The Omlet Blog

Date Archives: July 2014

How to Revive Ducklings

At this time of the year we are waiting for the happy quacking of little beaks that will tell us what sex our young ducklings are – the ducks quack and the drakes have a sort of a whistling sound. Earlier on this year we had the maladjusted mother which is so sad. An Abacot Ranger, she sat for her full time patiently but she simply turned out to have no mothering instinct at all. Our first alert to this was when we were up exceptionally early as I was going off to help out at the Suffolk Donkey Day which is in aid of The Donkey Sanctuary. Mick went outside before me and came back upstairs clutching two bedraggled, wet, very cold and not moving ducklings. The duck had dumped them across the pen near the door on hatching.
“Can you do something with these?” he asked. “The head of one of them just moved”

I did what I always do, I put them on my chest above my heart with my hand cupped over them between my ample bosom. It is my theory that the heart beat will encourage young things to live.

They were very cold and I have to say rather slimy and covered in shavings. Within a few minutes I could feel one of them moving and by the time Mick had returned after feeding the other animals, one was making a noise and the other was trying to get its head up. As we had to go out for the day, we loaded them into a cat basket with hot water bottles and set off the fifty miles to Suffolk.

It was amazing how they came round during the day and by the evening were noisy and eating and drinking enthusiastically. We had taken time during the day to encourage them to eat and drink.

The next morning I set off for my week’s training at Sidmouth in Devon and on returning from taking me to the railway station, just about to go to work and there were more duckings dumped by the door. So he had to revive them (this time in the airing cupboard) and continue with the getting them to eat and drink and then introduce them to the first two. So we now have five strong Abacot Ranger ducklings starting to get proper feathers and a very confused duck who looked for her ducklings for ages but ignored these in their pen completely. We’ve had not very good mothers but they often get the idea with help but this poor duck is clueless. I wonder what has caused her to behave in this way and if she will repeat the behaviour next year.

Muscovies Fly Catching

Muscovies Fly Catching.

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This entry was posted in Newsletter on July 21st, 2014 by admin


Too Many Drakes Spoil the Ducks

The Muscovy ducks have been their usual fecund selves and one duck hatched off eight ducklings more or less unassisted in the hay shed, protected of course from the fox. Looking at the sizes of them I believe that at least five are drakes so it will be a full freezer this autumn. We take no pleasure in this actually and although Mick is an expert and quick duck dispatcher, it is not something we relish. It always seems such a shame but totally necessary. In all the books and articles I have written over the years I frequently rant about drakes. It’s not their fault but they are rampant and the ratio of ducks to drakes should be very low, ideally one drake to each group of ducks especially for the ultra virile light duck breeds such as runners. Call ducks tend to be more faithful and the larger ducks are less sexually active but even so attention must be paid to family groups and ensuring the drakes do not harass the females.

If you have more than one drake they do compete meaning that they force themselves on to the same duck several times. Drakes have penises and can and do injure the ducks internally causing death. They can also accidentally drown them by holding their heads below water. This does not happen at all if you have the right ratio of drakes to ducks. They will still have plenty of sex but it will be non competitive and the duck will normally be equally interested.

Some people have obviously solved their drake problem by dumping unwanted drakes on rivers and this is disastrous not only for the domestic drake who will normally be well out of his depth and will die pretty soon but if he survives, disastrous for the native duck population and that’s when you see cross bred ducks on rivers which is not good for anything.

I think the message is do not breed if you are not prepared to kill your surplus drakes (call it cull if it makes it sound better). Don’t try and off load them on someone else and think hard before you put them in a sale as their fate is almost certainly the freezer and it would be better for them to have gone there straight from your garden or yard without travelling and being in a strange environment before hand.

This is a good guide to humane slaughter of poultry for small producers http://www.hsa.org.uk/introduction-1/introduction-3

You can also join your local self sufficiency group or smallholding club who will normally have someone who can slaughter humanely.

The only other thing you can do if you really want to keep your drakes is pen them separately with plenty of space and water well away from the girls and they will normally live together fairly peacefully. If they fight then you will have to separate them further or remove the offender and deal with that one.

So you can see why I say, don’t breed unless you are prepared for dealing with the surplus drakes!

Muscovies Mating

The male is heavier than the female which is acceptable for normal mating but not continuous harassment.

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This entry was posted in Keeping Chickens on July 16th, 2014 by admin


Omlet Newsletter 11th July 2014

Hello,

The New Walk in Chicken Run has gone down a storm since its launch last Friday, and you’ve been loving our introductory Free Delivery offer. If you haven’t had a chance to order your Walk in Chicken Run yet don’t despair, because we’ve decided to extend this promotion until Monday night.

Buy any Walk in Chicken Run or Extension and get it delivered for free! Just use promo code: WIRFREEDEL1W if you’re in the UK, or WIRDELIVEU1W on Omlet DE, ES, FR, IE, IT and NL.

This offer eggspires at 11:59pm on Monday 14th July, so be sure to peck up a bargain while you can!

 

 

Eglu Egg Cup Proves most Hentertaining

The Eglu Egg Cup was designed to be the perfect breakfast accessory for current and aspiring Eglu owners. However, sources have revealed that not all Eglu Egg Cup owners use it for this purpose. Some are so proud of their miniature Eglu replica that they display it, keeping it firmly out of contact of even a hint of yolk.

Who are these Eglu fanatics we hear you cry? Gill Fraser is one of them. She recently sent us the above photo, questioning: ‘Do you think anyone will actually use it to eat eggs? Mine is in the window and has become a minor tourist attraction!’ Gill’s enthusiasm about her chickens is ‘hen’dless, and she has shown numerous people her real hens after they’ve shown such an interest in the model versions.

You can buy your own Eglu Egg Cup for £9.99, whether you want to use it for your breakfast or make a cracking display just like Gill’s. Or why not enter the competition to win one with Mum of Three Boys?

 

 

Brand New Qutes at a Brand New Price!

Not only does the Qute Hamster and Gerbil Cage now come with a new solid floor and silent exercise wheel, it comes with a new price too! From just £99.99 you can now be the proud owner of the most stylish pet cage around, and enjoy the fun of keeping hamsters or gerbils. So many of us holiday from home these days, and introducing a new pet to the family is a great way of keeping the kids amused for a few weeks. A pet is for life, not just for summer, but the summer is the perfect time to buy that furry little critter so that there is plenty of free time to bond with it.

The solid floor is a brilliant new addition to Qute. The majority of the floor is made from clear plastic, allowing you to get a good view of both the top and bottom of the cage and your pet. A slightly raised grid surface design provides grip, without being uncomfortable on small feet, and a section of mesh either side offers good ventilation. The new silent wheel is another brilliant feature. The wheel mounting has an extremely low friction bearing inside, resulting in a much smoother turn which is good for the hamster and good for you!

Buy your Qute today and make a sizzling summer saving!

 

 

An Eggstraordinary Sculpture

Have you ever decorated an egg shell? Well, as proud as you are of your egg shell art, you might just feel a little deflated after seeing this eggstraordinary masterpiece. Illustrator and art director Kyle Bean created this m’egg’nificent sculpture of a chicken using hundreds of pieces of broken egg shell. (We eggspect it took a LOT of patience too!) We don’t know if he keeps chickens, but he must be a fan of omelettes to have got through all those eggs. With any luck he’ll create an egg shell Eglu for the chicken to live in next. Watch this space…

Eglu Go UP Makes New Heights

Since its launch in April, the Eglu Go UP has been making new heights in the world of chicken keeping. It’s proved popular with you folks and the rest of the world have been picking up on this eggciting new product too.

This month the Eglu Go UP has featured in Kitchen Garden magazine, Gay Times magazine and stylish blog Fennel and Fern, to name but a few. They rate this innovative chicken house highly. Gay Times say ‘Omlet have cracked the city dweller’s problems of being cooped up’, Kitchen Garden call it ‘perfect for the first time hen keeper’, while Fennel and Fern believe that although keeping chickens can be ‘rough and ready’, ‘Eglus make it oh-so-stylish’. But you knew that already, right!?

If you fancy upgrading your chicken coop to an Eglu Go UP, or you want to give your existing Eglu Go some height, click here for more information.

Fruity Football Competition

Ok, Brazil may have played the worst game of their footballing history but we still think they’re brazilliant! That’s why we’ve got a fabulously fruity football competition to celebrate the final weekend of the World Cup. Ladies, gents, boys and girls, roll up, roll up and have a rummage through your fruit bowl. Put that old orange or bruised banana to good use with a bit of footy fun. Have a kick about, crack that keepy-uppy and get someone to take a photo of your finest fruity football trick. Upload on Facebook or Twitter, or email us your photo by Sunday 20th July for your chance to win our Brazil inspired fruit-filled Rollabowl. And, more importantly, the glory of being crowned the king or queen of fruit football!

Tweet of the Week

“ @omlet my beautiful breakfast! Marmite soldiers and eggs from my beautiful chickens in my @omlet eggcups! X” (@officialcharles
)

This week’s TOTW comes from Eglu Egg Cup fan Charles. His breakfast looks eggcellent, and we think that might even be a glass of bucks fizz on the side. Boiled egg with Marmite soldiers is a new one for us, but we’ll be putting it to the taste test shortly!

Follow us on Twitter for more eggstraordinary fun!

Fun products to make your summer sizzle!

Lightsaber BBQ Tongs – As someone with firsthand experience of sizzling heat and chargrilling, Darth Vader knows the value of a good set of bbq tongs. These are shaped just like his famous Lightsaber weapon and feature a heatproof plastic handle, metal tongs, red storage case and Star Wars sounds effect.

Feel the force for £18.00

R2D2 Egg Cup – Start your day the smart way, with a breakfast fit for Luke Skywalker. You’ll have no problem doing battle with Darth Vader after your healthy boiled egg, and it always helps to have R2-D2 by your side for support.

Start your day the Star Wars way for £8.75

Birdy Storage Tins – Storage doesn’t have to be dull. With these stylish Birdy tins you can keep your tea, coffee and sugar fresh, while jazzing up the kitchen a tweet! In pastel retro colours and with three different bird prints, these tins will suit your home, whatever the style, and they can be used in other rooms too.

Summer storage for your kitchen, just £12.00

Happy shopping!

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This entry was posted in Newsletter on July 11th, 2014 by admin


New Walk in Chicken Runs now in stock, with Free Delivery!

Free Delivery on Omlet’s New Walk in Chicken Run!

Omlet celebrates the launch of the Walk in Chicken Run with a Walk in Soda Pop-Up. Sodalicious!



New Walk in Chicken Run now in Stock!

Give your chickens more space while keeping them safe with a Walk in Chicken Run from Omlet. New and improved, this range of Walk in Runs look great whilst blending into the garden and they are designed to work with any kind of chicken house or chicken coop. Click here for more details!


Free Delivery on Walk in Chicken Runs!

Get Free UK Delivery on all Walk in Chicken Runs and Extensions this week only! Use promo code WIRFREEDEL1W online or over the phone to redeem this offer and save £20 delivery. Be quick because this offer ends at 11:59pm on Friday 11th July.


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This entry was posted in Promotions on July 4th, 2014 by admin