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Keep your hens entertained!

No one likes being bored, and that goes for chickens as well! Bored chickens are more prone to start bullying each other, trying to escape the garden or eating eggs. Some also suggest that a bored chicken is more likely to go broody. If you have nothing else to do, why not just stay in bed all day?

You are probably already, without thinking about it, providing your chickens with toys and entertainment. Anything that encourages natural chicken behaviour creates fun for your chickens, even if it’s just perching or pecking for corn. But if you want to give them even more hentertainment – here are some top tips:

Provide perches. We might not see perching on a branch as entertainment, but it’s one of the things chickens love most in the world! Try to vary the perches so that there are a few different sizes at different heights. You could lean a ladder against one side of the run, find some dead branches lying around the park, or use Omlet’s amazingly easy-to-use perches.

Put out heaps of leaves, straw or hay. Chickens hate piles, and will rush straight to it to try and level everything to the ground in search of tasty morsels. It’s yummy if they find anything, and provides them with both entertainment and exercise!

Put up a mirror. Chickens take great pride in their looks, and love checking themselves out, so putting a mirror in the run will most certainly be a hit. However, make sure that the mirror is securely fastened so that it doesn’t fall and hurt your girls, and be careful if you have a cockerel – they really don’t enjoy having another cock in the flock!

Peck toys. Rather than feeding your chickens from a dispenser or a container, you can mix it up and make them work for their treats! Pecking and foraging are natural behaviours for chickens, and they will love Elvis and Rocky, Omlet’s super fun peck toys. They will randomly scatter treats when pecked, and provide mental stimulation for your chickens while also improving flock behaviour!

Chicken specific toys. There are several products on the market that are specifically designed to entertain hens and keep them busy. The Chicken Swing is a must in every chicken run or enclosure, and your pets will love chasing after the Manna Pro Food Ball to get to the treats, passing it between themselves as training for the next match!

Don’t be scared of change! It’s easy to think you’re finished once you’ve got your coop and your run in place, but chickens really benefit from variation. Maybe you could move your Eglu to a different part of the garden, introduce some hanging toys or get a new dust bath for the chickens to roll around in?

Spend time with them. All chicken keepers know that spending time together with the chickens is both fun and very therapeutic, and the chickens feel the same. Even if they just see you as a rather large food dispenser, they will certainly enjoy having you around.

 

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Meet Mimi and Rio – A Mischievous pair!

Meet Mimi & Rio - A mischievous pair.

 

 

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Top 15 Chicken Facts!

 

Have you ever wondered what’s going on in the minds of your chickens?

 

  • Chickens have, just like us, full-colour vision. So the colourful Eglus from Omlet will also brighten up your chickens’ day!
  • Chickens dream just like we do. During sleep they also experience REM (Rapid Egg Movement?). Maybe they dream about all the exciting things they did during the day…
  • Chickens are omnivores, which means they eat both vegetables and meat. They love seeds and juicy worms, but will also appreciate a small mouse if they come across one.
  • Chickens are related to the Tyrannosaurus rex. Maybe this is not that hard to believe when they stare at you with a penetrating gaze (trying to convince you to feed them…again!).
  • There is a word for the extreme fear of chickens, namely alektorophobia.
    People with alektorophobia can even develop a fear for eggs.

 

  • Chickens have an excellent memory. They are able to recognise the faces of more than 100 members of their species, other animals and humans.
  • Wild chickens just lay ten to fifteen eggs a year during the breeding season. Battery hens are bred to lay an egg almost every day. To make sure you’ll use the eggs of your hens in date order, Omlet provides the Egg Date Stamping Kit, the Egg Skelter and Egg Ramp
  • The heaviest chicken egg ever weighed was 340g (as a comparison: an average chicken egg weighs between 55-75g). As chickens get older they will lay fewer but larger eggs.

 

  • The colour of the egg does not alter its nutritional value or taste. The reasoning behind different shell colours is that different breeds lay eggs of different colours.
  • It takes 21 days on average for a chicken egg to hatch once incubation begins, whether you incubate them with an incubator or set them under a hen.
  • It is very unlikely that an egg with a double yolk will produce a chicken twin. There is too little space in the egg for two chicks to fully develop.

 

  • Worldwide there are more than 25 billion chickens (as a comparison: there are less than 7.5 billion people). Chickens are therefore the most common birds on earth.
  • The red junglefowl (gallus gallus) from Asia is the ancestor of the modern chicken (Gallus gallus domesticus). Chickens were probably already domesticated in the sixth millenium B.C.

 

 

Sources: www.omlet.co.uk, www.backyardchickens.com, www.countrysidenetwork.com, www.smithsonianmag.com, www.thefactsite.com, www.thehappychickencoop.com.

 

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Top Tips for an Epic Easter Egg Hunt!

Keep it fair and fun

Avoid arguments between children by color coding the hunt, give each child one color that they need to search for. Alternatively if you have a broad range of ages playing, why not color code the hunt based on ages, younger children can look for the large gold eggs whereas the older children need to look for the pink eggs which you will have made harder to find.

Provide alternatives to chocolate

Think ahead about who will be participating in your Easter Egg Hunt? Are any of the children diabetic? Are they allergic to dairy, gluten, cocoa or nuts? You could always use plastic decorative eggs for them to find then have prizes such as coloring books or toys instead of the sugary treats.

Remember the baskets!

The children will need something to carry their eggs in, lots of craft stores have cute baskets you can use or alternatively you make them as an activity before the hunt. See here for a guide on how to weave your own basket.

Think of fun clues

If you want to add another fun element to your hunt, you could think about providing the kids with clues as to where the eggs are hidden, such as “Somewhere that’s cold (fridge)” “What shall we have for breakfast? (cereal box)”, “It’s raining outside, what shall we take with us? (umbrella stand).

 

Keep track of your hiding places

It’s worth making a note of the hiding places and the number of eggs hidden for your own reference.

Check the weather forecast

Firstly so you’re not planning to commence the hunt when it’s due to rain, also if you are hiding chocolate, double check the temperature forecasted as you might need to make sure they’re all hidden in shaded areas, or you don’t put them out too early before it kicks off. Noone wants a melted Easter egg!  If the weather is going to be stormy, plan a backup hunt for inside the house.

Set boundaries

Let the kids know where the searching area is, it’s important to make sure everyone has fun but in a safe environment. Show the children where the start and end of the hunting zone is.

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New Years Eve Pet Safety

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Preparing for Bonfire Night

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Hens on Holiday!

We’ve been in touch with Sarah from Sussex Garden Poultry who has told us about a fantastic service that they offer to hens when their owners go on holiday…

How many Chicken Coops do you have? 
I have at the moment 10 x mark 1 Eglu cubes & 8 x Eglu classic that I use for hen holidays. An Eglu Go & an old Eglu Classic with 1 mtr run I use as a broody coop

When did you get your first Coop?? Which type of Eglu was it?
The first Eglu I bought was a 2nd hand classic, I’d asked about & people said they’d owned them for 10 years with no problem & they look as good as new.

Why do you like Eglu Chicken Coops?
I like the Eglu for ease of cleaning, I love the varieties of colour, I try to have one of each, (I’m still hunting a pink cube), i also like the flexibility of being able to add to the runs length.

Please tell us more about the Chicken Holidays
I started the chicken holidays because I had potential customers who’d say ‘I’d love chickens, but what do I do when I go on holiday?’ So I said bring them back & i’ll board them for you. No one was offering this service locally so it made sense to offer hen holidays.

What is the most chickens you’ve looked after at any one time?
Difficult to say! We are usually fully booked over the summer holidays & Christmas to new year, but I have some birds of my own too, they take up 4/5 cubes, so I’ve the potential to accommodate over 100 holiday hens.

What is the longest time that a Chicken has stayed with you?
We had a trio of light Sussex that stayed about 3 months as their owner was sailing   Around the Mediterranean & her progress was weather dependent!

I imagine the service is very popular…… Do you get fully booked up?
We like to take bookings a few months in advance especially for summer & Christmas, I don’t like to turn people away but each coop houses hens belonging to one family, we never mix flocks. If I’m out of space, then I’m out of space!

What is the furthest distance a customer has travelled to bring their chickens to you?
People do come a long way, but we are not that far from Gatwick airport so some drop off en route, its funny when the chickens take up more space in the car than the luggage.

What do prices start at?
Eglu classic & Go are £5 per night & take a max of 3 hens, Eglu cubes are £8 a night & take 4-8 hens. Feed included.

To find out more about Hen Holidays please view the Sussex Garden Poultry Website: http://www.sussexgardenpoultry.co.uk/home

To find out more about Eglu Chicken Coops – Click here

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Omlet Newsletter – Monday, 26th November 2012

With just a few days until December, now is the time to stock up on cards, calendars and decorations, so you can start turning your home into a winter wonderland. For one week only, we are discounting some of our favourite festive finds to help you on your way…

15% off a selection of Christmas goodies for 1 week!

All products will go back to full price on Monday 3rd December, so be quick!

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Omlet Newsletter – Monday, 19th November 2012

Did you know there are just 5 weeks left to do your Christmas shopping? It’s a scary thought…especially if you haven’t dared to venture into your local shopping centre yet, but keep calm. We have a huge range of gifts for all the family that you can buy at the click of a button.

Our specially selected gift sets are the perfect choice for your friends, family and pets, and each brilliant bundle will save you money. Choose from the gorgeous gift sets below or see online for our full range. Our Christmas shop is just brimming with goodies for you and your loved ones!

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Omlet Newsletter – Monday, 22nd October 2012

9 Days ’til Halloween…

So what better way to get into the spirit of all things spooky than with a discount on our most terrifying Halloween accessories!? From now until midnight on the 31st, we are offering you 20% on all of the items below, so you can put on a spooktacular party to be proud of.

Just use voucher code: SCREAM20DISC

And try not to get too frightened…

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Omlet Newsletter – Friday, 11th May 2012

Patriotic Products for You!

We’ve gone a ‘brit’ mad this month with a whole load of new products inspired by London. 2012 is a great year for Britain, and with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the London Olympics just a breath away, we think it is the perfect time to stick up the bunting, raise our flags and show our patriotism!

Here is a selection of the fun and funky items we have to offer, and with prices starting at just a couple of quid they are ideal for giving away as gifts, or treating yourself.

So raise your tea cups and give three cheers for a great year for a Great Britain!

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Omlet Newsletter – Friday, 13th April 2012

Put a Spring in your Step…

This month we are loving the colour yellow! Having launched the Eglu Cube in Yellow, and the brand new Yolk Yellow Egg Skelter, we just can’t get enough of this Springtime colour. Even the eggsperts agree that yellow is awesome, claiming that it evokes happiness, optimism and enlightenment…So why not put a spring in your step today and check out some of the lovely yellow items we have to offer!

If that doesn’t have you jumping for joy then maybe this will… we have five Yolk Yellow Egg Skelters to give away this weekend. For your chance to get your mits on one you just need to tell us your favourite yellow thing and why. Post your answer on our Facebook Wall or send us a Tweet, by midnight on Sunday!

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