Omlet Newsletter August 25th 2005
The eglu for rabbits which we launched earlier this year has been delighting bunnies and gaining lots of admiring glances over the neighbourly fence of the worlds media. Featured in the Guardian and German Elle recently this new eglu uses all the same functionality of the original eglu for chickens and is perfect for rabbits. But its not just rabbits and chickens who are living a life of luxury in an eglu! In fact we have supplied eglus to people who have tortoises, ferrets, cats and dogs (although it would be a bit of a squeeze for a Labrador).
If you would like to see the eglus for yourself then we will be at the Town and Country show in Warwickshire this weekend and at the National Amateur Gardening Show on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th of September in Somerset – would be great to see you there!
This Weeks Star Photos
Florie – life doesn’t come any better than this!
Meet Sam and Josh from Derbyshire along with their eggstremely friendly and very ‘peckish’ chickens Pepper and Eggna!
Barbara’s Weekly Diary!
Most of the time, our hens produce perfectly beautiful eggs but occasionally things can go wrong. Oversized eggs can be caused by too much protein in the diet or if the hens are old or diseased. Sometimes the first few eggs laid by hens can be eye wateringly large and contain double or even triple yolks until their egg production settles down. This is nothing to worry about and is rather exciting to find when you crack open your egg. They are caused by more than one yolk being released simultaneously which are then formed into one egg. The very first egg laid by a pullet when it is first coming into lay often contains no yolk at all and can by tiny. These are called Cock’s or Wind Eggs and can also be laid by hens after a shock. Blood spots inside the eggs are caused by a tiny amount of blood being released from the ovarian follicle and can sometimes be caused by shock or stress.
Eggs, which have a ridge or band around the middle, are caused again by a shock to the hen which temporarily disrupts the egg laying system. This is nothing to worry about and the hen will usually return to laying normal production again quickly. Eggs with wrinkled shells are an indication of poor muscle tone in older hens.
Soft-shelled eggs are fairly common and can be caused by a number of factors. Shock again is a common reason for an egg being laid with a thin or soft shell with something as simple as a sudden rainstorm or spell of hot weather being the cause. Lack of calcium in the diet is another reason so give plenty of greens in their diet as many of these vegetables contain calcium. Most commercial feeds have added calcium but giving crushed oyster shell or calcified seaweed as an additional supplement usually rectifies this problem. A cheaper alternative is to wash egg shells after using the eggs in the kitchen then bake them in a moderate oven for 15 minutes. Crush them finely with a rolling pin and add to their feed. Regularly occurring soft-shelled eggs can be a sign of illness or infection. Brittle shells usually occur in the summer when the hens have been laying well and have depleted calcium levels
[ For more strange eggs visit our website here – ed ]
What’s on the forum?
A guest to the forum recently asked about holding hens:
“We definitely want our chickens to be comfortable with us… we’ve only had them 2 weeks & they are only easy to pick up once they’ve gone to bed in the Eglu. Is it okay to pick them up once they are in bed or does that disturb their eventual egg laying? We would like to pick them up so they learn not to be afraid of us & are friendly with us but, don’t want to chase them to get them… which although we don’t do it, seems the only way during the day. Any ideas on getting closer to your chicken would be appreciated!!”
“Ours hated being picked up at first – and Thelma still does to some extent, but they will become more tame the more time you spend with them. They will learn to trust you and like you, given time. I don’t think picking them up when they’ve roosted is anything to worry about, it’s your choice at the end of the day and only you will know how your chickens feel about it. I don’t do that, but I’m a bit soft as I think it will disturb their sleeping time!” Gina
“Yes, absolutely no problem picking them up when they have gone to roost. It’s what we did because they are far more docile then and don’t flap or peck at all. They’ll soon get used to you handling them and if treats are involved, the process is much quicker.” Kate
“One thing we picked up from the breeder was not to dither about it. If you’re going to pick your chicken up get them near you rather than chasing them and pick them up in a calm and confident way, even if you don’t feel calm and confident. If you act nervous they’ll think there’s something to be scared of.” Trish
Egluowner of the week
From next week we will be featuring an elguowner of the week. If you would like to be featured then read our questionnaire and email your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org .
You can download the questionnaire here
But what will the neighbours say?
Thinking about keeping chickens but not sure how the neighbours will react? You could just go ahead and wait until they find out. But a much better idea is to just lean over the fence and casually mention that you are going to collect your eggs from the end of your garden not the supermarket from now on. With no cockerel and only a pair of happy hens in the garden objections like noise or smell are nothing to worry about. And if they still aren’t convinced you could try bribing them with the promise of a couple of delicious fresh eggs every week!
Omlet Boxer Shorts
You might be wondering who on earth is modelling these slinky boxer shorts. Unfortunately he would like to remain anonymous. These boxers fit a 30-32 inch waist. Made from a great new material that feels like silk but is actually 45% wood and 45% cotton and 10% lycra to make them a bit stretchy. Requests for signed copies of this photograph should be sent to email@example.com.
Find out more here
Have an eggcellent day,
The Omlet team!