, cover wet spots with pelleted pine bedding (usually used for horse stalls). Mud is a breeding ground for poultry parasites, so muddy areas should always be addressed.

Perches for cold chickens

Give your chickens plenty of places to roost. To prevent their feet from getting too cold on the frozen ground, you’ll need to give your chickens a place to perch in both their coop and run. The perches need to be wide enough so that the chickens can cover their toes with their feathers to thaw out chilled toes. By placing freestanding chicken perches or wire-mounted chicken perches, you’ll give multiple hens the opportunity to warm their feet while they’re out of the coop. 

Cleaning your coop in winter

Keep your chicken coop clean and dry. Clean the droppings from inside the coop daily and replace bedding as necessary. By keeping the coop both dry and clean, you will help to prevent moisture buildup, which can lead to frostbite on your chickens combs and wattles. 

Caring for your hens in cold weather

Keeping your chickens fit and healthy in winter goes beyond just insulating your coop. Here are our top tips for happy winter chickens:

Water in winter

It is important your flock always has a source of fresh, unfrozen water. Depending on where you live, this can pose a challenge. To prevent frequent defrosting, you can invest in a heated waterer or heated poultry drinking base. You can also insulate the water like you have your coop, by wrapping the chicken drinkers up in a layer of bubble wrap to keep the water thawed for longer. Don’t place the water inside the coop, as it will increase humidity levels. 

Chicken feed in the cold

During winter your chickens feed consumption will be higher than in the spring/summer. Often chickens enjoy warm feed, like cooked lentils or warm oatmeal with some raisins or other small, dried fruits. Give your hens extra corn or scratch inside of a peck toy for both physical and mental stimulation in the afternoon, as this will heat them up internally as they digest it overnight. Offer hay or dried grasses for extra ruffage to fuel their metabolisms. Hens will decrease or even stop laying eggs in the winter to conserve energy. But you can help encourage hens to continue laying by providing adequate feed – both in quality and quantity. Supply layer pellets to give the right nutrients your egg-producers need throughout the winter.

Take care of their combs and wattles

If it gets extremely cold during the winter, your chickens’ combs and wattles can be in danger of getting frostbite. Most hardy breeds have small combs, but if you have chicken breeds with very large, floppy combs you will need to gently rub Vaseline on their combs and wattles. You will also need to keep an eye out for coughing, sneezing, and general symptoms of being unwell. 

Vermin

Remember at this time of year, there are hungry rats and mice attracted to the chickens feed and water. Take extra care with the storage of your feeds. Store feed away from the coop and keep it in an airtight container. If you notice any signs of vermin, remove the feeders and drinkers at night, when they are most active. Offer kitchen scraps or fresh vegetables in a Caddi Treat Holder to keep the floor of your flock’s run free of tempting treats for unwanted visitors. 

Fighting winter boredom

With less grass and weeds to munch and fewer bugs to feast on, your chickens will experience boredom in the winter. This can lead to behavioral issues, like feather pecking, egg-eating etc. Prevent boredom by giving your chickens toys like Chicken Swings, perches, piles of leaves, mirrors, or even a xylophone mounted to the run!  Keeping your chickens hentertained will ensure they’re mentally stimulated and kept busy.

chickens next to their insulated chicken coop in the snow

Introducing Omlet Petcare

Whether you’re a keen chicken keeper, or have a whole pack of pets, we’re here to help you take care of them. From chicken pens to roam in, to comfy dog beds your pooch will adore.

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