Wooden chicken coops have historically been the most common type of hen houses – but there are several reasons to avoid wooden chicken coops. Many types of wood are inexpensive and help lower the cost of a chicken coop. But, lower costs also mean lower quality. Over time, these cheaply made hen houses need replacing, which in turn costs you more money over the years. Thankfully, there’s an alternative to rickety, cheap, and hard-to-maintain wooden chicken coops. Don’t get caught in the vicious cycle of replacing worn-out wooden coops. Instead, invest in a plastic chicken coop that’s built to last a lifetime.
10 reasons to avoid wooden chicken coops
We’ve outlined the most common concerns when it comes to wooden chicken coops. And, when compared to plastic, there’s a clear winner.
1. Wooden chicken coops rot
Not all chicken coops are created to last. Wooden chicken coops, while less expensive to purchase initially, will eventually rot. Wood is a natural material that’s subject to the elements. Plastic chicken coops will never rot and don’t decompose the way wooden chicken coops do. Omlet’s chicken coops are designed to last a lifetime.
2. Wooden chicken coops are hard to clean
Have you ever scraped the inside of a wooden chicken coop with a putty knife or other flat-edged cleaning device? If you have, you’re not likely to forget it easily! And if you haven’t — you’ll want to spare yourself the experience. Removing droppings and thoroughly cleaning a wooden chicken coop is a very difficult task. Wood will rot faster if cleaned with a pressure washer, and takes hours to dry after getting wet.
Chicken predators are something that all flock raisers will encounter at some point. One of the most common and conniving of these predators is raccoons. Wooden chicken coops are no match for the crafty methods of these masked chicken bandits. Raccoons are notorious for reaching through openings, and gnawing or pushing their way into hen houses and chicken runs.
While wood weakens over time, plastic chicken coops will hold up over the years — making them much more resilient. Raccoons in particular will exploit any weak spots in your chicken coop or run, so the best way to make your chicken coop raccoon-resistant is to invest in a strong setup.
Add another layer of security to your hens’ home with an automatic chicken coop door. Omlet’s Autodoor opens and closes on a horizontal spiral mechanism that is extremely difficult for predators to pry open. And, with the light and time settings, your flock will be safely closed in each evening before predators are at their most active.
The Autodoor is designed to integrate seamlessly with the Eglu Cube chicken coop, but can also be added onto any chicken run through one of our attachment kits.
5. Wooden chicken coops aren’t waterproof
Wood is porous and gets saturated when it rains. Not only does this lead to rotting, but it also creates breeding grounds for mold and mildew. Spores from these fungi can spell respiratory problems for your flock, and create very unpleasant living conditions.
Omlet’s chicken coops aren’t just long-lasting but have attached runs that can be extended to up to 12 feet long. They also integrate seamlessly with our heavy-duty walk in chicken runs, which can be extended indefinitely.
8. Wooden chicken coops let mites thrive
Mites are a nightmare for chicken keepers and hens alike. They make your flock feel miserable, and are hard to eradicate, as they thrive in moist, dark crevices. Mites are easier to prevent than to treat, and one of the best ways to avoid mites in the first place is to create an inhospitable environment for them.
Avoid mites by investing in a plastic chicken coop. Regular pressure washes or wipe-downs will prevent the presence of these parasites and give your flock a much more hygienic environment.
9. Wooden chicken coops are hard to move
There’s a sense of finality when you set a wooden chicken coop in its place. Once erected, a wooden coop cannot be moved easily. Whether it be from rot or weight from being rained on, wooden chicken coops are not meant to be relocated.
Some wooden chicken coops claim to be chicken tractors (mobile chicken coops), but due to their deterioration in the elements, they become increasingly difficult to move.
Our mobile chicken coops are designed to be moved as often as you’d like, and can be moved with ease by just one person. All of our coops can have wheels and handles added to make moving them a breeze. Their structural integrity holds up against the elements, so you’ll never need to worry about them falling apart.
10. Wooden chicken coops are flimsy
Wooden chicken coops are no match for wild weather events or large predators like bears or coyotes. During storms, roofs can be blown off and boards loosened by battering wind and rain. Predators can easily push through chicken wire or dig under runs.
Like all Omlet chicken coops, the Eglu Cube has been designed to outlast and outperform wooden chicken coops. With the addition of the Autodoor, your Eglu Cube will be a force to be reckoned with — deterring persistent predators, parasites, and perilous weather conditions. Invest in your flock’s future when you choose an Eglu Cube, and never worry about having to repair or replace your chickens’ coop.
Looking for a beginner chicken coop? The best chicken coop for beginners are those that can grow along with flocks and their keepers – making it the first and last chicken coop you’ll need to buy. There’s a lot hinging on your hens’ home: their health, safety, and comfort. You’ll also want a coop that is easy and quick for you to clean, and is enjoyable to use. Omlet has the coops to check all of those boxes – and more.
The best Omlet chicken coops for beginners
The best chicken coops grow with their flocks and keepers’ level of experience. And, the best beginner chicken coops are easy to use from the start, but also functional and practical enough for even the most advanced chicken keeper.
We’ve made keeping chickens easy for all ages and stages of flock-raisers. Omlet’s line of Eglu chicken coops not only provide superior safety and comfort to the hens they house, but also allow owners to spend less time cleaning and worrying and more time enjoying their flock.
All of our coops are:
Easy to build
Simple to clean
Have the ability to be mobile with the addition of our wheels and handles kit
Are twin-wall insulated, keeping your flock comfortable all year round
Choosing your chicken coop depends on your space and how big of a flock you intend to keep. Once you’ve got an idea of where you want to place your coop and how many hens you want to have, you’re ready to find the coop that best fits your needs.
Types of chicken coops
There are a few choices to make when it comes to buying a beginner chicken coop. Some popular options are:
Each type of chicken coop has their own advantages, so you’ll need to decide which option best fits your lifestyle and space. For example, mobile chicken coops allow you to move your flock around your yard whenever you’d like. This lets your hens peck new grass and prevents a permanent spot from being worn into your lawn. Large chicken coops can house up to 10 small breed hens comfortably, and can also be converted into chicken tractors. Ground-level coops are best for chickens that don’t have a strong roosting drive, or for yards subject to height restrictions.
Purchase a plastic chicken coop at the beginning of your chicken-keeping journey, and it will serve you and your flock for years to come.
DIY vs ready-made chicken coops
Deciding whether to buy or build your first chicken coop? Building a proper chicken coop from scratch is hard – especially if you’re new to chickens. Hens have essentials when it comes to their home, and it’s hard for DIY plans to get them right. Most DIY plans look aesthetically pleasing, but leave much to be desired in functionality, safety, and practicality.
Omlet coops come as a kit to be assembled and have everything you need to get started with your flock right away. Our designs have been keeping hens healthy and happy for over a decade – so there’s no guesswork for you.
Choosing the perfect size coop for your flock
There’s a term that all chicken keepers will experience at some point: chicken math.
It’s used to describe the phenomenon of bringing home more chickens than you originally intended. This can occur right off the bat, or take a few months to set in, but at some point, most (if not all) chicken keepers crave more chickens.
That being said, it’s always best to get the biggest coop you can for your space and budget. Chickens thrive when as much space as possible is available to them, and extra space allows room for the inevitable chicken math conundrum.
What needs to be in your new chicken coop
A good chicken coop keeps hens comfortable, safe, and shielded from the elements – but a great chicken coop offers entertainment and enrichment as well. Chickens get bored if they don’t have enough stimulation, which can lead to behavioral and health issues. Be sure to offer a variety of things to keep your flock busy when they’re in their coop’s attached run. To bust boredom, try offering:
The more space and activities your hens have, the happier and healthier they’ll be. Some other ideas to keep boredom at bay include: serving fresh veggies in a Caddi Chicken Treat Holder, socializing with your flock, or moving a mobile chicken coop to fresh pecking grounds.
Top chicken coop care tips for new keepers
New chicken keepers should keep the following in mind when taking care of their chicken coops:
Clean out your chickens’ coop daily to keep it fresh and to keep your hens’ in good health
Use an odor-absorbing bedding such as pine pellets or shavings
At least once a week, remove the roosting rack and droppings tray from your coop to pressure wash, or scrub with soap and water
Collect eggs daily to help prevent broody hens and visits from predators
Keeping your chicken coop clean is one of the best ways to ensure that your hens are in a healthy atmosphere. Like most birds, chickens keep themselves clean through preening and dust bathing – but it’s up to their owners to keep up with their housekeeping.
Choosing a run your flock will love
Companion pieces to most chicken coops are chicken runs. Even if you want your hens to have access to most of your yard, there will inevitably be times that you’ll want to keep them penned up in a run. Large chicken runs give flocks that free-range feeling, without the hazards.
The best option for large spaces is a walk in chicken run. Not only does it maximize your chickens’ space, but it allows you to walk with your flock and get closer than ever to your hens. Omlet’s walk in chicken runs can also be extended at any time to accommodate a growing flock. Covers for walk in chicken runs can be added to give your flock shade from the sun or a barrier from snow, rain, and wind.
Other considerations when choosing your coop
Once you’ve researched and chosen the type of coop that best fits your lifestyle, you’ll also need to consider: chicken predators, the changing seasons, and zoning laws that may be applicable to you.
Omlet coops are designed to protect against chicken predators. The types of predators vary depending on your location, and you can bet that at some point they will come after your hens. Common chicken predators include:
Neighborhood cats and dogs
Adding an automatic chicken coop door to your chickens’ coop adds an extra layer of protection against predators. The Autodoor ensures that your flock is safely closed into their coop each night, and the horizontal opening mechanism makes it extremely difficult for predators to pry open.
Chickens are amazingly resilient, being built for life outdoors. However, not all breeds fare well in extreme temperatures. That’s why it’s so important to choose breeds that are suited to your location’s climate. Cold hardy breeds typically don’t fare well in the heat, while heat-tolerant breeds may struggle in the bitter cold. Aging hens may also not weather the changing seasons as they once did, and some minor coop modifications can go a long way in helping them through the extreme temperatures.
The same tarps and covers can also be used for hot weather conditions by providing shade on scorching days. Hens often do well in warm weather as long as they have adequate shade and water. You can also offer your hens frozen treats such as corn to help cool them off.
Most states allow individual cities to decide if they will allow its citizens to keep chickens in their backyards. Many urban areas allow chickens, but you’ll need to contact your city’s zoning office to make sure before taking the plunge into poultry ownership. Homeowners associations (HOAs) may also have additional rules and regulations regarding chickens.
Make sure all of your equipment is assembled, and familiarize yourself with it before introducing your flock. You may find yourself wanting to make minor adjustments such as moving feeders and waterers or perches around, but the majority of your chickens’ set up should be well established by the time your hens come home.
Your first and last chicken coop with Omlet
Choosing your chicken coop is a commitment, but when the creators of the coop are as committed to chickens and their keepers as Omlet, you’re sure to have the best experience possible. And, don’t forget to have fun with your flock. Accessories for your chickens take flock-keeping to the next level, and chicken treats help you quickly bond with your hens.
When you choose Omlet for your chickens’ coop and accessories, you’re not just purchasing your first coop – it’s the only coop you’ll ever have to buy. Unless of course you fall victim to chicken math and need more chicken coops. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!
There’s a new dilemma that chicken keepers are faced with: whether to invest in a plastic or wooden chicken coop. Wooden chicken coops are common, but plastic coops are rising in popularity due to their low maintenance and ease of cleaning. Maintaining and cleaning wooden chicken coops is costly and time-consuming – but Omlet’s plastic chicken coops are saving chicken keepers both time and money.
Comparing wooden vs. plastic chicken coops
There are some major differences between wooden and plastic chicken coops. Ultimately, it comes down to which type of coop best fits your budget and lifestyle, but we’ll help you decide how to choose your chicken coop with a visual list of pros and cons for each.
Wooden chicken coops
Lower upfront costs
Readily available at many chicken supply stores
Difficult to clean thoroughly
Absorbs moisture, which can lead to mold or mildew
Porous, grooved surfaces attracts and harbors mites
Drafty (particularly dangerous in the winter months)
Requires maintenance such as repainting and roof or board repair and replacement
Hardware cloth or chicken wire is stapled into the wood, which loosens over time, making it easier for predators to push their way in
Twin-insulated to keep your chickens cool in summer and warm in winter
Draft-free ventilation that keeps humidity levels down inside the coop
Inhospitable environment for mites to thrive
Zero maintenance required
Doors that are easy for humans to open, but difficult for predators to infiltrate
Attached chicken runs are made from welded wire mesh connected by heavy-duty clips
Bold, modern look
Easily moved with added wheels and handles
An all-in-one chicken coop, designed to last a lifetime
More upfront cost
Moving your coop
At some point, you may want to relocate your chicken coop. It may be to a new spot in your yard, out of necessity for safety, or when moving to a new home. Wooden chicken coops are difficult to move once they’ve been constructed, and often are too heavy to move efficiently without taking them apart. Commercially bought wooden coops are often constructed from tongue and groove planks, which do not hold up when moved.
Omlet’s mobile chicken coops can be moved easily by one person with the use of integrated handles and wheels. This is particularly helpful in areas that experience severe weather such as tornadoes, hurricanes, or flash flooding when notice is often in short supply.
Chicken tractors enable you to give your chickens a new patch of grass to forage through, or relocate your flock should the need arise. Simply engage the wheels, then use the handles to push or pull your hens’ home to a new spot. Disengage the wheels, and your hens are ready to peck their way through their new turf – without ever having to leave their run!
Customizing your chicken coop
Plastic chicken coops offer customization options that wooden chicken coops simply can’t. Additions of walk in chicken runs can expand your flock’s space and can continue to expand along with the number of chickens you have. You can also automate your chickens’ schedule by installing an automatic chicken coop door.
These accessories can be added to a wooden chicken coop, but the structural integrity of wooden coops becomes compromised after time in the elements, making them a less-than-perfect match. A plastic chicken coop designed to last a lifetime is not limited to a short timeframe for upgrades and customization.
It’s important to regularly clean your chicken coop – no matter the material. Chickens themselves don’t smell, but their droppings do! Coops that aren’t clean attract flies and other pests that affect both you and your flock, and harbor bacteria that can bring harm to your flock.
Wooden coops need to be washed, but wood is porous and difficult to clean. Droppings usually need to be scraped off with a putty knife, with surfaces then sprayed with a chicken-safe disinfectant. Because wood absorbs moisture, you’ll need to allow ample drying time for any products or water applied to a wooden coop. Once dry, wooden coops need to be treated for mites after each cleaning with chicken-safe antiparasitic sprays or powders.
Plastic chicken coops can be deep cleaned quickly and easily. Omlet’s plastic chicken coops have removable roosting racks and droppings trays that can be pressure washed along with the entire interior. No antiparasitic treatment is needed after a plastic chicken coop has been pressure washed and wiped clean.
Chicken predators are a danger that every flock raiser will encounter at some point. The sounds your hens make attract predators, as do the rodents that try to steal a snack from your chicken feeders. Even in urban backyards, chicken predators such as racoons and hawks can pray on your hens.
Wooden chicken coops usually have hardware cloth stapled around the inside of any openings. However, wood gets weaker the longer it stays in the elements, so the staples are easily pushed out of the wood from an outside force. Hardware cloth or chicken wire also rusts and weakens over time, making it prone to breaking under stress. Some wooden coops also have tops that open on hinges for you to access your hens or eggs. The problem is that predators (especially crafty ones like racoons or foxes) can lift any unlatched openings to access your hens themselves.
Omlet’s plastic hen houses have latching doors that are difficult for predators to open. They also have solid, heavy-duty walls with no wire to push in or break. Plastic is more resilient to the elements, so there’s no concern for warping or weakening over time. The attached chicken runs that are available with all of Omlet’s chicken coops are made of welded wire mesh that is treated against the elements. This heavy-duty wire does not weaken in the elements, with the panels being held together by our ingenious weather-resistant clips.
Wooden coops need additional layers to offer sufficient insulation. Adding another wall with insulation in between can achieve this effect, taking care to allow for ventilation. Ventilation is key when keeping a chicken coop at a comfortable temperature and humidity level. Too much ventilation will allow insulated air to escape, making the coop too hot or too cold. On the other hand, too little ventilation causes moisture to build up, creating a damp, stuffy, overly warm coop.
Superior ventilation and insulation is found in Omlet’s plastic chicken coops. The twin walls trap a pocket of air (the best insulator) around the coop to help keep the temperature at a comfortable level. Mindfully placed ventilation points allow for just the right amount of air to circulate even when the coop door is closed. This reduces the humidity level in the coop and allows for fresh air to circulate.
The elements are not kind to wooden chicken coops. Harsh UV rays, soaking rains, heavy snow, and high winds all wreak havoc on traditional chicken coops. Wooden chicken coops maintain their integrity for the first few seasons, but soon you’ll notice the beginning stages of the deterioration process.
Rotting or weakening wood, faded paint, and missing roof shingles are usually the first elements of a wooden coop that fall prey to the weather. Replacing any weak planks and repainting or retreating boards with weather-resistant paint is an annual affair. Shingles can be reapplied to roofs, but it’s a sticky and time-consuming task!
Choosing a chicken coop that fits your budget is important, so keep in mind the long-term expenses that a wooden chicken coop will inevitably incur. A plastic chicken coop may cost more in the beginning but will save countless hours and dollars over the years, as they do not require maintenance.
Additionally, Omlet chicken coops are strong. So strong in fact, that real-life Omlet customers have shared stories of their coops surviving hurricanes, tornadoes, falling trees – and even the full weight of a bear! Heavy-duty plastic lasts for years, and you’ll never need to worry about rotting or weakening parts. The only maintenance needed on an Omlet chicken coop is regular cleaning and ensuring that the ground beneath the coop has not shifted to create gaps or misaligned doors.
Ease of building
Building a wooden chicken coop from scratch is a daunting task! Like any carpentry work, it must be squared off, level, and properly constructed. The supply list alone will have you making several trips to various hardware stores! How nice would it be to have everything come inside of a box, requiring only a screwdriver to assemble?
Deciding to buy or build a chicken coop relies heavily on your experience. Chicken coops (or any other animal enclosure) are not a project for beginners! Your flock’s comfort and safety depend on the design of their coop.
Thankfully, assembling an Omlet chicken coop can be done in just a few hours. Our step-by-step videos make assembly easy and enjoyable. All you’ll need is a level space and a screwdriver. Your children can even help build an Omlet coop, which will help include them in your family’s flock-raising journey.
Is a plastic or wooden chicken coop best for me & my flock?
Unless you are meticulous with repairs and maintenance on a wooden chicken coop, your chickens would probably be happier in a plastic coop. The increased security, ventilation, insulation, and ease of cleaning that plastic coops have to offer make keeping chickens much more enjoyable. So ask yourself: are you happy with your chickens’ wooden coop? If the answer is “no”, then it’s time to upgrade to plastic!
Omlet’s easy maintenance plastic chicken coops
Omlet has a variety of high-quality plastic chicken coops to fit your flock and family’s needs. From the original Eglu Go, to our largest coop yet – the Eglu Cube, there’s a coop for everyone.
Reasons to choose a chicken coop from Omlet:
Easy to clean, move, and customize
Superior safety, insulation, and ventilation
Weatherproof and predator-resistant
Excellent customer service
Backed by a 2-year warranty
Thousands of chicken keepers have experienced the ease of owning hens with an Omlet chicken coop. In fact, you can reach out to a local Omlet ambassador to ask them about their experience, and see their setup for yourself.
See the Omlet difference
We’ve invented coops that bring joy to chicken ownership. Keeping chickens shouldn’t be a chore – it should be a relaxing and rewarding hobby. Once you’ve decided on an Omlet chicken coop, explore our other products that are designed to complement to your coop, such as:
Wondering what the benefits of a chicken tractor are? The term may or may not be familiar to you, but it’s one that chicken keepers across the US are researching more and more. You may also be wondering: what exactly is a chicken tractor?
Chicken tractors are great for adding diversity to your flock and your yard or garden. They also make it possible to move your hens quickly and safely, which is appealing to those that live in areas that experience severe weather events.
Omlet offers easy-to-assemble chicken tractors that are perfect for backyard flocks. Does the ability to move your flock appeal to you? Let’s take a look at chicken tractors, and how they can benefit flock raisers.
What is a chicken tractor?
Chicken tractors are floorless, mobile chicken coops, with or without wheels. The idea began when farmers wanted to raise meat chickens on pasture, but without the risks that free-ranging can bring. The result was the “chicken tractor”, so named because the animals contained within it churn the ground much like a tractor would. There are “tractors” for multiple species of farm animals, such as rabbits, poultry, and pigs. The effect was two-fold: pasture-raised animals produce higher quality meat than those raised in a barn or coop, and areas of dense vegetation could be mowed down by animals inside of the tractor.
This method has practical applications for backyard flock raisers that keep laying hens as well. Fresh grass, vegetation, and insects that hens ingest while foraging outside of their coop offer great nutritional value to their diet. In turn, some of these nutrients pass through to their eggs, making them healthier for you!
Reasons to get a chicken tractor
Aside from adding supplemental nutrition to your flock’s diet, keeping your flock in a chicken tractor has other benefits.
Chicken tractors are easily moved, allowing you to relocate your coop whenever you’d like
Mobile chicken coops can be moved in preparation for severe weather, changes in the seasons, or to help with landscaping
Relocate your coop easily if you move, or if you have a small yard that would benefit from rotating your hens’ area
Chicken tractors for flocks of laying hens can be very practical, depending on your routine and space. A chicken tractor from Omlet can also be attached to chicken runs later for a more permanent chicken coop setup, making them a flexible and customizable option.
What’s the best chicken tractor for my hens?
Omlet chicken tractors come in different sizes and configurations. The Eglu Cube Chicken Coop configured as a mobile coop has an attached run with added wheels and handles. Our largest coop, the Eglu Cube is the best choice for larger flocks of 4 hens or more. Despite its ample size, the Eglu Cube chicken tractor can be moved easily by just one person. The raised coop offers extra pecking space below, as well as a shady area for your hens to get relief from the sun.
The Eglu Go Up Chicken Coop is a more compact version of the Eglu Cube. Best for flocks of up to 4 hens, the Eglu Go Up offers elevation to make coop cleaning and egg collecting easy. This smaller chicken tractor is perfect for children to help clean and move around.
Lastly, the Eglu Go Chicken Coop is a ground-level chicken coop that can be configured with handles and wheels to be converted into a chicken tractor. Some breeds of chickens (or individual hens) prefer roosting on the ground, making the Eglu Go an ideal choice.
What to expect the first time keeping chickens
Lean into the first-time chicken-keeping angle, as many people looking at the benefits of a chicken tractor will be in the research phase before taking the leap.
Consider presenting the types of thing people should expect from their first flock, and what they should have to be prepared for them.
How often to move your mobile coop
When to move your chicken tractor depends on a few factors. Chickens don’t just eat the bugs found in the grass – they actually eat the grass as well. The best method for deciding when to relocate your chicken coop is by observing the grass. Once your hens have mowed it down, it’s time to move to a new patch. It’s entirely possible to have your hens mow your entire yard by rotating them in a pattern.
It’s also helpful to move your mobile chicken coop to sunnier areas in the winter, or to shady areas in the summer. In the case of severe weather, a chicken tractor can also be moved quickly to a secondary shelter, or out from under trees to avoid potential falling limbs.
Can I move my tractor with the chickens inside?
Keeping your chickens inside your chicken tractor while moving it is dependent on their personalities and your terrain. Some hens may be content to go along for the ride when being relocated, while others may be alarmed. If your yard is relatively flat, the gap created along the bottom from engaging the wheels of the chicken tractor should not be large enough for hens to escape through. However, a panicked hen may attempt to squeeze through small spaces.
Test your flock’s reaction and build their confidence by moving your chicken tractor by just a few inches at a time. After some practice, you’ll likely be able to keep your hens inside while your mobile coop is being relocated. If your property isn’t flat, or if your flock is upset by being moved around, you’ll need to relocate your hens to a chicken pen during moves.
Tips to make your flock love their chicken tractor
Chicken tractors can be customized just like their stationary counterparts. Chicken toys and accessories or a chicken swing are perfect for adding height and enrichment to your hens’ environment. Simply add these entertaining pieces to the attached run of your chicken tractor, and enjoy watching your hens peck the ground and play in their personalized space.
Freedom with Omlet
Omlet believes in letting chickens live their best, most natural lives while being protected. Our chicken tractors have all of the features of our stationary coops, with the added convenience of being mobile. Flexibility in chicken keeping has never been easier than with Omlet’s mobile chicken coops. Combine our chicken tractor with chicken fencing to create custom boundaries for your chickens, and add chicken treats to your routine to deepen the bond between you and your flock.
The best chicken coop is safe, functional, and comfortable for the hens they house, and easy to clean and maintain for their keepers. In short, the best chicken coops are those that bring joy to flock raisers, and keep their inhabitants healthy and safe.
But not all chicken coops are created equally. A high-quality coop may require some investment upfront, but will more than make up for it in the long run. Selecting the best chicken coop can seem overwhelming, but by simplifying the process down to comparison of quality and functionality, you’ll be prepared to make the right choice.
How to choose your chicken coop
Whenchoosing a chicken coop, size matters! First and foremost, you’ll want to decide on what size flock you want to keep to determine which chicken coop will meet your needs. For most chicken keepers, a small number usually evolves into more hens than originally planned (a phenomenon known as “chicken math” to those in the poultry world). By getting the largest coop within your budget, you’ll allow room for a potentially growing flock.
Next, you’ll need to decide if you need a run attached to your chickens’ coop. Providing the most outdoor space possible will make your hens the happiest, regardless of the size of your flock. Chicken runs that come standard with some chicken coops usually aren’t large enough to provide that free-range feeling, but not all chicken keepers are able to give their hens free rein of their yards either. Attaching awalk in chicken run to your chickens’ coop will offer plenty of space for your flock to forage and flourish.
Finally, you’ll want to fully weigh the pros and cons of the material of your chickens’ coop. Traditionally, chicken coops are made out of wood, but many chicken keepers are making the switch toplastic chicken coops. There are many reasons for this, but one of the biggest deciding factors influencing this change is the longevity of plastic over wood.
Plastic vs wooden chicken coops
Plastic chicken coops, such as those designed by Omlet, do not require seasonal maintenance. The advantages of plastic over wooden coops are staggering, and can save chicken keepers countless hours and dollars throughout the years.
Plastic coops also offer a less-hospitable environment for mites, which thrive in wooden coops. Mites take shelter in the grooves and crevices of wood, and flourish in damp, porous surfaces. Regularly cleaning a plastic chicken coop is the best and easiest way to keep mites at bay.
One of the biggest mistakes new chicken keepers make is not factoring in the maintenance required to keep wooden chicken coops safe and functional for their flocks. Even weather-treated wood warps and rots in the elements over time, which causes the structural integrity of the coop to be compromised. Roofs need replacing, paint needs reapplications, and the drafts resulting from shifting or settling require attention. Depending on the amount invested in the original coop, sometimes it’s more cost-effective to replace the entire coop rather than to mend seasonal issues.
Best chicken coop for large flocks (5 – 10 chickens)
Wide roosting rack to accommodate hens of all sizes
Heavy-duty plastic construction
Most hens don’t mind sharing a nest with other hens, but after the 5th or 6th visitor to the same nesting spot, hens may seek out alternate laying locations. The expanded nesting area of the Eglu Cube factors in picky hens, giving them ample space to fluff up a new spot to lay in.
Best chicken coops for smaller flocks (2 – 4 chickens)
Perhaps you live in an area that limits the number of chickens you can keep, Or, maybe you’re just getting started with chickens and are hesitant to get too many hens at once. If so, Omlet has the best chicken coops for you too!
TheEglu Go Chicken Coop is a compact, ground-level coop that is the perfect size for small flocks of 4 hens or less. This coop is a great option for
If an elevated coop still appeals to you, theEglu Go Up Chicken Coop is the raised version of the Eglu Go. The added height allows for easier coop cleaning and egg collecting, and offers additional space beneath the coop.
Best portable coop
Chicken tractors offer the freedom of flexibility for chicken keepers and their flocks. Chicken tractors are portable chicken coops that can be:
Relocated easily for chickens to have access to fresh pecking grounds
Beneficial to those in areas that experience severe weather events
Omlet’s chicken tractors can be moved effortlessly by one person. Simply engage the wheels and use the handles to roll your large flock’s home to a different location. Once the coop is in place, disengage the wheels and watch as your flock gets busy pecking around in their fresh patch of vegetation.
Just because they’re mobile doesn’t mean we’ve skimped on features – Omlet’s portable chicken coops have the same ingenious features as their stationary counterparts. Broad roosting racks, designated nesting areas, and heavy-duty construction are components of all of our chicken tractors.
However, the best option that offers the most space for your flock is awalk in chicken run. Connection kits make integrating your Omlet coop or attached run quick and easy, or simply place the entire coop within the walk in run. Omlet walk in runs make it easier than ever to spend time with your flock, and maximize your chickens’ outdoor space.
Best budget coop
In terms of price, theEglu Go Chicken Coop is the most budget-friendly chicken coop from Omlet. When compared to similar sized wooden chicken coops, its price point is slightly higher. However, these cheaper, wooden coops will need routine maintenance up to and including full replacement over time, whereas the Eglu Go does not require the same upkeep.
It’s also worth noting the quality of the attached runs. Wooden chicken coops weaken in the elements, causing chicken wire to come loose. Most wooden chicken coops use staples to affix mesh to the run, but when the wood rots, these staples are easily pulled out – leaving your chickens vulnerable to predators. Omlet’s attached wire runs are heavy-duty, and are held together by our innovative clips that won’t rot in the elements. Depending on the method of galvanization, chicken wire can bend and break under force from predators, giving them access to your hens and their eggs.
Easiest coop to clean
Keeping your Omlet chicken coop clean is immensely easier than cleaning a wooden coop. All components of the interior of Eglu chicken coops can be removed and thoroughly cleaned in minutes, and the entire coop can be pressure washed for a deep clean. Omlet’sportable chicken coops can be moved closer to designated cleaning areas for even easier access.
Routine cleaning and disinfecting is important for your hens’ health. Mites and other parasites that commonly seek out chickens live in damp, porous surfaces that are left alone. Wooden chicken coops are often breeding grounds for mites if not treated with insecticides– which in turn can irritate your hens. The best method to control mites is preventing them from taking hold. Plastic coops are not ideal environments for parasites, and daily cleaning will virtually eliminate their presence.
Best hen house for collecting eggs
Araised chicken coop is the easiest type of coop to gather eggs from. The Eglu Cube has a separate door that opens to the nesting area, giving you quick and easy access to fresh eggs. Children especially will enjoy how easy it is for them to participate in this favorite activity among chicken keepers.
Eggs can stay in the chicken coop for several days and still be fresh, but collecting eggs daily is always the best practice. Daily egg collection removes temptation for predators, gives your hens room to lay the following day, and gives you a chance toevaluate your hens’ health. And, as you’ll soon learn, there’s nothing quite like collecting a still-warm egg from the nesting box, laid by one of your own hens!
Chicken coop essentials
Once you’ve selected the best coop for your hens, there are optional accessories you can add to make your chicken keeping experience even more enjoyable – for both you and your flock:
Omlet has been in the business of creating the best chicken coops on the market for decades. Ourhen houses,chicken pens, and line ofchicken toys add joy to the lives of flock raisers, and help them keep their chickens happy and healthy. If you have questions about our chicken products, feel free to reach out to one of ourexperts at Omlet, and we would be happy to assist you in beginning your chicken-keeping journey.
Worried about your chicken coop rotting? It’s a valid concern that all chicken keepers have. Chicken coops are out in the elements, and can take a beating from the weather and predators. Still, chicken keepers rely on their structural integrity to keep their flocks safe – so what happens when a coop starts to rot?
Thankfully, not all chicken coops rot. Wooden coops all eventually succumb to their exposure to the environment, but there’s an alternative option. We invite you to consider: Omlet’s plastic chicken coops.
Why do wooden chicken coops rot?
Wooden chicken coops, by nature, break down over time. No matter how “weather-treated” boards, planks, and roofs may be, they will eventually decompose when exposed to the relentless elements. This is especially true in areas that receive a lot of humidity and severe weather, such as the southern part of the US. A constant battering from rain storms, followed by intense sunshine will leach out the weather protectants that lumber may be treated with. Wind and rain will also loosen or warp shingles on chicken coops, making coops drafty and wet. Once the weather has stripped wood of its protectants, moisture sets in, and the wood begins its rotting process.
Wood that stays damp rots the fastest. Wet wood swells and expands, which allows for more moisture to make its way in. And, when exposed to the sun, swollen wood begins to contract when it dries. Through this process of swelling and contracting, wooden chicken coops begin to lose their shape as the boards or planks warp. You may notice bowed or split wooden components on your chicken coop as a result, which will eventually break or collapse. Different types of wood experience this process at varying speeds, but most commercially bought wooden chicken coops are made from lower-quality wood with a shorter lifespan.
Once the wood of a chicken coop begins to rot, any affected boards will need to be replaced. It’s important to address any rotten pieces of a chicken coop immediately to avoid adverse health effects on your chickens. Rotten wood attracts mites and other parasites that will plague your hens, and mold or mildew is often present in damp wood. These fungi can cause respiratory problems in your chickens, and creates unsanitary conditions for both you and your flock.
How to prevent your chicken coop from rotting
Oftentimes it’s easier to build or purchase a new chicken coop from scratch than to renovate a rotten one. Repairing a rotten chicken coop is costly and time-consuming, and will likely need to be repeated throughout the lifetime of a wooden coop. There are preventative measures you can take to maintain a wooden coop to help improve its longevity, but these too take effort and resources.
Repainting, staining, or weather-treating a wooden chicken coop
To help prevent wood rot, wooden chicken coops can be repainted, stained, or weather-treated regularly – usually on an annual basis. Take great care to select products that are non-toxic to chickens, and allow for ample drying time between coats before allowing your hens back into their house. Natural products such as tung oil can be applied to wooden chicken coops to make them water-resistant, but 100% pure tung oil can be costly.
Keep your coop covered
Another method to help prevent wood rot is to keep your chickens’ coop covered. This could be through the use of a tarp, inside of a structure such as a shed or a barn, or by building a structure over the top. It may seem a bit redundant to cover a chicken coop that is meant to protect your flock from the elements, but shielding a wooden coop from sun and moisture can help preserve its components. This isn’t the most convenient option, and application of water-resistant products will still be needed on occasion to protect the exterior of your coop.
Forgo a wooden coop
By far the easiest option to avoid having to fix a rotten chicken coop is to purchase a plastic chicken coop. Omlet’s Eglu Cube chicken coop is made of heavy-duty plastic that’s weather and waterproof, so there’s no concern over rotting components. Truly a zero-maintenance solution, the Eglu Cube is ready to house a flock of up to 10 small breed hens from the time it’s assembled. Omlet’s design is meant to last a lifetime, which means no breaking down or rotting, and no application of preservatives is required to keep your Eglu Cube sanitary and functional.
Why do plastic coops not rot?
The short answer as to why plastic outlasts wood is: because plastic does not exist in nature, naturally occurring organisms are not effective at breaking it down. Wood exists in nature, so there are bacteria and other living organisms that are equipped to dispose of it. Plastic, on the other hand, has no “natural” foes.
Plastic chicken coops do not rot or lose their shape in the elements and do not require routine maintenance. They’re also much easier to clean, offer a more sanitary environment, and are able to be moved with ease compared to their wooden counterparts.
How to maintain a plastic coop
All Omlet products are designed to last, but you’ll still want to check in on your chickens’ coop routinely for any signs of wear and tear. Usually, any doors or parts that are not aligning properly are the result of the soil beneath the coop shifting, and can easily be corrected by moving the coop by a few inches as needed. Chicken run clips may also come loose during these shifts, and should be checked regularly.
Aside from checking your coop for shifting, you’ll also want to clean your coop regularly to keep it fresh. Even deep cleaning the Eglu Cube takes mere minutes, as compared to several hours of cleaning a wooden chicken coop. A pressure washer or high-powered water hose makes the process go even faster. Simply remove the droppings tray and roosting rack, spray clean, and wipe dry.
Compared to wooden chicken coops, maintaining the Eglu Cube saves countless hours each year. And, a coop that’s so easy to clean and maintain creates a much more sanitary environment for your hens, which cuts down on illness and discomfort brought about by the weather. Keeping chickens has never been easier or more enjoyable than with an Omlet coop.
Omlet and your chickens’ perfect home
A rotting chicken coop is a frustration for chicken keepers that we sought to put an end to. The result is our line of high-quality chicken coops that stand the test of time. Combine your Eglu Cube with a Walk In Chicken Run for the ultimate chicken-keeping experience. And, with accessories such as the PoleTree Customizable Chicken Perch or Caddi Chicken Treat Holder, you’ll be able to foster and enjoy watching your hens fulfill their natural behaviors.
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!
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!
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!
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!
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.
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!
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?
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!
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!
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!
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.
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!
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
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!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 ofruns for chickens,rabbits andguinea 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 orrabbit’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. TheOmlet Zippi Shelters for rabbitsandguinea 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 anew 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
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, andchickenssafe and warm when they’re outdoors.
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.
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.
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!
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 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
Unfortunately, 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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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
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.
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.
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…
“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 aMk1 Eglu Cube, anOmlet Run or a set up involving traditionalchicken 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!
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!”
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.
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.
…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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In 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:
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?
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:
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.
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.