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Does anyone keep chickens in an EGLU?
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# 1
bootman
Old 27-04-2005, 6:53 PM
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Smile Does anyone keep chickens in an EGLU?

I like the look of the Eglu for chicken keeping, the fact it looks easy to clean and wont rot and a bit more pleasing on the eye than a wooden box.

But is it worth the money?

I do not keep chickens at the moment but would like to, just 2. I like the idea of them wandering round the garden with me, but not sure either if I will have any garden left!!

I would love to hear from 1st time chicken keepers especially if the chickens are kept in an Eglu.
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# 2
beadysam
Old 27-04-2005, 7:38 PM
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Hiya
I'm looking at getting some chickens too. I'm just doing the research at the moment though. I've got a folder called "CHOOKS" where I put in all the piccys and info I can find. I'm saving loads of pics of houses for ideas - then I will combine some of the best bits and have a go at making my own! I don't really fancy an Eglu, I think I prefer the idea of a natural material for a natural creature and hobby. However I have looked at them and they do look good - if a little pricey...
I would like chickens that lay blue eggs, brown eggs and white eggs - oh, and all the shades in between so I'm reading up on a few of the breeds. I'm drawn to marans for the really dark eggs, silkies, welsummer and frizzles for the way they look. Rhode Island Reds, although good layers seem to have aggressive tendancies so I'm avoiding them. I'd love to hear your thought on chooks...
All the best
SAM xx
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# 3
flea72
Old 27-04-2005, 7:49 PM
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i think the eglus are alot of money for what you get - you are paying for the ease of someone else turning up, and getting you going

most towns have livestock markets where you can pick up a couple of laying hens for about 20, and you could prob build something to house them for around 50-100

perhaps try getting a copy of The Smallholder, it had a good article on chickens last month, and i think there is something in this months too - plus lots of companies advertising coops, feed, etc.
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# 4
Magentasue
Old 27-04-2005, 7:54 PM
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People who have Eglus love them but it is soooo much money for what you get. We have hens and they spend very little time in their coop during the day. All they need is somewhere to perch at night, a box to lay eggs in and a secure space to scratch around in during the day. Better, in my opinion to get a cheap shed and spend spare cash on fencing them as big a run as you can spare. We've done it the other way round and given them the run of the garden and fenced off our veg plot.

Can't recommend chicken keeping highly enough. We got ours this time last year - haven't bought an egg since.
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# 5
bootman
Old 27-04-2005, 8:19 PM
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I too have done much research on breeds all the smallholder mags books form the library, I just cant make up m mind. Do I or dont I go for it!

I actually do not live very far from the people that sell the Eglu's and they did bring one to my house last year for me to look at but still not sure.

I have a wide but not very deep garden so they will be on display. I do want to let them out to roam around but my biggest concern is will they eat all my plants and dig the lawn up.

They do need to be friendly, disease resistant and good layers. I like the idea of bantams but I think the eggs would be too small. I dont really want a really big bird strutting around.

Is there a good breed for beginners,not to big kind to owner lays well and wont get sick easily! or is that too much to ask of a chicken.
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# 6
italiastar
Old 27-04-2005, 9:16 PM
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The farmer I buy my eggs from at a farmer's market said that he sells his 1 year old hens (free range - I've seen them) for 1 each - apparently farmers change theirs every year because that's when they lay the most, but they are still good for a few more years. I'm tempted, but have problems with foxes, any ideas?
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# 7
Magentasue
Old 27-04-2005, 9:29 PM
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We have three Black Rocks, these are hybrids that have been bred to free range and have a long laying life. We also got three ex-batteries, one didn't last the winter but the other two are still laying. Since May we have had eggs every day, usually 3 or 4 but in the summer it was 4 or 5. Our plan is that when the ex-batteries die (they were 18months old when we got them and I'm told they rarely survive two winters) we will get a couple more.

They do ruin a garden if they free range. When they got into my veg patch, they ate the lot. What they don't eat, they damage by scratching around, they even had compost out of pots. Established shrubs are OK.

They kept our grass down nicely last summer but it's been ruined by them where we've had days of rain and they've scratched. It's beginning to revive but next winter we'll keep them off.

As for foxes, I don't think we have a problem here and we have a dog that sleeps in the porch when we're out and has a dog flap into the garden. Dogs are a deterrent. But a hungry fox will take risks and you have to protect the hens. A high (at least 5') run with the fencing buried into the ground is recommended.

Don't let this put you off - once you get it sorted, they're a doddle to look after. But you do need to get their quarters sorted before they arrive.

HTH
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# 8
Ted_Hutchinson
Old 27-04-2005, 10:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magentasue
People who have Eglus love them but it is soooo much money for what you get. We have hens and they spend very little time in their coop during the day. All they need is somewhere to perch at night, a box to lay eggs in and a secure space to scratch around in during the day. Better, in my opinion to get a cheap shed and spend spare cash on fencing them as big a run as you can spare. We've done it the other way round and given them the run of the garden and fenced off our veg plot.

Can't recommend chicken keeping highly enough. We got ours this time last year - haven't bought an egg since.
Agree with this absolutely.
NO need for an expensive hut when you can knock together a small shed for a fraction of the price.

Give them a bit of space to scratch around in or a field to roam over and you only have to throw them some grain and keep them locked up at night. The fox may get them occasionally but if you buy cheap it's not that much of a loss.
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# 9
Magentasue
Old 27-04-2005, 10:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted_Hutchinson
The fox may get them occasionally but if you buy cheap it's not that much of a loss.
Bit of a loss for the poor old hen though!

I would be very upset if I found a few feathers minus a hen because I feel responsible for keeping them safe. Italistar said (s)he had a problem with foxes so I think it would be best to do everything possible to prevent an attack BEFORE the chickens arrive. Not just because you might lose a hen or two but because you might end up with a whole flock in shock and have to deal with that. Plus, once a fox has had dinner at your place he'll be back.

We paid a fiver each for our hybrids, 50p for the poor ex-batteries and I would recommend both. Black Rocks beautiful birds, and supposed to lay well for years. The ex-batteries 'cos it's a buzz seeing chickens walk for the first time in their lives and that gradual change from bald numpties into proper chickens. And they all lay brilliant eggs!
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# 10
Ted_Hutchinson
Old 27-04-2005, 10:23 PM
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To get this into perspective we've had chickens for 15 years and been visited by Mr Fox three times and lost 2 Muscovy ducks and 4 hens. We live in a very rural environment, in town you probably have to be more careful as most foxes have turned urban as the pickings are easier.
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# 11
Pooky
Old 28-04-2005, 9:04 AM
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I'm really trying to sell hubby on the idea of chickens....he's not that keen ( he thinks they're evil). We do get foxes and my youngest cat likes to bring rabbits in off the fields so I'm sure a chicken or two would find itself stuffed through the cat flap if we didn't build some sort of enclosure. I've got a fair sized garden that was neglected for years before we moved in, we're getting there slowly but have one bit overrun with stingers and vine weed, i'd ideally like to clear it and put chickens there but would they have a problem with the weeds or would they keep them down??? I suppose the area is around 15ft x 6ft - would that be big enough do you think???

Obviously I've not looked into this much at all - but I'd be grateful of advice on the size of enclosure before I go getting all excitied.
"Start every day off with a smile and get it over with" - W. C. Field.
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# 12
Magentasue
Old 28-04-2005, 9:45 AM
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They would keep the weeds down but long grass is a problem. If possible, it would be best to strim it so they can do the rest.

We have cats - they get used to each other. They were all fairly gobsmacked when they first saw each other but quickly ignored each other. I wondered about this before we got hens but it's very rare for cats to attack hens or t'other way round. Chicks are another matter because they are breakfast size.

The enclosure size sounds fine but ... if you keep chickens on the same ground for a long time parasites build up. In a field or huge garden it's not a problem but in a small run it can be. It's generally recommended that when they've ruined the ground, you move their run so the ground can recover. This is the principle of arks and small coops with small runs, you move it round every few days so the hens get fresh greenery/grass and the ground has a rest.

Another way is to put the coop in the middle and let them have one half for a while and then switch them to the other half.

Mine are free ranging the garden so I hope it'll be OK. In the summer you don't have to worry - it's when you have days of rain, that the ground becomes a mire.
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# 13
Curry Queen
Old 28-04-2005, 11:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magentasue
We have cats - they get used to each other. They were all fairly gobsmacked when they first saw each other but quickly ignored each other. I wondered about this before we got hens but it's very rare for cats to attack hens or t'other way round.

You never met my chickens then LOL! ... they would chase the cats round the garden at times and come into the kitchen to steal their food

It was quite hilarious to watch as the cats were used to being "top dogs" of the house (they even kept the dogs in check!) and all of a sudden they had these big brown 2-legged creatures standing up to them and chasing them!!! The dogs would just ignore them but they were the bottom of the pecking order (get it!!!! ) of the household anyway
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# 14
Noozan
Old 28-04-2005, 12:06 PM
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I have two chickens and a cat and they have never bothered each other. When I first ket the girls out into the garden, they completely ignored the cat. The cat was really inquisitive though and kept creeping up on the girls for a look. These days, they just ignore one another.

Yesterday afternoon, I heard the girls making a very low, continuous clucking sound which I had never heard before. I went out to investigate thinking one of the neighbourhood cats were threatening one of them. Well....when I went out, there was a large black cat which I had never seen before cowering in the corner of the garden and the two girls were rearing up at it

I have an Eglu. I ummed and ahhed for weeks before getting one as I thought it was very expensive (320). I looked at 6 x 4 sheds which are about 95 and considered converting a shed and building an attached run. In the end, I chose the Eglu as it came with a fox proof run and was maintenance free. It is twin walled which makes it warm in winter and cool in summer, it takes a few seconds to empty the contents of droppings tray into compost heap every morning and it all comes apart to be hosed down once a week. It will never need re-weather proofing and since it all comes apart for cleaning, there are no nooks for red mite to hide in. I too was dubious when I first saw the Eglu, but I can honestly say I think it's money very well spent. It is also light enough for me to move around the garden without any help.


I live outwith of the delivery area to recive livestock from the Eglu people, so I just bought twp hyline hens from a local breeder which were 4.25 each. They started laying about a week after I got them and to date, i have at least two eggs every day without fail, sometimes I get three eggs a day! (Which I didn't think was possible :confused: )

Our girls free range for most of the day at the moment and although my original intention was to confine them to their run during the summer months when I had all my veggies in, I haven't the heart to do it now! I'm currently fencing in anything I don't want them to eat....

Chickens are great at gardening
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# 15
beadysam
Old 06-05-2005, 12:49 PM
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Any news on anyone's chickens? I'm getting some of my own soon so I'm a bit `clucky' about chickens at the moment!

SAM xx
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# 16
Shona
Old 07-04-2006, 5:14 PM
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Hello, like Noozan we got an eglu because we had 2 foxes which regularly sunbathed in our garden (broad daylight too) and we wanted peace of mind. it has been great but the problem is 2 chickens are never enough, so now we need more room to expand our poultry empire! We are moving to the country in 3 weeks and thinking of getting some more chickens and maybe ducks but what with bird flu in Scotland we may wait a little. Would need a very big shed/run to keep them indoors all the time.

Our two cats got pecked the first time they went near the hens and have steered clear since.

We have a Maron Brown hybrid and a Black Rock hybrid, Esme and Isabel, they are 18 months old and rule the garden!
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# 17
bootman
Old 07-04-2006, 5:25 PM
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I did get my Eglu in the end last year and have not regretted one bit. My 2 chickens from Omlet the company that make the Eglu are lovely and give me an egg every day.

DEFRA have apparently said that should poultry need to be kept under cover then the winter shade over the run will be OK, so thats good news.

I would not be without my girls now

I am sure I read that later in the year a bigger one is to be launched. If you keep checking the Omlet website you will be able to find out more

www.omlet.co.uk
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# 18
Noozan
Old 07-04-2006, 5:59 PM
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The current eglu for sale on the Omlet site is indeed, bigger than the original model and can house 4 chickens. However, the run is still the same size so unless you intend to let the girls free range for most of the day, i would say that the run is too small.

I bought my eglu in February last year and it has served me well; I still stand by my comment that it is money well worth spending.

But....chicken keeping is addictive and I now have 13 chickens, 2 4 week old chicks and 4 2 day old chicks! The older girls live in a converted shed with a 16 foot by 8 foot attached area fenced off for them. The eglu is used as a nursery house/run for chicks when they are ready to be hardened off.

I live in Fife though so am concerned with avian flu having recently been confirmed here. DH and I were discussing whether we should cull 10 of the outdoor girls and keeping the other 3 confined to their shed, with a small covered run attached. The chicks are ok for now as they are still under heat in the spare bedroom and can be moved out to a shed when they are weaned off the heat. To be honest, it's not us we are worried about but we are concerned about any possible reaction/hysteria/worry of neighbours etc.
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# 19
tplatt
Old 03-09-2007, 2:18 PM
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Smile Buying An Eglu

I, too, have been looking into purchasing an Eglu as well as getting a couple of Black Rocks. As I have quite a small, narrow garden, it seems ideal and the fact that it all comes apart and you can hose it down once a week and disinfect once a month rather than having to scrub and disinfect a wooden one more regularly in order to get rid of bugs, etc and repaint it every year. The Eglu is quite expensive, but I am sure worth the money. You can get them second hand on ebay, but, obviously, you will have to collect it. At the moment I am saving up for my Eglu in the hope I can buy one next spring, when, I presume, that is the best time to buy hens.
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# 20
moanymoany
Old 03-09-2007, 2:38 PM
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What do you do with poorly chickens?

What do chickens eat?
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