Omlet Newsletter December 2nd 2005
A thin blanket of snow settled at Omlet on Monday night causing our flock of chickens who normally rush out in the morning to brake hard at the front door. It took a while for them to venture out and even longer to teach them how to build a snowman!
If ever there was a competition that was close to Omlet’s heart, then Bake me Happy is it. And is there any finer or more noble use for the humble egg than being turned into something as wonderful as an eglu shaped cake? Not in the judges opinion, which is why the title of Baroness Bake goes to Sophie Bassindale. Congratulations and an Omlet Special Something Apron will be winging its way to you. We have decided to also award prizes for outstanding effort to Claire Button who sent in a delicious chocolate cake enclosed in a magnificent box (painted by her friend Peter) and to Joan Coxon for her Banana Chocolate cake which the Judges enjoyed immensely. Thank you to all the entries, we will definitely be running another food inspired competition in the near future so keep baking!
You’ve waited patiently for 11 months and now finally December is here it’s your big chance to ask Santa for an eglu but don’t leave it to the last minute. The Elves are already busy preparing eglus and wrapping chickens for him to deliver in time for Christmas – let them know as soon as possible they’ll make sure you’re also on Santa’s list!
The Omlet Team
Bake Me Happy ‘Christmas’
(too early – ed)
A delicious looking selection of other entries.
Winner: Sophie Bassindale
Runners Up: Claire Button and Joan Coxon
Barbara’s Weekly Diary!
Stress Busting Hens
It’s amazing. It doesn’t matter how bad your day has been – the minute you pick up a chicken and give it a cuddle, you can’t help but feel that the day has become brighter! They are the most wonderful stress busters. They make funny little chirruping noises as you stroke them and almost purr as you tickle them under a wing. They feel warm and their feathers are so soft and velvety and if you cuddle them for long enough they even begin to nod off! You can see their eyes closing and their heads start to droop! Years ago, my son was bullied at school and he would come home looking dejected and miserable. The first thing he did was to go out into the chicken run and hug a hen – usually his favourite if she didn’t run away quickly enough and it was only a matter of seconds before he was smiling again and he’d forgotten his bad day!
Even if you’re not able to pick up your hens for a hug, just watching them can be enough to raise low spirits. The funny digging dance they do always has me in stitches – step, scratch, step, scratch, hop back with a fluffy bottom in the air and peer at the ground to see if anything tasty has been uncovered then repeat the dance again and again. They are so inquisitive too. If you sit out in the garden with them, you’ll find that they just have to be near you. Andif you’re gardening, you have to be so careful where you place your spade or fork because they are in the hole you’re digging before you know it on the search for worms and earwigs!
Dustbathing is my favourite chicken watching moment though. The blissful look on their faces as they kick and flick the soil all over their bodies and roll around is just so wonderful to watch. I have no idea why but they all insist on dustbathing in exactly the same spot, whether there’s room for them all or not and it never fails to make me laugh to see several hens all in the same hole rolling on top of each other and glaring as they accidentally flick compost over each other!
A Bake Me Happy competitor got slightly
carried away with the icing sugar.
You can see more photos in the gallery
What’s on the forum?
What’s in a crop?
“Laurie The Loop” has had a worrying experience and as usual, forum members rushed to post reassuring advice…
“I need a bit of help and advice. I am over the moon as I have my first egg today…however, poor little Myrtle seems to have a wonky crop The crop seems to have shifted from the centre to a position over to the right. I know these may seem strange questions but: a. could the two be linked? and b. Should I be worried? She seems happy and is eating normally, but Myrtle Greedypants looks very odd. The worry taints the very happy event of my first egg ever!!! Any help would be gratefully received.”
In the Chicken Clinic there is some useful info re crops, this is a link to one of the topics and about half way down the page, Kate describes the crop as being on the right hand side – so maybe it’s supposed to be there anyway? – PurpleHen
She’s probably just been pigging out so don’t worry unless she’s still looking enlarged on one side in the morning. The food in the crop is digested slowly overnight so when she gets up in the morning, it should feel like an empty balloon. If it’s still hard when she gets up, she might need to see a vet as it could be impacted. Don’t worry now though. It’s quite normal to see a hen with a huge bosom after a long day eating! Let us know how she is tomorrow and I’m sure you’ll say she’s fine. Good luck and congratulations on that first wonderful egg! – Kate
Thanks everyone…as always, it is very reassuring for an L plate Eglu owner, to know you are there! Bravely I did try a little massage….and hubby offered olive oil. Myrtle very smug with the cuddle…I am drenched in olive oil….which Myrtle declined. – Laurie The Loop
I had a huge panic the first time I saw Flo’s crop after her having had a big binge!!! The next day it was fine, so I’ve assumed ever since that that is where it is and how it looks at times. – Liz Steed
My Belles crop seems to move about, depending on how much she’s pigged out on the old spinach leaves… – Chookiehen
Thanks everyone… I am relieved to say that Myrtle looks quite normal this morning. What a fright for a novice …one minute she was good old Myrtle Greedypants the next she was clucking “tonight Mathew…I’m going to be Quasimodo ” Now back to the excitement of the egg…which was lovely…..today I will be keeping a chilly vigil to try and work out who did the deed…..Olive still looks a little furtive, but that could be the pressure of being in the presence of an egg layer! The mystery will, I am sure, unfold!
Thanks again all…..my steep learning curve, just keeps getting steeper! – Laurie The Loop
You struggle up that steep curve over the first few months but after a while, you find that you’re freewheeling down the other side and you stop worrying about your hens and start to enjoy watching them! Glad she’s OK this morning Laurie. – Kate
Not only is she okay this morning….but I have egg number 2….it was her all along absolutely wonderful brown shelled maxi sustainer in mini container!!!!! Now come on Olive…get your feathery bum out of a sling…and start laying too!!! I’m thrilled…I am enjoying them so much…..never knew how funny they could be..and how different their personalities are. Why did I not do this sooner. Although stress may have shaved a couple of years from me yesterday…my Myrtle is back to normal has laid 2 eggs…what more could I ask….apart from Olive to do the same!! Thanks everyone. – Laurie The Loop
Egluowners of the Week
Occupation: Company Secretary
Where do you live? Hampshire
What pets do you have? Goldern Retriever, Cat and two chickens
If you were stranded on a desert island what luxury item would you have? Marmite
How many chickens do you have? 2
What breeds are they? Miss Pepperpot Gingernut Ranger
How old are they? 19 weeks
What are your chickens called? The Girls
How many eggs do you get a week and what is your favourite way of cooking them? None at the moment
Do your chickens have a party trick? Pushing and shoving me as I try to climb into their pen
Has someone you know been eating a lot of eggs recently or hopping from room to room whilst munching on a carrot? You may have thought this behaviour a bit odd, but there is a very simple explanation. They want an eglu for Christmas!!!!! Although it’s a bit big to fit under the tree, Santa will deliver it to your garden in time for the big day and if you’re not sure which colour to give you can even get a gift voucher, which will fit under most trees.
£350 inc delivery – visit www.omlet.co.uk
Chicken Horoscopes by Mystic Peg
Mystic Peg is studying the stars for next month predictions…
Have an eggcellent day,
The Omlet team!