The Omlet Blog

Date Archives: July 2009

Omlet Newsletter July 14th 2009

Hello!

With kids breaking up from school, the holiday season starting and and the weather deciding to be scorching one minute and stormy the next, it is important to remember the needs of your chickens over the next few weeks. Don’t panic, help is at hand from Barbara this month, with lots of good tips for keeping hens happy during summer. See how chickens stay cool in Sri Lanka and learn why we are very proud of two of Omlet’s very own hens. Plus there’s a brand new competition to keep you hentertained and the results of the always popular caption competition. Enjoy!

Chickens at the Theatre

What are you going to be doing this summer? This year more and more of us will be choosing to stay in Britain instead of heading off for a week in the sun, to try and save some money, and although it is great to get away from it all, there’s a lot of fun to be had that’s closer to home. If you’re looking for a few hours of entertainment that doesn’t cost the world, a trip to the theatre is always a good choice.

Jerusalem is an entertaining and funny play that anyone with an interest in green living will love. Starring Mackenzie Crook, who you may recognise from the tv comedy The Office, this is bound to make you laugh. The play is based around the main character Johnny Byron, who’s having a difficult time living the rural life – the council want him evicted, his children want him to take them to the fair and another fella wants to give him a kicking. Life’s tough. But the real stars of the show, in our eyes at least, are the two Omlet chickens. They are brilliant actresses during the performance and they live in an eglu at the theatre during their time off. We are very proud!

Jerusalem is showing at the Royal Court Theatre, London, until August 15th, so you’ve got plenty of time to spot our famous hens and maybe grab an autograph. Click here to read the details and book your tickets.

The little red hen has always dreamed of being on stage…

 

A Different Kind of Chicken House

A friend of Omlet recently took a trip to Sri Lanka and saw some amazing sights. Amongst the sandy beaches, waterfalls and coconut plantations Jess spotted something she knew we would be interested in: a chicken house…and what a chicken house it is. Made from brick , with windows and a full size door it looks plenty big enough for a flock of hens, and strong enough to survive those monsoons. It looks rather different to the eglu, but it’s great to see how other cultures keep chickens.

If you’ve seen any hens or houses on your travels we’d love to see your photos. Send to Stephanie@omlet.co.uk.

Chickens livin’ it up in Sri Lanka

The Line Up Continues

The Omlet Tour Bus has been very busy this year, and it’s still got several stops to make over the summer. These shows make a great day out for all the family which is just what you need during the summer holidays.

This weekend is the Kent County Show which is the largest outdoor event in Kent. With a countryside area that includes fly fishing, birds of prey and duck herding; an agricultural zone that features cookery demonstrations and ideas of what to do with your home grown produce; and a huge range of stalls to everything from a hot dog to a holiday home. Not forgetting the eglu, of course, on stand 7, near the main entrance. Come and see the famous chicken house in the flesh and ask our friendly team any questions you have. The show runs from Friday 17th to Sunday 19th July at The Kent Showground, and tickets can be bought at the gate. For more information visit the website.

The following weekend we will be at the CLA Game Fair at Belvoir Castle, Leicestershire – the world’s greatest country sport and countryside show. It is a great chance to experience what the countryside has to offer and with over 1000 exhibitors you won’t be bored! Come and see us on stand A34. The show runs from 24th – 26th July and tickets can bought online now.

Not long after we will be setting up our stand at the New Forest and Hampshire County Show, Brockenhurst. This runs from 28th – 30th July and has been going for 88 years. It is rated as one of the top 10 agricultural and equestrian shows in the UK and there are stalls, a food hall and events such as pig racing. We’ll be on stand 80 and we’re looking forward to seeing you. Buy your tickets online here.


No hens were harmed in the making of this photo

Don’t Worry Bee Happy

A few newsletters back we asked you if any of you are keen beekeepers, helping to prevent the decline of chief pollinator the honeybee. Two days after that newly qualified bee keeper Mark Dewey was told there was a swarm waiting for him. Six weeks on and we asked him to tell us about his experience.

“I attended a three month course with my local bee keeping association, which started in January, with classes every Saturday morning for three hours. Practical courses started as soon as it was warm enough. I had been given the choice of four courses locally (to my surprise) and I chose purely on which day would best suit me.

I received my first Swarm, on June 4th, via the local association co-ordinator, and I would definitely recommend starting with a swarm as they are quite small and much easier to handle for beginners.

A month later, on July 8th, I received a full hive which, to be blunt, was a little scary compared to my first swarm. Moving a full hive with approximately 30,000 bees in the back of the car is quite exciting if you have never done it before! I have left the full hive alone for now, but there’s quite a lot happening at the moment, as the new swarm is building up comb, food and brood. I have only taken a little honey so far as I didn’t want to be presumptuous with the weather, but it tasted amazing.”


Mark looks the bees knees in his protective suit

A Colossal Load of Captions

Last month our caption king was away and we asked you to come up with a one- liner for a brilliant photo on his behalf. Lots of you entered, with some great captions for Ash, Baby Mikey and their chick. It was a tough one but we decided that Trish Hayman’s entry was the best, which you can see under the photo on the right. Here are a few more we thought were crackers:

“Chicken! Egg! Who cares, just pass the soldiers…” – Elizabeth Mason

“Where do I dip my toast in, mum?” – Chriss Norton

“I know organic fresh baby food is best mum, but this is taking it a bit far!” – Liz Bolas

“That’ll be a pint of lager for me and a babycham for my chick!” – Vicki Stencel

“Wahey! – this is much better than a boiled egg!” – Louise Wales


Little do they realise that their attempt at poaching eggs has been caught on camera!

I know I said I wanted a runny egg but this is ridiculous!

Win with a Wordsearch

If you weren’t a winner this time don’t worry, we’ve got another smashing competition for you this month. Everyone loves a good old fashioned wordsearch and this one has a summer theme, perfect for doing on your hols, or during one of the inevitable rainy days. It won’t take you long and you will have the chance to win a £20 voucher to spend in the Omlet online shop. Just print out the wordsearch, circle the words and send to Wordsearch Competition, Omlet Ltd, Tuthill Park, Wardington, Oxon, OX17 1RR, or email your solution to stephanie@omlet.co.uk.

Words: Sun, Holiday, Ice Cream, Seaside, Sandcastle, Camping, Picnic, Festival, Barbeque, Chickens, Dustbathing, Moulting.

Good luck!

Could this be the quickest way to 20 quid?

Vegging out

We have had some wonderful weather so far this summer and the heatwave at the end of June made me think how uncomfortable the poor hens must be, forced to wear feather duvets night and day. A couple of our hens had the good sense to moult at least some of their feathers over the last month and they looked much cooler sporting their rather threadbare outfits. Why most hens moult when the weather begins to turn colder is beyond me as it must be utterly unbearable to be fully feathered during the hottest part of the year. Our girls are quite lucky that their run is situated in a nice, partially-shaded part of the garden so they only really get the full heat of the sun in the late afternoons and early evenings when it isn’t so intense. Despite the shady conditions, they were frequently spotted standing around panting with open beaks and opting for the “wing hanging” stance where their wings are lifted out slightly to each side giving them a very odd lop-sided appearance which allows the air to circulate around their bodies a little more. Hens aren’t able to sweat so this, combined with the open beaked panting, seems to be the only way they are able to keep themselves cool when the temperatures soar.

When it is hot, they drink so much more than usual and can dehydrate quickly if there isn’t enough water around so I always make sure that their drinkers are full to the brim on really sunny days. By the time I’d taken additional big bowls of water with ice cubes in down to the chicken run for them to drink, the ice had melted but I watched them returning to the bowl again and again to drink and cool down. The summer heat dries out the earth in their run so on hot days, there is always a lot of dust-bathing going on. Typically, they all seem to want to pile into the same hollow and this causes rather a lot of squabbles which are accompanied by petulant pecks, kicks and indignant squawks as one hen gets in another hen’s way.

The heat had an adverse effect on egg production though with the number of eggs laid going down significantly to the point where we only collected one or two eggs a day when the weather was at its hottest which played havoc with Tom’s egg bartering plans! At least the Eglu and Cube were nice cool places for the hens to retreat to for egg laying as it’s usually a few degrees cooler inside.

With the school holidays almost upon us, I’ve been receiving lots of queries asking what to do with pet hens when going away on holiday. With an Eglu or a Cube, this is pretty straightforward as they can be left unattended for a couple of days as long as the opening at the end of the run is securely fastened shut so that the hens are safely confined within the run. As they are out of harm’s way in the run, the pop-hole can be left open so that they can come and go without needing someone to come and shut them in at night and let out again first thing in the morning. The feeders hold enough food and water for a couple of days so if you have a friend, relative or neighbour who could pop in and top these up every 2-3 days or more frequently when it’s really hot to ensure that their drinkers haven’t been drained dry, the hens would be fine. There is no need to collect eggs daily because hens will happily sit on them and lay more until the nest has been emptied. The run is secure but if it is placed on soft soil or uneven ground and you are worried about visiting foxes finding the ground easy to excavate, it would be a good idea to buy some of the screw in run pegs from the Omlet shop or move the Eglu and run onto firmer ground for extra peace of mind while you are away.

If you don’t have anyone who is able to check on your hens while you are on holiday, we have a network of volunteer Eglu and Cube owners who are happy for you to bring your hens and their homes to stay in their gardens where they will get a holiday of their own complete with VIP treatment! There is a list of these volunteers listed on our forum – http://club.omlet.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=9487 and if there is no one listed near you, posting a request can also usually find someone who is happy to help out.

Barbara’s Star Photo of the Month

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You’d be this happy too if your hens laid eggs within hours of arriving!

 

Course host of the week

Justine Teeling

About You

Where and with who do you live? I live in a compact yet bijou, 2 bed town house, in Widnes, Cheshire with my husband, dog and 6 chickens.

Your occupation: I haven’t worked for about 2 years now due to a medical condition I have, that’s when we decided to get the chickens. I DO write poetry in my spare time though and have, of course, been inspired by my chickens!

What is your favourite outfit? I don’t have a specific favourite but I do love hats!

What would you choose as your last supper? Now that’s a tough one! I adore food; both cooking it AND eating It! I suppose it would have to be slow roasted beef with Yorkshire pudding, proper roast potatoes done in duck/goose fat, Parisian Market carrots and sweetheart cabbage, lightly boiled and then tossed in butter and a really creamy, home made horseradish sauce. A perfect crème brulee and a nice bottle of Muscat, followed by a selection of farm produced cheese and biscuits. Then perhaps a wafer thin mint! Well, you did ask :0)

What is the most important thing you have ever lost? I do get upset if I lose something that has been given to me, like presents. I once let go of a balloon my mum and dad had bought me and I remember feeling heartbroken as I watched it float away. I’m not really bothered about having “things” now that I’ve got older, but I still treasure gifts, just don’t buy me a balloon!

Who would play you in a movie of your life? Someone quirky I hope, like Helena Bonham-Carter!

What song do you most like dancing to? Eek, I don’t do dancing, but if you forced me I’d say The Timewarp; then it doesn’t matter if you look silly cos you’re meant to!

If you won the lottery what’s the first thing you would do? Apart from being hysterical? Start planning our smallholding in the country!

 

Justine holds her hens close to her heart


This is one dog green with envy


Pets are great for inspiring poetry


We know hens love grit but these pieces are a bit big


A quiche to be proud of!

About Your Chickens

What are your chickens called? Currently we have Fatima, Eleanor, Lucy, Martha, Prudence and Bea. My original 4 ex battery chickens were named after characters in Tennyson poems (Maud, Fatima, Mariana and Shalott but sadly we’ve lost 3 of them now). Then we started naming our subsequent girls after Beatles’ songs, except for Bea who came to us already named.

What do your chickens like eating more than anything else? They all have different favourite treats, but they do all agree that mealworms are the best!

How many eggs do you get a week and what’s your favourite way of preparing them? 14 normal and about 7 bantam eggs. I make a mean quiche with double cream!

Do you bake more cakes now you have your own chickens? Definitely! Most shop bought cakes use battery eggs, so I started making my own and now can’t stop. In fact we’ve started growing fruit and veg in the garden and recently taken on an allotment. I love using our own produce in the kitchen. The chickens mean we get outside much more than we used to and the garden has been totally transformed. They’ve opened up a new way of life for us.

Do your chickens have a party trick? They’re excellent at making meal worms disappear!

What’s been the most surprising thing about keeping chickens? How relatively straightforward it is. At first I was very nervous and thought every movement meant something was wrong. When I first saw one of them dust-bathing, I thought she was having a fit! Then I got used to their little foibles and have never looked back. Also what individual personalities they all have, how entertaining they can be, and how friendly they are!

Can you imagine life without chickens? I’d rather not if you don’t mind :0) My house would probably be tidier though, as I spend far too much time watching the chickens!

So, You Want Chickens?

I’m cultivating cobwebs
Collecting lint and dust
Only doing housework
When I absolutely must

You see I have a reason
For this abundance of refuse
It’s not a very valid one
Just some fowl excuse

There are chickens in my garden
I got them just to lay
Now I find I’m captivated
Watching them all day!!!!

So, fair warning if you’re pondering

And trying to bribe the spouse
You may find yourself on telly
On ‘How Clean is Your House?”!

Omlet online shop

Star Products!

Here is just a small selection, go online to see the full range

Egg Cup Set Round 4 Piece – Green

These egg cups have been delivered to Omlet by unidentified flying objects and we are lead to believe they are a product of the future. So if you’re bored of the same old breakfast we suggest you add these to the equation. You can fly your boiled egg down to the table in one very funky egg cup and invite a fellow space cadette to join you.

Set includes two egg cups and two spoons. Also available in black and white.

Buy now for £9.49

Egg cups in our favourite colour

Tea Cup & Saucer – Busy Bumble Bee

Sometimes only the best will do, and a tea cup and saucer can turn tea time into something much more special. Made from fine bone china this is a splendid set and the detailed bumble bee print makes it beeautiful. Sourced and made in potteries in Stoke on Trent it is of lovely quality and would make a gorgeous gift for someone else or a treat for yourself, and it is completely safe to use in the dishwasher. Matching items are available so you can put on a summer tea party to impress!

Has a capacity of 275ml. Comes packaged in a gift box.

Buy now for £16.00

Wrap-N-Mat – Gingham Red

Don’t you get fed up with wasting cling film and plastic bags on your sarnie every day? It is it a waste of money and bad for the environment, but you do need something to keep your lunch fresh and tasty. So here is the ingenius gizmo you have been waiting for…the Wrap-N-Mat. The picnic style fabric is lined with a waterproof coating that keeps food fresh and can be wiped clean after use, and it acts as the perfect surface for eating anywhere. It can be used every day making it a money saver and environmentally friendly, and we think it looks pretty good too! Just pop your sarnie in the centre of the wrap and fold the sides over like a parcel.

Buy now for £4.25

Big Bug Magnifier

See creepy crawlies like you’ve never seen them before with this big bug magnifier. The safe acrylic lens magnifies things to three times their size, so whether it’s a bee, a butterfly or a buttercup you will be able to see details you couldn’t see with your eyes alone. You could even look at a spider if you dare, and see its amazing eight eyes staring back at you.

This looks far cooler than a normal magnifying glass, with a big bug body for the handle that evey kid will love. The funny looking fella also has six adjustable legs that can be positioned to make it a free standing magnifier, meaning you can keep your hands well back from Mr Spider if he gives you the heebie jeebies.

Science and nature can be fun and fascinating for kids! Suitable for ages 4+

Buy now for £6.85

The Buzz about Bees

There is far more to bees than meets the eye and there is probably a lot more going on in those colonies than you ever imagined.

In this book Jurgen Tautz introduces the humble bee as a “super organism” and a ‘fascinating result of evolution’. Making honey is a complicated beesness and the bees have to clean clean their cells, build honey comb, visit flowers and guard the entrance. And they don’t spend all their time producing nature’s gold, they also groom, fight, and communicate using high pitched beeping, scents and dances.

With easily understandable text and a range of remarkable photographs showing bees in action, this is a truly fascinating read for anyone interested in keeping bees or biology.

Buy now for £23.99

Omlet World

Check below for your local Omlet site. If we don’t currently sell the Eglu in your country, why not e-mail us and tell us why we should!

Omlet team

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This entry was posted in Newsletter on July 14th, 2009 by admin


Omlet Newsletter July 2nd 2009

Hello!

Well according to the eggsperts it is officially summer, and with the promise of the hottest, driest summer in years we have plenty to look forward to.

With barbeques, sunbathing and tending to your hens to be done, you will probably be seeing a lot more of your back garden over the next few months, and now might be the time to get it looking gorgeous with a spot of gardening. Get those flowers blooming, get the lawn mowed and it’s not too late to get some salad growing. And to get you into action we have some great products that’ll make gardening a breeze.

Also in this newsletter, a show to inspire even those with not-so-green fingers and the story of a woman that teaches children how to grow their own food. So put on your gloves, get outside and enjoy the sun!


When it’s hot outside the eglu is the place to be!

MP’s Eggspences

The Omlet newsletter has been a veritable haven of eggspences free news recently but we couldn’t resist this little sideways swipe spotted by the very sharp, owl like eyes of long time Omlet supporter Mr George.

As we’re on the subject we have been eagerly awaiting the revelation that an MP used their eggspences allowance to buy an Eglu and some chickens. Something we would of course say was well within the spirit of the rules. Thank you also to Dr Bentley for the tip of using the Telegraph as a lining for the dropping tray to make cleaning that little bit easier.

Also in the papers, you can never be too careful when you’re refilling the Eglu’s grub and glug as there may be a paparazzi hiding behind the hedge waiting to swoop. The Daily Mail gets the scoop… click here to find out who.


MP’s in the muck over eggspenses.

Gardeners World

Next stop for the Omlet tour bus, the NEC, for one of our most popular shows – Gardener’s World Live. If you’ve ever been to this show before you’ll know what a great summer day out it is, whether you are a gardening pro or a beginner wanting to learn some tips.

There are several different stages with talks, including one focused on growing your own which gives you all the advice you need for living the good life. The floral marquee is perfect for picking up some flowers to brighten up the garden, and there are 25 show gardens that will give you loads of inspiration.

There is lots to keep the kids amused too, including face painting, games and Punch & Judy, and they go free with a paying adult. And of course you are welcome to visit stand G706 to see the Eglu and Cube in all their glory and chat all things chickens! The show runs from 10th – 12th June and you can buy tickets in advance via the website. See you there!

Can you Beelieve it?

The honeybee, chief pollinator and provider of honey, is in danger. Pesticides, habitat loss and disease have all combined to cause serious problems for bees and their numbers are in decline. As people who keep chickens are generally very interested in all things tasty we’re sure that some of you must keep bees and collect your own honey. We’d love to hear from you if you do, just email stephanie@omlet.co.uk and send a picture of your hive together with a few lines about what’s brilliant about bees and we’ll feature the best in the nextnewsletter.


What would you rather bee or a wasp?

Eggs win Prizes!

There’s still time to enter our Decorate an Egg Competition to win a £20 voucher to spend in the online shop. But even if you don’t win, everyone that enters will receive a free matchstick garden to get you growing your own summer salads. Just decorate your egg to look like a face or character, take a snap and send to stephanie@omlet.co.uk, or Decorate an Egg Competition, Omlet Ltd, Tuthill Park, Wardington, Banbury, Oxon, OX17 1RR. And just think, you could use the voucher to buy an eggstra special egg cup to display your prize portrait egg! The closing date for entries is 9th June. Good luck!

There’s only so many bad yolks smiley can take before he breaks…

Compost Woman

If you haven’t checked out the Omlet Planet yet you should give it a go because you never know what you might find. This month we have unearthed one blogger by the name of compostwoman. So called because she is a Master Composter ( a volunteer who encourages people in their local community to start composting at home, and offer support to people who are already home composting).

This lady is proud of her passion for gardening, recycling and, of course, composting, and she’s been busy teaching one bunch of kids all she knows. When her daughter started school in 2005, the school had just joined the Eco-School movement, starting with the creation of a vegetable garden. When the school needed help with the project, compostwoman was keen to get involved, getting compost bins and organising a recycling system for every class. She helped out in classes, teaching kids to grow their own herbs and veggies and encouraging them to try all those green things they hadn’t eaten before. She also began co-running an after school eco club that proved to be really popular with the kids. The club is fun and useful, teaching gardening skills and doing other ‘green’ activities such as making recycled paper. Her work with the school has continued to grow, leading to the development of a new career as an Environmental Educator and Forest School Leader.

We think it’s great that she’s encouraging kids to be healthy, active and aware of the environment. Click here to read her story in full


Only the chickens know the secret of Compostwoman’s super-gardening-powers.



A vegetable plot to be proud of!

Cooking corner

Our hens have been laying very well lately and word quickly spread that we had eggs to spare. We were soon inundated with offers of quails eggs, tomato plants, seedlings, even ‘light gardening duties’ by the local Cub Scout group, in exchange for a dozen or so eggs. Slugs have invaded our brassica patch, so I traded a couple dozen of eggs for some cabbage and brussels sprouts seedlings.

That’s the nice thing about this time of year, people come outside and conversations are had over the garden gate.

“Want Savoys? I’ve got plenty, I’ll send our daughter over with some later”.

Needless to say poor Milly arrived laden down with pots, poking out of her bicycle basket. Goods exchanged, she pedalled her way back down the lane with eggs, some freshly baked scones and a jar of home made strawberry jam. We now have more cabbages than we know what to do with!

Bartering is not just about the money, it is genuinely nice to swap things that we have too much of, for things we need. Barbara is a regular visitor to the local wool shop and often trades eggs and surplus vegetables for yarn, buttons and thread. It is how it was in the old days and gives you immense satisfaction in today’s world.

Enough reminiscing, I can’t help myself when it comes to chocolate. These brownies are crumbly and gooey, just the thing with a cup of tea after a hard morning digging the veggie plot.

Chocolate Brownies80g butter
110g dark chocolate
2 eggs
110g caster sugar

50g plain flour
30g cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
30g ground almonds
110g pecans/walnuts, roughly chopped

  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Line a baking tray (18x28cm) with baking parchment.
  2. Melt the butter and chocolate together over a pan of simmering water. Allow to cool slightly.
  3. Whisk the eggs with the sugar until pale and fluffy.
  4. Add the melted chocolate and butter mixture.
  5. Sift in the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder and stir to combine.
  6. Mix in the ground almonds and chopped nuts. Fold into the tin and bake for 15 minutes until the top is slightly cracked.

Cool in the tin and slice into pieces when completely cold. Will kept in a tin for at least a week. Unless Barbara spots them!

You won’t get Tom swapping these for Savoys

Vegging out

Summer’s just about here and there’s still plenty to keep on top of in the veggie patch. There’s no chance for resting as everything is now growing so quickly. There are some vital jobs this month which will ensure your veg grow to their maximum potential.

Weeding: Ok I know it’s a rubbish, never ending job but weeding around your veggies will mean all the nutrients in the soil benefit your plants and don’t get absorbed by hungry, fast growing weeds. Try picking them out when they’re young and their roots are poorly developed. This ensures minimum soil disturbance for your crops.

Thinning out: This is a technical term for removing any cramped or poorly developed seedlings from the soil. It’s very common, especially when you sow directly into the ground that too much seed gets dropped into one area. The greenest, largest and healthy looking ones should stay. Pull out any that are small, spindley or yellowing. Each plant will need room to grow so be brutal and start pulling!

Potting on: The plants that you transplanted a few months ago into their own pots should now have a strong root system established. If you check at the bottom of the pot you may even see the roots escaping out of the drainage holes! Now’s the time to decide whether you’re going to plant them outside or transfer them into a bigger pot. The method is really the same either way:

  1. Either dig a hole in the ground twice the size of your pot or put a couple of inches of soil into a pot at least twice the size of the original.
  2. Place your hand around the stem of the plant.
  3. Turn the pot with the plant in upside down and gently squeeze the pot.
  4. The root ball should now be free of the pot.
  5. Place the free plant into the hole or new pot and fill the gap with compost.
  6. Firm the compost around the top and water well.

Supporting: Anything that grows in a vine like manner such as tomatoes or peas need supporting. You can buy ready made support structures from a garden centre but it’s really easy to make your own. There are two main types of supports:

The wig-wam is the easiest and is most commonly used for peas, beans and climbing squashes.

  1. Take 4 bamboo canes.
  2. Place them into the ground at a distance that suits your plot (realistically around 50-100cm away from each other).
  3. Gather them at the top and tie with string or garden twine.

The 3 sided structure is more suited to tomatoes, aubergines and items grown in a grow bag but is commonly used for runner beans.

  1. Take 8 bamboo canes.
  2. Lay one on the floor horizontally and tie 2 more at each end to make the legs.
  1. Place this either over your grow bag or into the ground where you plan to plant.
  2. Stand 3 more evenly spaced canes against the horizontal support.
  3. Tie with string at the top and stand into the soil at the bottom.

Feeding: All plants need nutrients, especially when they’re flowering and fruiting. There are many feed products on the market. I personally favour a seaweed or basic tomato feed for the majority of my plants just bought from the garden centre. I have also had great results with “chicken poo soup”. This is made by putting chicken poo in a muslin bag, or a pair of old tights tying it into a bag, and soaking it in water for a couple of weeks. Use the remaining “soup”. The nitrates in the chicken poo really encourage growth. I found it’s better to water onto the ground and not over the leaves as it can be quite acidic and cause burning of the leaves.

Well, that should be enough to keep us outside let’s just hope the weather is kind to us!

How to make music with pots and plants


Is our veg guru building herself a tent?

Course host of the week

Lisa Spendlove

Where and with who do you live?
I live in Hitchin with my partner Andy, Jasdog, and of course my chooks.

How long have you been keeping chickens?
I have had chickens for two years last March.

What made you decide to keep chickens?
I used to visit a nearby poultry centre to buy eggs and fell in love with the chickens there. When Andy & I moved in together we decided we would like to get chickens but we are on the outskirts of town and there are lots of foxes around here. Then we discovered Omlet.

How many chickens do you have and what are their names?
I have four girls. My original three are Bobbi, Rae and Cynthia. Last year I adopted a Miss Pepperpot called Pepper as she was living on her own.

What’s your favourite thing about the Eglu?
The fox resistance has meant I could have chickens without worrying about foxes, the ease of cleaning & most importantly the colour!

What do you like doing when you’re not hosting hen parties?
I work full time doing payroll, but I am studying Book Keeping & Payroll at home. My main hobbies outside of chickens are going to football, watching live music & walking the dog.

Why did you decide to become a hen party host?
Barbara, from Omlet, suggested it after some people had contacted her about visiting my Eglu. I didn’t think I knew enough about chickens as I had only been keeping them just over a year. But when I thought about it I realised that I had learnt a huge amount from keeping them and from the Omlet forum.

When was your first course and how did it go?
My first party was in May last year. I was terrified. I had to learn to bake, which was new to me. No-one realised it was my first time and no one complained about the cake so I must have done alright.

What do your courses include?
When the guests arrive Andy makes every one tea and coffee and we then go into the garden to meet the girls. I talk about the girls and then the Cube. I show how easy it is to clean out and also talk about the Eglu as I had an Eglu before I upgraded to the Cube. We then have some chicken cuddles. We go back in the house for coffee, cake & egg sandwiches. I give out the goody bags and some extra notes that I do and answer any questions that I may not have covered. I have a selection of books and magazines for guests to flick through too.

What’s the best thing about being a hen party host?
Getting to share my girls and experiences with people. The looks on guests faces if they have their first chicken cuddle is great.

Why should people attend a course?
To answer any queries or doubts they may have. I wish the courses had been available when I started it as I’m sure I wouldn’t have panicked about the little things that I didn’t know about (pecking order etc). I did attend an advanced hen party just to reassure myself I was doing things right, and would recommend those too.

Course Review

“When I told my work colleagues last week that I was going to a Hen Party, they had visions of me tottering off to the pub all dressed up, but instead, and so much more fun, I was going to Lisa’s to see her hens and to learn about keeping chickens.

“Lisa is devoted to her chickens, is extremely well informed about hen keeping and although she was bombarded with questions was able to answer them all and gave so much more information besides. I learnt such a lot and enjoyed the lovely eggy sandwiches and cake she had made. Lisa’s hens are lovely, and so entertaining, all with their own personalities. Her partner makes very good tea. If you get a chance, do go, I was glad I did.” – Patricia Revill

Upcoming Course

Hen Party for Beginners
Sunday 14th June, 11:00am – 12:30pm
Hitchin, Hertfordshire

Click here to book now.

Lisa’s hen party is a bring your own chair affair!


Cynthia contemplates the high-dive (in to the super glug!)


Hitchin Town FC needs all the support they can get.


“Back away, the chocolates are all mine”


Lisa puts on an eggcellent spread

 

Star Products!

Here is just a small selection, go online to see the full range.

Watering Can Duo

Water your plants in style with this bright, modern, plastic watering can. Available in three vibrant shades that match the Eglu colours, you can look cool and coordinated while doing your gardening. Dual ended, you have the option to pour or shower water over your plants, and with a capacity of 2.5 litres it is will hold enough water to fill up your matching glug!

Buy now for £4.50

Flowerpot with Message Board

If you’ve ever been confused about what’s what in your garden this nifty flowerpot may be the answer. With a black panel at the front like a chalk board, you can write exactly just what it is you have planted. Never confuse your basil with your coriander again! Alternatively, why not give this as a gift? Plant some pretty flowers and write a message on the front – a unique way to say ‘happy birthday’.

Buy now for £5.00

Eggling Crack & Grow – Mint

Gardening is quick and easy with an eggling and everything you need to grow a fragrant array of herbs is in one little box. Simply crack the top of the ceramic egg gently by tapping with a spoon, place on the terracotta tray, water slowly until it begins to drain into the tray and pop in a bright, warm room. There are enough nutrients in the eggling to allow it to grow for up to five months, and all you need to do is ensure the soil is always moist. When the plant outgrows the eggling, transplant into a larger pot and shatter the ceramic egg to use as a fertilizer.

Buy now for £5.50

Garden Tool Set

This clever little set is just the thing for anyone that wants to get their hands dirty in style. The bright green bag is spacious enough for all your bits and pieces and it has pockets around the sides for smaller items that you don’t want to lose. It contains all the essential tools for gardening: a fork, two trowels and a deep weed cutter; a pair of gardening gloves to protect hands in winter and a nail brush to clean grubby nails after a hard day’s work.

This makes a brilliant gift for a beginner to gardening!

Buy now for £8.50

 

Omlet world

If you’re unsure of the best way to clean your Eglu then help is at hand, in the form of an online video tuition. That’s right, you can find everything on the internet these days, and this clip comes straight from the USA. This Eglu owner loves his chickens and what better way to show it than by keeping their home spic and span. Even if you have your cleaning routine down to a tee he has some really good advice. This little gem from the Omlet US forum, where you can get in touch with other Eglu owners in America.

Click here to watch the vid!

Omlet World

And that’s how to clean an Eglu!

Omlet team

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This entry was posted in Newsletter on July 2nd, 2009 by admin