The Omlet Blog

Category Archives: Keeping Chickens

Walk in Chicken Run

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.

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Tags: chickens, pets and chicken run

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Omlet Chicken Fencing

Cast: Omlet

Tags: pets, chickens and gardening

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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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Brand New Eglu Go UP


Hello,

We’re very eggcited to finally unveil our latest chicken house to join the Eglu range. Introducing the Eglu Go UP – a coop with all the benefits of the Eglu Go, on legs!

A design speggtacular, the Eglu Go UP has the best features of the other Eglu products, under one roof, making it our favourite chicken house yet. Perfect for the first-time henkeeper, this looks fabulous, is easy to clean, straightforward to use and suitable for up to four chickens. Hens will love the plastic roosting bars and integrated nesting box. Simply fill with straw and look forward to collecting your first eggs by opening the door at the back.

 

 

Great Height for you and your Hens

The height of the Eglu Go UP is a real bonus. Your hens will love to roost up off the ground, sleeping in a warm and cosy hideaway, and having a private area to escape to lay their eggs. They will quickly learn how to use the ladder to climb up to their home, and the house will act as a sheltered spot for hens to play under too. It’s not just the chickens that will love the Go UP though – you will too! You’ll find that the convenient height makes chicken keeping a delight! There’s no need to bend down to clean the Eglu or collect the eggs.

Easy to Move!

The Eglu Go UP is available with optional wheels. This is highly recommended for anyone wanting to move their Eglu regularly, particularly if you are living on your own. Although you can choose to keep your Eglu in one place, you may want to move it around the garden regularly to allow your grass to recover, and give hens a new patch of lawn to nibble at. Using the easy foot operated wheel mechanism, one person will be able to simply push or pull the Eglu go UP around their own. The wheels can be used with your Eglu Go UP whether you have a run or not. You just need to have the frame to attach them to.

Convert your Existing Eglu Go

Do you already have an Eglu Go Chicken House? Convert it into an Eglu Go UP with our easy add-on accessories. Choose the Frame and Ladder to raise your existing Eglu Go off the ground, add the Wheel Set to the frame to make your house manoeuvrable, and choose the 2m Run to give your hens a secure area to roam in. These parts are simple to add to your Eglu Go. (Please note, they are not compatible with the Eglu Go standard 2m Run).

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This entry was posted in Keeping Chickens