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Eglu Cube vs Wooden Chicken Coop: Which will stay warmer?

On a cold winter’s day, when there’s a heavy frost or a thick blanket of snow do you ever wonder how your chickens manage without central heating and a mug of cocoa?  It’s natural to worry if your hens will be comfortable when the temperature dips below freezing.

Unsurprisingly, chickens will look for shelter when the weather’s bad so the first thing you can do to keep your chickens cosy is make sure they have a winter proof chicken coop.  In this respect choosing the right chicken coop is similar to choosing your own house. You wouldn’t want drafty windows and doors, a leaky roof, and paper thin walls – and neither do your chickens. Many coops that are bought are fine during the summer, but unfortunately when winter comes they can leave their occupants shivering.We set about testing two very different chicken coops over the course of 3 nights in the Bavarian Forest in Germany.  A place that gets more than its fair share of snow and ice.

The first chicken coop was typical of the type sold all over the internet.  On first impressions everything fits together well and it’s attractively painted, it comes with a roosting bar and a nesting box and a run.  It appears that this is a perfectly good chicken coop. However, on closer inspection it’s worrying to find that large sections of the wooden panels are only 5mm thick.  There’s no insulation and nothing in the instructions regarding the suitability of the coop for year round use.

The second coop was the Eglu Cube by Omlet.  This chicken coop is part of the Eglu range which all feature a twin walled construction providing an insulating layer all round the coop.  Similar to the way ice chests are made, it feels extremely robust and heavy duty. You could say it’s agricultural quality in a hobby chicken coop. It looks the part – but would the Eglu keep the cold out and the warm in?

Identical digital thermometers were placed inside the Eglu and the wooden coop which would take readings both inside and outside the coops during the night.  Cameras were also placed inside the coops to record the chickens. After the chickens went to bed the front doors were closed, in fact the Eglu Cube came complete with a rather fancy Automatic Chicken Coop door which gently closed behind the last chicken.  

As it got dark the outside temperature dropped to -3.8℃.  While it was getting colder outside, it was getting warmer in the Eglu Cube. Around an hour after the chickens had gone to roost the temperature inside the Eglu Cube was 8.3℃ and it stayed there all night. That’s a plus 12℃ temperature difference.

Unfortunately it was not as cosy in the wooden house. As the temperature outside dropped so too did the temperature inside the wooden coop. At 11pm it was -2℃ inside the coop.  That’s only 1℃ warmer than the outside temperature. In fact the inside of the wooden coop stayed below zero for nearly the whole night, warming to just above zero by 7am.

If it was freezing inside you might be wondering how on earth the chickens survived.  Chickens, as with all other warm blooded animals, have temperature-regulating mechanisms to keep their body temperature at a constant level (around 41-45℃ in a healthy adult hen), so they can cope with a certain amount of cold. Just like wild birds, chickens will fluff up their feathers when it gets cold; this traps a layer of air which insulates the chickens against the cold.  This is why it’s so important that chickens don’t get wet during cold weather, as this prevents them from being able to fluff their feathers up. In addition a drafty coop will make it hard for them to trap this layer of warm air too.

They will also tuck their head under their wings and huddle together with their coop companions to keep themselves warm. On the in coop camera recording you could clearly see how the chickens select a roosting place, and then fluff up their feathers.  

So if the chickens in the wooden coop were able to keep themselves warm even though it was freezing inside there’s nothing to worry about?  Not quite, a coop that’s not insulated or draughty will place extra demands on your chickens because of the heat being lost. Chickens in a cold coop will have to increase their metabolism to turn food and fat reserves into heat at a faster rate than hens in a cosy coop.  If the heat loss is extreme, or a chicken is not fully fit then over the course of several cold nights there is a risk that all the energy reserves are used up resulting in the chicken being unable to keep it’s body temperature high enough with potentially fatal consequences.   

What this test shows is that properly insulated, winter ready chicken coop can make all the difference between a cosy night in the coop and one spent shivering to keep warm. As an added bonus hens that use up less energy keeping warm are more likely to keep laying.

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When your Eglu looks like an Igloo

A lot of chicken keepers are worried about their chickens during cold winter days. Chickens are usually well adapted to the cold and as long as their coop is dry on the inside, they feel happy and warm in the Eglu.

Of course there are a few things to look out for and prepare for during the winter, so we have spoken to Stefanie, who is going through her second winter with the chickens in their Eglu Cube this year. She tells us about the preparations and adaptations she makes for when the weather gets icy and how she and her chickens get through the season.

Omlet: How long have you been keeping chickens and how many have you got?

Stefanie: We have been keeping six chickens since February 2018.

 

Omlet: What is your favourite thing about keeping chickens?

Stefanie: I love that we have our own, freshly laid eggs every morning.

Omlet: You live in an area of Germany that usually gets very cold and snowy in winter. How cold can it get in winter and how much snow do you have at the moment?

Stefanie: We live in Lohberg, in the south of Germany. The temperatures are usually between -5 and -15 degrees in winter, so it does get very cold here. We currently have around 50cm of snow, which is normal for this time of year.

 

Omlet: What changes to you make to the Eglu Cube to get it ready for winter?

Stefanie: We use the Extreme-Temperature Jackets and run covers during the winter as they help keep the cold out.

 

Omlet: Do you change the daily food and water routine during the winter?

Stefanie: We make sure to feed them more regularly and keep an eye on them to make sure they definitely eat enough. They eat a lot of fresh lettuce, and I like to give them warm food to help them keep warm. Keeping an eye on the water is extremely important as it easily freezes.

 

Omlet: Do the chickens use the run more or less in the winter than they do the rest of the year and do your chickens like snow?

Stefanie: My chickens don’t like snow at all, so that’s why they mainly keep to the covered areas of their run, where it’s dry.

 

Omlet: Do your chickens lay eggs in the winter?

Stefanie: Our six girls don’t lay as much as they usually do during other times of the year, but even though we have a lot of snow, we still get around two to three eggs every day.

Omlet: Do you add a lightsource to your coop?

Stefanie: Yes, we do have a light in the coop as it gets dark very early these days.

 

Omlet: As chickens love scratching and foraging for food, do you give them some other entertainment when it’s snowy and icy?

Stefanie: Yes, we tend to spread some corn in the covered areas of their run. This keeps them entertained and offers them a chance to scratch naturally.

These are great ideas to keep your chickens happy and healthy during the winter. Have a look at our video of top tips for chicken keeping in winter:

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This entry was posted in Interviews


Give your bunny rabbits their own warren

Why Settle For A Hutch When You Can Have A Warren?

We all know that pet rabbits need a hutch and a run. But what if they could enjoy the luxuries of a warren in your own back garden, complete with rabbit burrows and tunnels, without having to dig under the lawn and flower beds?

Connecting a rabbit hutch to a run is a simple way to keep bunnies happy. A set up such as Omlet’s Eglu Go is part of the solution, combining the indoors and outdoors that rabbits require. But there are other, more ingenious ways of giving your bunnies the perfect home.

Drain Pipes For Rabbits?

Like all animals, rabbits have inbuilt instincts that need satisfying. Rabbit tunnels and rabbit burrows are as central to their requirements as a bathroom and a comfy bed are to you. In the wild, rabbits live in complex warrens, made up of many private and communal living spaces linked by underground tunnels. This instinct to move around underground is strong in pet bunnies too. And yet, for many, it is an instinct that remains unsatisfied.

This was the inspiration behind the Zippi Rabbit Tunnel System, a design that builds and improves on the concept of drain pipes for rabbits. Its durable, flexible, easy-to-clean tunnels are a neat DIY solution that gives rabbits the tunnelling their instincts demand, and with no extra digging required.

A Rabbit Tunnel, And Then Some!

The Zippi Rabbit Tunnel System’s burrow pipes provide easy access from hutch to run, and a cosy bolt hole too. They can link runs to playpens too, enabling your kids to become part of the home warren.

Because rabbits come in all sizes, the Zippi Rabbit Tunnel System is built to accommodate the very largest of breeds, and is designed with a flexibility that puts the average drainpipe to shame:

  • It comes in 90cm sections, with no limit on the length and complexity of your set up.
  • All fixings and connectors are supplied.
  • The Zippi doesn’t think in straight lines – it can curve around any garden feature if required.
  • In addition to the standard 90cm tunnel, there are optional Zippi T-Junctions, Corner Pieces, Lock-out doors, and mid-tunnel Look-out sections which double as Hay Racks.
  • Support hoops lift the Zippi from the ground, enabling the grass to grow beneath it.
  • The unique design provides ventilation and drainage, and keeps out any would-be predators.

Bunny Bliss

Rabbits make great pets. They don’t disturb the peace, they don’t hunt birds and rodents, and they don’t require constant walking and training. Coupled with the fact that they are cute and full of character, this has made them a hugely popular choice of pet in recent years.

But it’s not just about keeping you happy, it’s about delivering the bunny bliss your pet deserves. With a hutch and run, you’ve provided a cosy home. But add the Zippi Rabbit Tunnel System, and you’ve got a wonderful warren that represents the ultimate des res for rabbits.

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This entry was posted in Pet Advice


Tried & tested: Autodoor customers give their feedback!

Omlet’s first ever Autodoor for chicken coops has just launched!

Designed to work with the best selling Eglu Cube as well as any wooden chicken coop. Omlet’s Automatic Chicken Coop door is battery powered and combines both a timer and a light sensor, giving you the ultimate flexibility and control.

Some customers have been testing this new Autodoor for us and we’ve been in touch with a few of them to see what they think of this fantastic new door and whether or not it has changed their lifestyles; giving them the lay in that they’ve always longed for…


Hayley from Hayley’s Lottie Haven rescued 6 Chickens in November 2017 that live in an Eglu Cube on her allotment

How are you getting on with Omlet’s new auto door? I absolutely 100% love it! It is literally a life changer for us hen mums!

Was it easy to install ? Have you installed directly onto your Cube or to the run? I installed it onto the Cube as I wanted them to be able to get up when they wanted and go back to sleep without the risk of Mr Fox getting to them. It was really easy to install and took about 20 minutes. The instructions are very user friendly.

What do you love about it? The freedom it gives me. As a new chicken keeper I understood the commitment of having chickens, although the reality is quite different. The girls like to get up at first light and for me to have even an hour lie in at the weekend, leaves me feeling guilty when I see them desperate to get out into the run. Likewise in the evening if I cannot be back for last light I worry frantically about the night time wildlife coming and disturbing the girls. However since trying the auto door a weight has been lifted. I no longer have the gruelling first light wake up call and I now know they are safely tucked up in bed while I’m out for dinner.

Which setting do you use? What is easy to set up? I use the timer setting. My chickens are kept at my allotment so unlike most I cannot keep a close eye on them out of the living room window. I have had first hand experience with foxes sniffing round the coop (the chickens were tucked up safe). That means I am extra cautious and like to let the girls out when the coast is clear so the timer allows me to have full control.

Has it changed your lifestyle? Do you finally get that lay in that most chicken keepers long for? It has completely changed my lifestyle. I even went through last winter leaving work for half a hour so I could go and lock the girls up safe and sound before dark. I suppose its not only changed my lifestyle but also my girls. I don’t think there are many people that keep chickens purely for the eggs. We all want to give the best life for our chickens, especially as mine have been rescued from a horrible life in a battery farm. So for the girls to have consistency, waking up at the same time every day, having as long as possible to roam around as they please, and then put themselves to bed knowing that they are going to be safe. Its perfect for us.

Not knowing anything about automatic doors, I didn’t know what to expect or how it would work. I may have been a bit sceptical but I was completely won over after setting it up. Being able to set the timer or use the light setting filled me with confidence. I was a tad worried about the door shutting on the girls but it moves fairly slowly and gives the girls plenty of warning. Plus it has a “crush” detector, so if anything gets in the way, it won’t close. I wasn’t sure if I would be having to refill it with batteries every two seconds as I don’t have mains electricity down my allotment, however the battery has never run down. The info panel tells you exactly how much battery is left which again gives me peace of mind.


Ruth has three chickens and has been a chicken owner for about ten years.

How are you getting on with your new Autodoor? We really like the auto door. Previously, we had a different light sensitive auto door but it was not integrated into the door and so was more likely to fail.

Where have you fitted your Autodoor? The auto door is on our Eglu and was easy to install.

What setting do you use? We use the light sensitive setting to ensure that it opens as soon as our girls are ready to get up for the day and closes shortly after they take themselves off to bed at night.

What do you love about the new Autodoor? We love the reliability of the door and the battery indicator on the controller. We used to worry about the door failing because the batteries suddenly ran out or because the wire snapped on the old auto door opener. The chickens being shut in or out would be awful.


Emma has been keeping Chickens for over 17 months and has 8 hens living in an Eglu Cube.

How are you getting on with Omlet’s new auto door? We’ve been trialing the door since May. I was very excited as I knew it was going to cut down the amount of time doing the morning chores.

It’s lived up to what I hoped it would be. It’s made mornings/evenings smoother and  I am very impressed it’s very well made.

Was it easy to install ? Have you installed directly onto your Cube or to the run? It was really easy to install my husband did it in 20 mins. We have installed it directly onto the cube.

What do you love about it? I love that this summer holiday & weekends i can lie in bed and not worry about running downstairs and going out to open up.

I can have a lie in, I Love it!  I wouldn’t be without it now.

Which setting do you use? What is easy to set up? We use the solar setting.  Yes very easy instructions to follow.

Has it changed your lifestyle? Do you finally get that lay in that most chicken keepers long for? Yes! ! Such a lovely feeling.

It has made a big difference to our family, it’s stopped the arguments of who’s turn it is. I’m looking forward to it being Autumn and Winter now!

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This entry was posted in Interviews


NEWS: Lay Long and Prosper – Chickens Take Over the Starship Henterprise

The Omlet HQ chickens have been on an important mission across the universe. To boldly go where no chicken has gone before is no mean feat, but the United Featheration have pushed the limits and travelled through space and time to deliver the most safe and convenient Automatic Chicken Coop Door available to man (and chicken).

Now we invite you to take a look on board the Starchick Henterprise, where Captain Cluck is in command as the crew hurtle towards Earth, issuing instructions to prepare for an exploration of the planet. Following frantic communication and button pressing, they are finally able to use the new addition to the Henterprise… the new Autodoor.

The chicken’s keeper heads to the garden in the morning, unaware of the chickens’ previous busy evening, and discovers a mysterious badge causing the crew to scramble back inside the Henterprise and blast back off into space, as the Autodoor closes just in time behind them.

While travelling through space, the chickens visited member states of the United Federation of Planets gathering feedback on their latest innovation, the Automatic Chicken Coop Door. Throughout their expedition the Autodoor was developed to be compatible for all wooden coops, any chicken run as well as the infamous Eglu Cube. The battery powered Autodoor and control panel were put to the test in extreme weather conditions, while the door system was developed to include an obstruction sensor making it the most safe and secure system of its kind, and ensuring no chicken will come in harm’s way.

The Automatic Chicken Coop Door works by selecting a time or light level for the door to be opened and closed at. This ensures chickens can be let out as the sun rises, so owners can stay in bed that little bit longer, and that chickens can also be safely shut away again at dusk throughout the year.

Now your chicken can join the Featheration with the Limited Edition ‘Lay Long and Prosper’ Chicken Jackets, inspired by the iconic uniforms of Captain Kirk, Scotty and Bones. Order here

Watch the full Star Trek inspired video here

Omlet’s new Automatic Chicken Coop door opener is available to pre-order now, starting from £149.99.

 

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The Autodoor Has Arrived!

Did you know that over 60% of chicken keepers aren’t getting enough sleep?! Omlet has the solution as they launch the New Automatic Chicken Coop Door.

In the last decade chicken keeping has become a hit with families wanting a slice of the good life, propelling hens into the top ten list of pets.  The reasons are clear: a supply of fresh eggs that’s the envy of your friends as well as teaching children important lessons of where their food comes from suggests that chickens really are the ultimate pet.  

However, a recent survey found that over 60% of chicken keepers wish they could spend longer in bed in the mornings with many admitting they would be willing to pay up to £200 for a solution that could prolong their lazy mornings in bed! 1 in 6 couples even admitted to regularly arguing about who should let the chickens out. What will save the UK’s chicken keepers from tiredness and possibly even divorce?

Introducing the brilliant new Automatic Chicken Coop door opener from Omlet. Designed to work with the best-selling Eglu Cube as well as any wooden chicken coop. Omlet’s Automatic Chicken Coop Door Opener is battery powered and combines both a timer and a light sensor, giving you the ultimate flexibility and control.

Omlet’s Head of Product Design, Simon Nicholls, said:  “We know our customers love their chickens and always want the best for them, that’s why we designed the Autodoor so that the hens could get up when they want, which can be quite early in the summer.  It was also important to ensure that it works as well at closing the coop at night and in all weather conditions too, so we carried out extensive testing in several different countries over 2 years to perfect the design.”

The unique integrated frame and door design comes with everything you need to attach it to your chicken house or run and has been tested to work down to -20 deg C. Like a personal chicken coop concierge, the Autodoor will always make sure your chicken’s coop is securely closed at night even when you’re running late.

Sharon Burton, who has kept hens for 4 years in Oxford, believes the Autodoor has even saved her marriage! “There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for my chickens. I buy them the best food, I sprinkle dried flowers in their nest box to keep it fresh, but I always felt guilty if I didn’t hop straight out of bed at the crack of dawn to let them out and whenever I asked my husband Paul to do it he would pretend to be asleep! When Omlet asked me to test the Autodoor I was delighted, it’s saved my marriage!”

Omlet’s new Automatic Chicken Coop door opener is available to pre-order now! Prices starting from £149.99.

 

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Meet Rocky the Medical Detection Dog

Rocky is a Medical Alert Assistance Dog and a fantastic companion for 7 year old Josh who has unexplained hypoglycemia and Epilepsy and has had many hospital stays since he was born. Rocky has been trained by the Medical Detection Dogs charity to alert Josh’s family when his blood sugars drop dangerously low and could trigger a seizure.

We spoke to Josh’s mum Paula to find our more about this delightful friendship!

What type of dog is Rocky? He’s a Cockapoo

How old is he? He’ll be 2 on the 28th September. He joined our family when he was 9 weeks old.

What does Rocky do to help Josh on a daily basis?
Rocky spends all his time with Josh and alerts us when his blood sugars drop too low by sense of smell. Josh has unexplained hypoglycemia along with epilepsy and his seizures can be triggered by low blood sugar. We test Josh’s blood sugar numerous times a day but are extremely lucky to have Rocky with us who has alerted us many times when his blood sugars drop to a dangerous level which has fortunately stopped things escalating to a medical emergency. Rocky sleeps in Josh’s room and we are confident he will come and wake us if he ever senses a problem.

If Rocky wants to alert Josh, he stands on his back legs and puts his paws on Josh’s shoulder and licks his face. If Josh is asleep he comes to find me and licks my hands to wake me.

Did the Medical Detection Dog Charity advise you about what type of dog to get? We had spoken with the charity prior to buying Rocky and knew what to look for when looking for a puppy to give us the best possible chance of buying a puppy that we may be able to train successfully.  Obviously we knew there were no guarantees on this and also looked for a puppy we thought would be the ‘best fit’ as our new family member.

Did you have to crate train him or was he already crate trained when you got him? We chose to crate train.  He was used to a crate from being with Mum so it was very straight forward.  He took his blanket in with him and was always happy. The training we did with Rocky with the crate was very easy, primarily due to him already being used to one.

During Rocky’s Medical Detection Dog training did you have to attend lots of classes?  Rocky and I used to have one to one training on a weekly basis.  Josh attended the training whenever possible. I would also send off any records of alerting behaviours along with all of Josh’s blood sugar recordings.

What did the training include? Where was the training held? The training was held at a variety of places. It included public access, off lead walking, heal work, distraction work etc etc. We had a train trip, a bus trip, taxi ride, public access – so inside shops, supermarkets etc, in school, busy places and quieter places, all to see how Rocky would react.  And of course, a vet visit.

How long did the training take from start to finish? Rocky qualified at 18 months of age.  The youngest possible age to qualify.  We were training with him from the moment he came home at 9 weeks of age.

Do you have to go for additional training even now he has qualified? We have a first post qualification check 6 months from qualification and then every 12 months after.  If we come across any problems at all at any point, we are fully encouraged to speak with MDD for full support wherever it is needed. We will also attend regular refresher training to ensure Rocky maintains his high standard of behaviour and alerting.

What type of treats do you feed Rocky as a reward? Rocky always has the same reward, dehydrated hotdog sausage – his absolute favourite!

Is Rocky allowed to go everywhere with Josh?
Yes he is. Rocky has to wear his ‘Medical Alert Assistance Dog’ tabbard whenever we are out in public and is allowed in all public access areas including shops, restaurants, beaches and cinemas.

Rocky and Josh are best friends. Josh trusts Rocky completely and understands that he helps to keep him safe. Rocky is simply a life changing member of our family.

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Medical Detection Dogs is a fabulous charity that trains dogs to detect the odour of human disease. It is at the forefront of the research into the fight against cancer and helping people with life-threatening diseases. To find out more about the amazing work that they do click here

If you are looking to crate train your dog, click here to find out more about the new Fido Nook 2in1 Luxury Dog Bed and Crate

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This entry was posted in Interviews


An Eggcellent School Project

A school in Italy, Agrinido e Agriasilo Montessoriano Al Nido dell’Aquila’ has recently bought an Eglu Cube and Eglu Classic Chicken Coop for their educational programme on nature and pet caring.

We spoke with Mr Colombo’s about their new exciting project.

“Our farm with vegetable garden area produces fruit and vegetable and has recently added a nursery and a kindergarten following the Montessori method.

According to the Montessori method, the outside space needs to be prepared and organised as well as the classrooms inside the building. Therefore, we created and equipped an area
of our farm for the purpose of having children grow and care for the vegetables and also the pets (chickens and tortoises).

We wanted our little students to care for their own chickens for different reasons: firstly, to teach them how to care for another living being, and secondly, for the daily exiting reward of
getting delicious fresh eggs. Moreover, chicken- and pet-keeping has been a valuable starting point to teach numbers to the children, not to mention that the eggs were perfect to
paint and use as Easter decorations!

In order to assure that our students had the best and most educational experience, we needed something practical, clean and safe. In addition, it has to fit in the 55sqm we dedicated to the project. We decided to choose an Eglu Chicken Coop as, compared to regular wooden coops, plastic was easy to clean, highly hygienic, wouldn’t rot and would last for a very long time.

We decided to opt for Omlet’s Eglu Cube, as we valued the possibility to move the coop regularly. We move our Eglu every Saturday, in order to allow our chickens to enjoy new fresh grass every week. We were pleased to discover that one person can easily move such a big coop alone thanks to the wheels.

The size of the coop was also essential: it has to be accessible by small children. The Eglu Cube features a lateral door for easy access to the nest and eggs which is at the perfect height even for 2-year-old children. Thanks to this, our students can easily collect eggs in complete autonomy.

After a year, we wanted to expand the program and we bought another coop, the Eglu Classic, which we use to keep chicks. Keeping chicks helps children learning about time flowing and the phases of life from the egg incubation, to hatching and growing, and the patience necessary to wait for all these changes to happen.”

The Eglu Cube Chicken Coop is the ideal way to keep up to 10 chickens in a town or country garden – find out more here

The Eglu Classic Chicken Coop is an easy to move starter chicken house suitable for 2-4 birds – find out more here

If you are a school looking to purchase an Eglu Chicken Coop please email hello@omlet.co.uk or call 01295 500900

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This entry was posted in Interviews


A Quacking Rescue Story

A few weeks ago the Springfield Sanctuary in Banbury gained a few extra guests.  Two broods of ducklings arrived at the sanctuary a week apart. We’ve spoken to Joanne, the owner of the sanctuary to find out more about them and to see how they are getting on in their new Omlet Walk In Run!

When did the ducklings arrive?
The first group of 12 came in on 26th April from a village near Witney. The residents had been keeping an eye on them all day as there was no parent in sight. Apparently they were knocked about in the road, went in and out of the brook and got waterlogged, and then ended up in a garden! To keep them out of trouble one of the residents popped them in a recycling box in her garden, hoping mum would come for them. By evening they were cold and limp and there was still no sign of mum so they were brought all the way to Banbury for us to care for.
Less than a week later, on 1st May, we got a call from a house not far from us. This mum duck had laid her eggs under some decking (unbeknown to the homeowner!) and they all appeared one morning! The garden had no exit for the ducklings and so mum could not lead them to water. Mum left them and by evening hadn’t returned. So the ten little humbugs came to us too. So we then had 22 ducklings!

How old do you think they are now?
We think they were around 2 days old when they came in so the older ones are nearly 7 weeks and the younger ones are 6 weeks old now.

When are you hoping to release them?
They should be ready for release at around 8-9 weeks old, so we’re very close now! We are just waiting for their flight feathers to grow so they have the best chance at getting away from predators when they are released.
The younger ones are going to Swalcliffe School but we have not yet decided about the big kids. We will separate them into smaller groups to avoid over populating any area.

Have you named them?
We have named the groups but not individuals. The older ducks are the Big Kids and the younger are the Little Ones! There are only two we can tell apart from the others because the Little Ones are actually Hybrid and two of the ducklings are paler! Down by the canal in Banbury there are a couple of white pekin ducks which I’ve seen a few times. We think these ducklings came from this area and so are hybrid, mallard x pekin.

What do you feed them?
They are fed much like chicken chicks. They start on chick crumb for the first 3 weeks then they move onto Growers Pellets. In the last week or so we have added some duck and goose mix to the growers for variety prior to release. We will need to go and feed them for at least a week after release (gradually reducing the amount) to make sure they are finding their own food.

 

They love playing with the hose when I clean them! Ducks are ridiculously dirty and we have to clean them every 3 days. When we clean the pen it makes a lovely slurry of what we have called ‘Duck Poo Soup’ (it’s as pleasant as it sounds). The ducks have clean water in drinkers all the time but as soon as you get the hose out they start drinking. So I spend a lot of time sweeping up duck poo soup, dodging drinking ducks, and getting filthy! They also like to get in the paddling pool before it’s filled and paddle around playing in the hose spray.

Have you introduced them to the chickens or any other animals that you have at the sanctuary?
We have set up our Omlet Walk in Run as two runs which share a wall. The little ones are in one side and our rooster chicks Rodger and Mike are next door (Roger and Mike hatched at a school on 21st March and came to us with their sister as the school didn’t want them to go back to the farm to join the food chain!!). The boys were fascinated but the ducklings seemed completely oblivious. The boys have recently found their voices and crow if we are seeing to the ducks and not giving them any attention!!
We love the walk in run. We have another large run but we lost one of the big kids to a fox who managed break the ties and get under the chicken wire. The Omlet Walk in runs are much sturdier. We love that they are modular so I can add length to the run and link runs together to save space. They will be fantastic for introducing rabbits for the first time when we need to pair up lone rabbits, as they will be able to meet with a barrier between them. The size will allow the rabbits to be rabbits! Jumping, hopping, flopping and binkying with lots of space for a pair of bonded rabbits. With the amount of cleaning we have to do the height is ideal as we can stand tall while we sweep up. The stable door is great for putting feed and water in without little animals escaping! It’s also a great width so I can get in with a bucket and brooms. Having a cheaper run we can see the difference in quality and I would definitely change the large run for an Omlet one in a heartbeat! No sharp edges or chicken wire, plenty of headroom so no stooping, nice wide door and fox resistant. Everything I need for the wide variety of animals we get in.
The runs are earmarked for our pheasant chick when he is big enough to go out. His name is Pippin and he has a best friend called Hobble who is a Pekin Bantam chick with a dodgy leg! They will hopefully go out into our Omlet run once the ducks have been released.

To continue reading about the ducklings as they get ready to be released, please follow the

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Buy the NEW Fido Nook and get Free Delivery!

 

The NEW 2-in-1 Luxury Dog Bed with removable Crate!

Finally the bed and home your dog has always wanted is here! The new Fido Nook is a brilliant design featuring a cosy space for your dog’s bed
inside a modern piece of furniture, it even has a wardrobe to effortlessly stores all their things. Order the Fido Nook today and get Free Delivery!

 

 

 

Terms and Conditions

This offer includes the Fido Nook 24″ and the Fido Nook 36″. Free delivery is only valid for a limited time and will be applied when you order – no promo code required. Subject to availability. The free delivery offer is valid on the Fido Nook 24″ and 36″ only, if you order additional items, a delivery charge will be added to your order. Omlet ltd. reserves the right to withdraw the offer at any point. Discount cannot be transferred to delivery or courses. Offer is only valid on fully priced items and cannot be used on existing discounts or in conjunction with any other offer.  Free Delivery ends at midnight on Thursday 31st May 2018

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Meet Mimi and Rio – A Mischievous pair!

Meet Mimi & Rio - A mischievous pair.

 

 

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Glamping at Jasper’s Bunny Hotel!

We’ve been in touch with Niki from Jasper’s Bunny Hotel who offer luxurious glamping breaks for Rabbits and Guinea Pigs in our world famous Eglu Rabbit Hutches!!
Their website  informs customers that holiday homes are all standard with daily room service, full menu of fresh food including fruit and vegetables for guinea pigs and rabbits, cool fresh water and a selection of toys for activities. Plus plenty of fresh grass and safe outdoor play areas for those who like a little exercise.
It sounds delightful….. so we decided to find out more about this fantastic bunny hotel…..
How long has Jasper’s Bunny Hotel been running?

We originally opened for bunny holidays back in December 2014, the idea was to have some large hutches for bunnies to have holidays rather than using breeding stacks of hutches. This initial idea worked well for a few bunnies who like to live indoors but we did spend a lot of time transporting them outside to wooden runs on the grass and then trying to catch them again to put them away! I was always concerned about predators, I used to peg the runs down with tent pegs and pile bricks around the outside to stop the foxes from digging in – but I was still always worried and had to spend all my time checking that all was well.

When did you get your first Eglu ?
Prior to moving to our current property we had bought an Omlet Eglu Cube and kept some chickens and so I thought about looking on the website for something similar for bunnies and guinea pigs.  We now have 12 Eglu’s and one of the large walk-in runs.
 
How many Rabbit’s and Guinea Pigs can you look after at any one time?
This summer when I was at full capacity, I had 7 rabbits from the same family sharing a 4m Eglu and between 2 and 3 rabbits in each other Eglu, as well as some indoor bunnies, so we had around 44 bunnies and 30 guinea pigs in our care.
Why do you like Eglu’s
I love them because they can be jetwashed for hygiene, the bunnies and guinea pigs are safe and in a natural environment – we move them around at least weekly and certainly every time a new bunny or piggy arrives – they are colourful and almost indestructible – we only have one that’s been slightly chewed but the others look pretty much good as new!
Many of my customers have gone on to ditch their wooden hutches and replace them with Eglus once they have seen how brilliant they are and how much freedom the bunnies and piggies have.
What is the longest time that a rabbit has ‘glamped’ with you?
The longest time that we have had a bunny with us was three months – we have regular customers that come back to us three or four times per year and say that they wouldn’t go anywhere else.
Do rabbits travel far and wide to visit Jasper’s Bunny Hotel? 
People book with us up to a year in advance and travel from 20-30 miles away for their bunny holidays.
Interested in updating your Rabbit Hutch to an Eglu? 
The hutch is easy to clean and insulated and comes complete with under floor mesh, making it perfect for all-year use and rabbits will love being able to hop in and out of the fox-resistant run as they please. Click her to find out more!
 
For more information about Jasper’s Bunny Hotel please visit their website – http://www.jaspersbunnyhotel.co.uk/

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