The Omlet Blog

Omlet Newsletter October 27th 2005

Hello,

A while ago a photographer and his assistants turned up at Omlet.  They took their time selecting the location, setting up lights and arranging props.  This was a professional shoot, no doubt about it.  So when the time came for the serious work to begin, onlookers were bemused to see a little Gingernut Ranger wander into the spotlight.  Juliet le Poulet (as she was swiftly named) stunned the photographer with her natural posing and he proclaimed she had “a pout to rival Keira Knightly”.  If there were an agency for talented chickens Juliet would certainly be on the books.  Looking at all the photos of performing chickens in Omlet’s gallery she wouldn’t be alone in forging another successful career as a model or an actress.

Juliet Le Poulet

Anyway, the image was for the front cover of critically acclaimed musician Geraint Jones’ new album, Turn That Chicken Down.  Which made us think there must be lots of songs out there that feature either a chicken in the title or the sound of a chicken in the actual song.  So, how about doing a compilation?  Great Idea!  Just send your suggestions to johannes@omlet.co.uk.  At the very least it’s a good excuse to spend the evening going through your old vinyl collection!

With only a few nights to go until Halloween it’s worth reminding everyone that although the eglu is extremely safe it can’t keep a ghost out.  The only protection against that is a spooktacular glowing pumpkin – so make sure you carve one.  Even better if you take a photo and send it to johannes@omlet.co.uk because then you will have a chance of winning a £20 Omlet gift voucher.  Entries accepted until midnight on the 31st Oct.

And last but not least we have launched a set of exclusive Omlet Christmas cards which are our featured product of the week – see below for more details…

This Weeks Star Photos

Emily’s new ear muffs were the talk of the town.

Which of these rabbits just farted?

These eggs are from the same chickens
before and after a electrical storm.
(but I thought the eglu was insulated – ed)

Maybe they are keen golfers? – ed

Omlet Health Advice
Although feeding treats to your chickens is fine –
you should always feed your chickens
Layers Pellets as part of their daily diet.

Barbara’s Weekly Diary!

Taming Hens
I get lots of e-mails from eglu owners who are worried about handling their hens and the thing that I suggest is to try picking them up through the eggport when they go to roost at night when they are more drowsy. You can give them a cuddle for a few minutes because they don’t tend to flap so much then. Pop them back in through the eggport carefully when you’ve finished and they’ll probably go straight off to sleep, all relaxed and cosy.

If you keep doing this for a few days, they get used to human contact and this makes handling them during the day much easier. Chickens will also do almost anything for treats. If you hand feed them something delicious like tinned sweetcorn, grapes or the thing my girls go mad for at the moment – dried mealworms, they will associate you with all things tasty and won’t run a mile when they see you.

Once they begin laying, you suddenly become the dominant bird in the run. For some unfathomable reason, they suddenly see you as the cockerel and flatten themselves in a mating position! Whilst this is very funny to observe, it also makes picking them up an absolute doddle because they don’t run away! As they flatten themselves on the ground, you can just walk up behind them, carefully place a hand on either wing and scoop them up with ease. They will never peck you or hurt you so you needn’t be worried about them. They might peck at a ring or watch or maybe even painted finger or toe nails as they think shiny things are food but they soon learn what’s edible and what’s not so you will be absolutely fine. Be confident, hold them securely and they will let you cuddle them for as long as you like, especially if you’re also bearing a handful of treats.

Perseverance is the name of the game and it doesn’t take long to tame a chicken. Once they are used to being picked up, they are as friendly and cuddly as any kitten or puppy.

Barbara

What’s on the forum?

Handling your hens

Skippy asked “Had my chickens, Barbara and Margo for three weeks and I am struggling to handle them (as advised). I don’t want to alarm them as this may impede their egg laying (which has not started). I have tried not chasing them, cornering them, grabbing their legs, surprising them etc all to no avail they always manage to outsmart me and I am worried they will not get used to being handled but am also worried about stressing them out. Any tips?”

Evie an Mabel

To start with, I took the general advice about taking them out of the egg-port when they went to bed. This worked OK. Marvin the Speckledy didn’t mind at all, but BB the Pepperpot thought it was a bit undignified t be extracted bottom-first out of the door – she tolerated it, but wasn’t best pleased! Things are much better now I have built a lawn pen (AKA Colditz!) – I can go in with them now.

My picking-up technique is as follows…
1. stay calm
2. approach with both arms outstretched – this seems to stop them going both ways – the only way for them to go is up!
3. Stay calm
4. bring hands down slowly and gently over their backs
5. Stay calm! This way they seem to stay calm, and so do I. I’ve never tried to grab their legs – I’ve seen this written, but it sounds like it would panic them to me… persevere – and I’m sure it’ll come good” – Phil (revnev)

“Phil’s advice about taking them out of the Eglu through the eggport is good, as the girls are more docile at night time and should stand more amounts of fuss. As they get older, they’ll come to see you as the Top Chook in the pecking order and as you approach them they will instinctively crouch down (as if you are a cockerel) into a submissive position. Not only is this highly amusing, but it’s makes picking up very easy. Keep tempting them to you with treats, and keep persevering. You are right not to chase them, it will only stress them (and you) out and won’t really help in the long term. Things will progress given time. You’ll be tucking them under your arm in no time.” – Gina

“I find it easiest to catch them if once you’ve got a hand to their back you push down slightly. They can’t run away because they need to be able to go up a bit to give their legs room to move. Once you have them stationary you can then pick them up by sliding one hand underneath them from the head end pointing to their rear. Spread you fingers slightly to go around their legs & with a young bird or bantam you can sometimes hold their wings in place too with your thumb & little finger.. The other hand is then free to stroke them or whatever.” – Freerange

Featured Product

Pack of 8 Omlet Christmas Cards
Send a little happiness with these original Omlet Christmas cards. Each of the four designs features the hilarious comic capers of our feathered friends. Snowball fights, a chicken pretending to be Father Christmas and even a fox and chicken kissing under the misteltoe! Each pack has 8 cards ( 2 of each of the 4 designs), and envelopes.

These aren’t just the funniest Christmas cards available because by buying them you will help give some less fortunate chickens a new lease of life. Omlet will gives 50p to the Battery Hen Welfare Trust for each pack sold. The Trust rescues Battery Hens and rehomes them so that they can enjoy grass under their feet and sun on their combs.

Please note that these will packs will be despatched from Omlet HQ on Monday 7th November

Find out more here

Have an eggcellent day,

The Omlet team!

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