The Omlet Blog Category Archives: Omlet meets

Omlet meets: Jeremy, engineer turned chicken enthusiast

One of the pioneers of the Omlet Ambassador Program, Jeremy discovered an unexpected synergy with his professional expertise on his chicken keeping journey. A Florida based building design engineer, we first connected with Jeremy when Omlet Co Founder James was traveling around America meeting customers. James found Jeremy data logging the Eglu Cube’s internal environment. Unsurprisingly, they hit it off. 

Jeremy Gary Omlet Ambassador holding a chicken in front of the Eglu Pro

Omlet Ambassador Jeremy Gary, from Florida, USA

So, Jeremy, tell me how you first got into chicken keeping?

Well, initially, it was my wife and son who wanted to keep chickens. I grew up with a farm behind me, and to my mind it sounded like a lot of work – and I already have enough of that! But I wasn’t set against it; I agreed and we started to look at options. 

You know, everything I saw was garbage, just overpriced for what it was. For starters, wood just does not do well in our environment. The humidity will claim it straight back. And I could see that these coops were flimsy: they just weren’t going to stand up to predators. But we had already got these chicks and we were racing against time. 

I finally came across an image of the Eglu Cube online. I began to do the research, to look into it. Back then, there was no Ambassador Program like there is now, so I had to go on what I could see online and to me, the design just looked like it would work. So we bought it, because I thought it would work.

And it did?

Well, I’ll tell you a story. I became more involved with Omlet after Hurricane Ian. Because we were hit. My entire backyard was destroyed. There were trees everywhere, fences gone. And I came out once it had passed, and there was this coop, just sitting there in the middle of it all. So, when you talk about the cost, about the investment, that to me is a big part of it. 

Of course, not every coop will have to deal with a hurricane. This thing took down 40 ft trees – it was as big as I’ve ever seen. It’s hard to communicate what that looks like and feels like. It was astonishing. So I took a picture of the wreckage with my Eglu Cube in the middle and I sent it to Omlet Customer Experience just to let them know, hey, my coop is still here, even though nothing else is!

Omlet Eglu Cube surviving Hurricane Ian

Jeremy’s Eglu Cube still standing after Hurricane Ian hit

Is that how you became an ambassador? 

Look, if someone is going to invest, it’s great to be able to come and see it for real. So that’s why I think the Ambassador Program is so important. Because you can really communicate that value. It might be hard to understand that just by looking at it online. Right now, a lot more people are keeping chickens. There was the egg shortage during Covid, among other factors. Local interest is climbing, and for a first time customer, visiting an ambassador like me can really be a link with Omlet, a tangible connection, and I think that’s important with a big purchase. 

So… hang on… you’ve gone from going along with getting chickens because it was what the family wanted – to being an Omlet Ambassador?

Yep. I came into this indifferent – I was going to be a bystander. I went from “Sure, OK, whatever you want to do,” to where we are today: I’m an Omlet Ambassador, and we currently have two Eglu Cubes, a Walk In Run, now an Eglu Pro – and we’re expanding our flock. I call it the chicken campus. 

Sounds like a classic case of chicken math! 

We started with three, an Ameraucana and two Easter Eggers. We were very selective and got them on a local farm. It was for animal welfare of course but also the human side – the hygiene factor of raising chickens is of utmost importance. So we found a farm that we were really impressed with. 

Then, we got three Rhode Island Red refugees from another keeper nearby, whose setup was destroyed by the hurricane. They’ve since got another wooden coop, and within a couple of years, it’s already falling apart. We’re actually going to give them our original Eglu Cube now we have the Eglu Pro, because we don’t need three coops, even with our new arrivals, we have plenty of space. 

So, we have the new chicks coming from a hatchery in five weeks. We tried very very hard to find someone locally, but it was tough. I couldn’t find anyone this time around that I was happy with. I looked carefully and chose a hatchery with a good reputation. It sounded strange to me at first, the idea of buying chicks in the post, but now I understand it, I understand it is fine. And there was quite a demand – we had to get in line! We have a Blue Copper Maran, a Wheaten Maran, a Blue-Laced Red Wyandotte and a Buff Brahma. My wife chose – she’s the one who cares what breeds we get. For me, we just need to look at ones which are hardy. So we will have 10 when they arrive. We may go to eleven or 12, we’ll see. I felt like with the Eglu Cube, six was comfortable, but that is because our Rhode Island Reds are big.  

Do they have names?

With the first three, we each named one. I named the matriarch, Chicken Nugget. Because she looked like a nugget when she first hatched. Then there’s Fluffy, our second in command, the queen of broodiness, she has like four/five/six broody cycles a year. But she’s the sweetest too. Then Lila is third in command. She is the feistiest of them all – she’s the one that keeps the separation with the newer three – who all look pretty much identical. One of them’s called Runner, for obvious reasons. And actually she’s more strawberry blond since the molt. The other two, I’d have to ask my son. Only he can tell them apart. They are very much household pets, which is another reason why I would always recommend Omlet coops, for the security they provide. 

Jeremy Gary with his chickens in the Omlet Walk In Run

Jeremy feeding his chickens inside the Walk In Run

Yes, indeed, the predator problem…

We’ve experienced it with the Eglu Cube and now already with the Eglu Pro, we come out and we see scratch marks around where predators have tried and tried to get in the coop overnight. Here in Florida, we have racoons, coyotes, bobcats. We’re in an area right along the coast, and there are predators everywhere. Where we are is a hotspot of development. Everyone is moving here, and the effect on these predators is that it condenses them. They’re more brazen, more desperate, which makes the chickens subject to some really determined attacks. 

I saw a bobcat get a rabbit when I was taking a walk one night. It moved with total silence. I didn’t know it was there until it grabbed the rabbit and then it was gone. Coyotes aren’t scared any more. The coop will be literally covered in muddy pawprints in the morning. So keeping the flock safe is a huge piece of the puzzle. Most other coops I see, well, I couldn’t see them stopping a determined raccoon. 

Then you have aerial attacks, which is probably an even bigger threat. I went out one morning, and I couldn’t hear them. Not a sound, and I thought, why aren’t they making any noise? Then I saw them, and they were all standing there, completely silent. I looked up, and there were seven hawks in the tree above their run, just looking down at them. The chickens were frozen. So, yes, it would be lovely to let them roam completely free – but not for long. The predator proofing that you get with an Eglu, that is invaluable. I talk about layers of security. An Omlet coop has layers of security. Because a determined predator will keep coming back. The evidence is there that they’re trying, but they don’t succeed. They can’t defeat it – and when you consider your chickens as pets, you try to protect them as such.

Yes, it means a lot to know they’re safe. 

It’s not just predators – there’s the climate too. The coop is insulated and it’s great for the elements – but you still have to pick a spot with shade. It’s important to think about the local climate, and that’s where the Ambassador Program is helpful. Florida is basically a swamp. So a wooden coop just is not going to stand up. Then, because we’re in a hurricane zone, we can’t have any fixed structures. So both the Eglu Cube and the Eglu Pro comply with that. We can move it. We don’t – but we could. Local experience with chicken keeping helps. 

So these are the kind of conversations we’ll have when people come to see our setup, which might begin by talking about a product, but are more the lifestyle. For example, the unsung hero of Omlet inventions is the Autodoor. I don’t mind telling you I laughed at first – I don’t know how I got talked into buying it. Well, it’s a game changer, truly. Unless you want to be up at the crack of dawn, every day, and be there to put them away every evening, you NEED this door. And when you go away, having the Autodoor means you can ask your neighbors to watch the chickens. Because it’s no big deal. It’s extremely reliable too. So, when someone is starting out, they might think, “Oh I don’t need that, I don’t want to spend that extra money,” but actually you need to hear it from someone who knows, who has been doing this for a while. 

So to go back to your earlier question – that’s why I became an ambassador I guess. I do it because I want to be the resource for people that I would have wanted, when I started out. 

It sounds like it’s been quite a journey – when did it really get under your skin?

I remember, we had the first chicks and I was racing against time because it took longer than I thought it would to find the right coop, and then I was building and assembling it, and by then they were roaming around me. They just walked around me and right from the start, they endeared themselves to me, because just by being with them and being around them, you realize they each have their own personality. They’re very soothing and comforting – they’re therapeutic. I run my own business and that gives me all the stress I need. There’s something very simple and basic about keeping chickens. You go out there, you feed them, you interact, they have their personalities and their quirks. 

Jeremy's setup for chickens with Walk In Run and Eglu Pro and PoleTree

Jeremy Gary’s chicken keeping setup

Yes, every chicken keeper says this and it’s so true – they have so much character.

We did a photoshoot after I’d finished assembling the Eglu Pro, and their personalities really came out when I was photographing them. Some really wanted the limelight, some were really intrigued by the coop. I began this journey as a bystander. Now, when we’re done talking – I’ll be heading straight out there with the bananas, the treats. I’m the chef, I’m the one who always comes out with the treats, and they know it. When they see me, they rush outside and make a real hue and cry over it. It never fails to amaze me. I bring out tons and tons of food – and they still jostle and bicker like it’s the last scraps on earth. They’ve all got something to say! They’re part of my daily routine. 

When the hurricane hit, well, my wife, she works for the Department of Health. So she was at the hurricane shelter, but I stayed because the chickens were here. It got scary really fast, so I put them in the garage. Afterwards, the first thing I did was go to the chickens. Because they are absolutely pet family members. I’ve become so fond of them, and I can’t wait to raise our chicks. It’s so fun. I’m so passionate about the products, because they are a big part of what makes chicken keeping enjoyable.

It starts as a hobby, and becomes a passion. I think a lot of people experience that.

I think for me, I think it is particularly exciting because my passion is twofold – as an engineer and a pet lover. The Eglu is this little house! It has insulation, ventilation, and security. I’m a residential and commercial design engineer, which means really understanding how buildings work and when or why they’re not functioning properly. So I approach the Eglu with the same mentality: to understand what the occupants need in terms of comfort. I guess that what I do professionally makes me a perfect customer to appreciate what goes into this. There’s a real synergy. 

I understand it was because of that synergy that you got more involved with Omlet in the first place?

Yes, well, James (Omlet Co Founder) was doing visits in the US to really understand the US market and customer base, and he turns up at our house and we get chatting, and I tell him about the data logging I’m running on the Eglu Cube. Suddenly we’re deep in conversation and that’s how we began to forge this relationship. 

I share the conviction that it’s about representing the chickens’ best interests, and telling people, if you want to raise chickens, this is the product you need and this is the reason why. You know whether you’re being sold a product or whether someone truly believes in what they’re saying. Yeah, I get commission – but that’s not why I do it. When I got commission, I used it to buy an Omlet PoleTree

Ha! Great. Do you have any other Omlet products? 

Well, I have a funny story. I have a dog. I mentioned the dog to someone at Omlet, and she said, well, you need to try this dog bed. But my dog is not a dog bed dog. We had dog beds, he never even looked at them. So I said no, there’s no point. But she sent me this dog bed anyway. And the dog loves that bed. I had to eat my words. Not only does the dog use that bed, he uses it constantly. He absolutely loves it, because of the bolster design and the quality of the mattress. I wanted to rubbish it! I told my wife, the dog will not use it, the dog doesn’t use beds. Now, where’s the dog? 99% of the time, he’s in his Omlet bed. It’s the design. 

To chat to Jeremy about all things chicken keeping and Eglus, visit his ambassador profile here.

Jeremy standing with his Omlet Eglu Pro


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This entry was posted in Chickens

Omlet meets: Madison, Connecticut keeper & “chicken guy”

With chicken season hatching all around, we checked in with Omlet Ambassador Madison, who was kind enough to feature in our film for the Eglu Cube – see if you can spot her!

Ambassador Madison sitting with family next to the Omlet Eglu Pro

I know you’ve already got your Eglu Pro – how did the chickens react? 

So, we put it together in the garage, and once we’d built it, we took the chickens in to show it to them, and it was so funny, because they made a beeline for it. They went straight to the nesting box and were having a real nose around. Instinctively, they just knew it was for them! You could tell they loved the LuxPanel too; they clustered around behind it, straight away. 

How did you come to be an Omlet Ambassador?

I’ve worked with Omlet as an Ambassador for about a year. We went with Omlet out of the gate – we did lots of research. So we were weighing up the options, whether to do prefab, or to construct something ourselves, or go second hand. Then I stumbled on an advert for the Eglu Cube and that was it – I said to Nick, “We have to save up and get this.” With the weather in New England, I was already worried about wood rotting and the upkeep that comes with wooden coops. I know how fast wood degrades – it’s just not worth it, especially somewhere like this, with a good deal of snow. Yes, as an upfront investment it’s more expensive to go with Omlet, but we’ve had our girls for four years now, and I’ve saved that money back – because there’s no upkeep needed, no degradation. 

So, money well spent?

Honestly, I absolutely love it! I’m so glad we did the research and then did the Ambassador program – going to see an Omlet coop up and running, and talking to a chicken keeper about their experience with Omlet, that really helped. It’s actually why I became an Ambassador in turn – I really believe in the products and I’m glad to pass that advice on to others in the same position as we were once. 

What put you on the path to chicken keeping?

Well, we moved from the south, where we were really boxed in; there was no farming zoning. So we came to New England and we were lucky – we found this house with two acres, in a really farming positive area. Most states or areas have some regulations but there are no stipulations here – we could probably get goats and alpacas or whatever if we chose to – but we’re happy with chickens for now! 

We started with five – we got them when they were a few months old. We bought our Eglu Cube with a run, and initially the plan was to let them out to free range by day. But it just didn’t work – we have so many predators. Just nearby, we have four bald eagles, cooper hawks, foxes. We thought that with enough trees around, they might be OK, but a hawk flew low, through the trees and landed. So we realized we had to go a different way. We added a Walk In Run to our 6ft attached run, and we kept our set up stationary from that point. We started off with a 9×9 Walk In Run, but we’ve added an additional 6 feet. The modular design is great for that – you can keep improving and adapting your set up. Our flock has a great space and they’re safe from predators, which gives us peace of mind.  

Tell me about your flock – what breeds do you have, and what are they like?

We have nine chickens in total, we have six Rhode Island Reds, one Golden Comet, one Welsummer and a Silver Laced Wyandotte. She is by far the fussiest. She’s just too pretty! The others are so friendly, but she’s a diva – you can’t catch her. The Rhode Island Reds are super – big, hardy, friendly. They’re not fancy but they’re lovely and good layers. 

Our initial five were a mixed bunch we got from a farm – we just went in, caught what we could and took them home! There are three left – one passed naturally, and one we sadly lost to the hawk when we were still trying to free range. The three of the originals we still have are called Hennifer, Jebecki and Cher. 

Little girl with the Omlet Eglu Pro and free ranging chickens

So how did you get to nine?

Well, chicken math I guess. We weren’t planning on getting more, but then we saw a post on a local group, and that they were Rhode Island Reds. I had wanted to get some Rhode Island Reds for a while, so we went for it, and yeah, three became nine! Unlike the originals, their markings are identical and Nick and I can’t tell them apart – so they’re just the girls. Maybe our daughter will name them when she gets older. 

How do you feel life has changed since getting your flock?

It’s funny, but now, we’re known as the chicken guys – and we love it! Everyone knows, oh Madison and Nick have chickens. We’re the experts, people will come ask us about chicken keeping and we’ll always like talking about what we’ve learnt. We’re known for our fresh eggs too, we have so many – a lot of people come for them. It’s so lovely to give them away. But we’re actually going to start selling them, as we have so many we can’t give them away fast enough!

Then there’s the family side of the routine. We have a 2 year old, and now that she’s getting older she loves collecting the eggs and feeding the chickens – some will sit still and let her pet them, which is sweet. We’re really looking forward to teaching her to care for them. We love when we go to my in-laws, they always have a baggy of scraps for the chickens. The girls love that –  they go crazy. 

They like getting treats?

Absolutely! If they’re happy, or have some new variety in their life that they’re enjoying, we notice straight away that we get more eggs. So it could be a new toy – we made them a sand bath recently, they are so happy – it honestly makes them so happy. And when they’re really engaged and happy, they lay more. 

That’s lovely – what else can you tell me about their characters?

They play with our dog! He’ll run up and down alongside the run, and they run up and down with him – it’s hilarious. We have our alpha chicken, she’s grown rooster spurs – she’s in charge. If we could let them free range, she’d be our attack chicken. She’s very nosey – if she sees us out in the yard, she stays out watching us, keeping a beady eye on everything that’s going on. She has to be at the center of the action! If the dog gets too close, she pecks his nose and he jumps back, but then they’ll keep doing it, and you see it’s a game. He gets all excited and the rest are squashed up to get away from him, because he’s big, like 50lbs, but she’ll keep playing with him and is totally fearless. 

What would you say to anyone considering starting out with chickens?

For starters, I would definitely gush about the Omlet products – I would say, you absolutely have to get an Eglu Cube or an Eglu Pro and you have to get a Walk In Run. Then, their life is good and yours is easy. I think my other top tip is to trust your gut. The chickens will let you know if something is wrong. As long as you have the right protection – from the breeze, from the sun, from the snow, the rain and from predators – then they are going to be great outdoors. Just make sure you have a set up that protects them, keep them watered and fed and off you go. You’ll find your way and you will love it. Oh and bless the creation of the Autodoor! We used to let them out of the coop and shut them in at night by hand and as soon as the Autodoor came out it was a “Forget everything else, we have to prioritize buying this!” situation. If you’re getting chickens, get an Autodoor!

Ha! Yes, we often hear that! So, Autodoor factored in, chicken life’s a good life?

Absolutely. I think it’s partly because it’s such a nice routine. It helps us stay grounded and connected to running our household. It’s nice to know we’ll always have fresh eggs – breakfast, quiche or whatever, but it’s having that sense of daily routine that brings you all together. It’s really fun to work on their area on the weekends, especially as it gets warmer – we love finding them things to do. We bring in old logs from the woods for them to climb on, or branches so they can peck through the dead leaves. It’s restorative. 

Want to chat all things chickens with Madison? Reach out via her ambassador profile.

Ambassador Madison in the Walk In Run with her daughter and chickens


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Omlet meets: Kat, hen hotelier extraordinaire

“they’re all characters. I’ve had some shy ones, I’ve had some you really need to kick out the bar at the end of the evening!”

We love to see our designs out in the world, being enjoyed by chickens and people alike, so we were thrilled – and more than a little intrigued – when we saw an article featuring hen hotelier Kat. We caught up with her for a chat on all things chicken. 

Omlet meets: Kat hen hotelier extraordinaire with chicken and an eglu cube

We loved the piece on your hen hotel in the papers. How did your story get picked up by the national press?

Actually it was my local paper that picked it up and it just snowballed. I’ve even been on ITV. I think it shows that people are getting more interested and aware of chickens as pets – they’re so underrated. Now I can help spread the word. 

Where I live in Kent, I get a lot of walkers past our garden, who buy the eggs and they often stop and talk and ask questions. It’s almost a chicken viewing point! I’ve got an Omlet Freestanding Perch there that the bantams LOVE. I honestly think they love posing and showing off to passersby, which is hilarious. But it’s great because I want to educate people – if you don’t have chickens you probably don’t know just how full of character and interesting they are. Mine are my pets, my girls, and I’d never be without them.

Have your chickens changed since finding fame? Who are the primadonnas?

In my flock, I’ve got 5 at the moment, all rescued or rehomed. They’ve all got their own characters, but there’s one in particular who is the most confident chicken you could ever meet, a real queen bee. She’s called Sally – I named her after the lady I got her from. She gets involved in everything. She’ll jump on my shoulder when I’m cleaning. She was in the shoot with the photographer for the newspaper and she totally played up to it and did everything he wanted. A born performer. 

How about the others? Any other big characters?

They’re all so different. Some are shy, some are happy to be picked up. Edwina, she’s always behind me, pottering. She’s very gentle, happy to be cuddled, unflappable. Edwina comes to nurseries with me.

Nurseries? As in children’s nurseries? 

Well, I do educational workshops – always free, I don’t charge. We’ll go into local schools and talk about topics like free range hens, what happy eggs look like. I want to spread the word and the love. Edwina has a little mesh carrier suitcase with wheels on that she sits in and peeps out of and she travels in that.  

That is so nice, such an important thing for children to understand. And great that Edwina has the right temperament. What about other chickens though – do your girls ever come into contact with your guests?

So for boarding, I keep hotel customers – I call them the hen parties – quite far away, because birds are sensitive and territorial, so it’s important to not stress or disrupt them. So on arrival they go straight down to boarding, where I do some simple health checks to make sure they’re mite and lice free. 

We’re lucky, we have 2 acres, so our holiday hens are far enough away that they can stay apart and still have plenty of space. It’s more relaxing, no squawking. I put a lot of thought into the design when I set it all up.

That’s interesting you mention design; at Omlet we are always asking how we can invent better, to make caring for chickens more instinctive and enjoyable. As a loyal Omlet customer, did that affinity for design attract you to our products?  

I think within the chicken community, Omlet is a household name. When I went into chicken keeping myself, there was no other option. It had to be Omlet. Because my mentality is, if I’m going to do this, I’m doing it properly. With wood, things harbour. You just don’t know what’s lurking in the cracks. When I set up the hen hotel, I knew I wouldn’t use something for my boarders that I wouldn’t want for my own chickens. So it’s all Omlet: the coops, the perches, the swing, the tarps. The lot!

It sounds lovely! What room service do you provide – how do you keep the place clean? 

I think keeping the standard of cleanliness you need can be time consuming, because you have to make sure there’s no risk of bad hygiene or disease. But again, if you enjoy what you do it doesn’t feel like work. I have got to say it’s the ease of the Omlet design – it is so easy to take apart and jet wash – that really does make a difference. The products I use make it much easier. 

Do you ever get any rowdy customers?

Haha, yes. Like I said, they’re all characters. I’ve had some shy ones, I’ve had some you really need to kick out the bar at the end of the evening. Some are louder than others, so yes, definitely a few rowdy ones. They’re like women – some are just louder than others!

What’s the most rewarding part of running a hen hotel?

That’s so hard. I sound so sad but I just love chickens. I think it’s a privilege to have pets. And I really do think chickens are so underrated – I feel so lucky I get to have them, that there are so many rescue opportunities. They are little souls, beings. You can see it in their eyes. I want to gain them the respect as a pet that I think they truly deserve. So to the question, it’s all rewarding. 

And does the rest of the family get involved?

I have a 5 year old. He loves going to see the holiday hens because they’re different to ours, so he likes me to take him down to see them. So yeah he does get involved, but unsurprisingly the cleaning’s all left to me! My partner just wants to know how many eggs we’ve got. 

Ha! Well that’s one good reason to have chickens. In fact, my last question was, why chickens? What would you say to anyone thinking about starting their chicken keeping journey?

Well, I mean my initial answer would be, do it – it’s the best thing you’ll ever do. But like any animal they need care, they need love, they need attention. But they really do return it. So, yes, do it. And do it properly. Open up your heart and rehome some chickens! 

Omlet meets: Kat hen hotelier extraordinaire with chicken and a pink eglu cube for hen hotel

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Omlet meets: Shell, Bagel & Brioche

“We do a running commentary of what we think they’re saying – we have a laugh as a family.”

Ready to make room for rabbits? Shell Mills takes us through a day caring for these adorable yet naturally anxious animals. 

Omlet meets Shell Mills and her children caring for their pet rabbit

In a cat and dog world, what made you pick rabbits as pets?

Well, we have got a dog actually, but my first pets were rabbits and I always loved them. My husband and I had a dwarf lop together too, before we had kids. Then from about the age of five, our daughter, Valli began asking for one. We knew it was only a matter of time before we agreed. We thought she was too young – we said she had to be able to be responsible first. We said seven, then the years flew by and suddenly she was seven, so we had to say yes!

I bet she was thrilled! How did you go about getting them?

We made it a surprise – we’d been trying frantically to find some that would be old enough at the right time to tie in with her birthday. We’d researched reputable breeders and sources and we knew our local garden center had some coming, but they arrived when we were on holiday, so we had to get in touch from abroad to reserve ours. 

The next step was buying a hutch – but I already knew we would get an Eglu Go. Our local primary school had an Omlet coop for their chickens – and I loved it. I looked online and once I knew Omlet made rabbit hutches, my decision was made. We managed to set them up in their Eglu for her birthday. It’s fantastic. We move their whole set up around and they save us from mowing the lawn! We often talk about chickens too – we might get some down the line!  

What did she name them?

Bagel & brioche – after her favorite bread products!

Brilliant. And how does she get on with caring for them? There’s a misconception that rabbits are low maintenance – actually, they need a fair bit of looking after and are very sociable.

Yes, that’s true. Well, we definitely didn’t jump into it – it had been ten years since our dwarf lop and we did a lot of research. It’s better understood now that you shouldn’t have one rabbit – you need to have two, ideally from a young age to help them bond. They need daily attention too – they thrive on contact and are so playful and sociable. 

There were other factors we hadn’t considered initially too – yearly vaccines, pet insurance, neutering or spaying – people might think it’s just a rabbit, but they come with responsibility and costs. There are so many extras. Then there’s what to do when you go away – we’re lucky, we have my parents nearby and they help us out. 

What advice would you give to prospective rabbit owners?  

Well, to do your research and understand their needs. You need to clean them out frequently – the Eglu is a real game changer in that sense. But also, consider all the costs and time you’ll need carefully before you commit. 

What are the best bits about having rabbits? 

I asked Valli these questions, as I wanted her input and her answer was, they are so cute, and they give the best cuddles! I do think it’s great to teach kids responsibility – how to care for something every day, when it’s sunny and when it’s raining. Vali is great with them and has a routine. She even brings in their water bottle to clean it with a little brush. 

I think something you might not think of beforehand is the pleasure of just observing them – we love watching the two of them together. They’re so clever and the way they play together is just lovely. It’ll be wet and chilly, but they love being outside anyway, and they’ll be all cozied up under their run cover, sniffing the air, watching the rain. We do a running commentary of what we think they’re saying – we have a laugh as a family. 

Whenever we go out, they come running over. Valli gets inside their run with them – it’s great for that. Not all rabbits enjoy being handled, but ours always have been and they’re so relaxed with it and will sit and cuddle peacefully on your lap. Our dog, Percy was a bit excited when we first got them, but he’s so unbothered now; he’ll potter over and they hop up and then they touch noses through the run!

Ha! That is very sweet. So, what does a typical day caring for the buns look like?

Bagel and Brioche start their day with Valli or Daddy going out to feed them, which means a small amount of pellets, topping up their hay, and giving them fresh water.

They have an attached Omlet run with an extension, so we see them running around throughout the day in the different sections. We just love watching them and seeing their movements, going through the tunnels and jumping on top of things – they love doing that.

Valli and our other children will go out and see them after school, and we go out again later to feed them and top up hay and water, but we don’t shut them in at night. It’s the great thing with the Omlet set up. With the underfloor mesh it’s fox proof, so they can come in and out as they please. 

We refresh their bedding regularly and at weekends they come out into their open playpen and the kids go in there with them. That’s when we give their hutch a full, deep clean out. Sometimes they come into the house and explore while we’re doing that. 

A few times a week Valli might take them treats from our vegetable garden. This time of year we only have broccoli and kale left, which they love. Then a couple of times a week we move them around the garden for a change of scenery! It’s a nice routine. Valli loves it all and does it happily – apart from sometimes, when it’s absolutely tipping it down! Then I step in and help out. They are her rabbits, but having pets is always a family activity really.

Omlet meets Shell Mills and her children caring for rabbits in Omlet Zippi tunnels and playpens


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