Chickens have always been part of my future plan. They are a huge commitment but will be so rewarding and will take me one step closer to being self sufficient. Being completely new to chickens, I’ve done masses of research, finding the best coop, food and bedding.
First decision was the coop! After loads of reading I decided plastic was going to be the way forward for me, easy to clean and less problems with mites. Working full time, setting up my own business, two plots and house to look after meant I needed something extremely low maintenance.
I ended up deciding to go with an Omlet Eglu Cube coop with a 3 meter run which will house 8 ex battery hens. There is no getting away from the fact that this is one of the more expensive coops on the market, however I always have the attitude “you get what you pay for”. Its an investment that will last me years to come.
The coop has a double wall with an air cavity giving it a layer of insulation, keeping it cool in the summer and warm in the winter. It has a slatted floor with a pull out tray for the droppings which makes cleaning quick and simple. The other main benefit is the whole package Omlet provide. You can either buy the coop by itself, or if your a newbi you can buy coop, run and feeding station all together. You can easily add a run extension at a later date.
My biggest fear about getting chickens has been Mr Fox. The idea of him tearing though flimsy chicken wire or tunnelling under the coop plays on my mind…a lot! I’m hoping I will be able to get a good nights sleep knowing the run is made from steel welded mesh and has a wire skirt to prevent any digging. I’ve put my run on bare soil so I’ve also added a extra parameter of paving slabs that I salvaged. You can never be too safe!
I built the coop and run in two afternoons. The instructions said you needed two people so of course I ignored the advice as I was too excited and couldn’t wait for help! Shortly after I started I realised ideally you do need two people! It was a bit of a struggle to hold bits of the wire run up while fixing it in place but I managed. The connectors and brackets were simple and easy to use.
Being a product designer I have had to proof read countless instruction manuals, so I’ve experienced a fair share of awful “destructions” (as my dad likes to call them). Omlet’s instructions were really straight forward and had brilliant little illustrations of “do’s and don’ts” that made it really clear what the coop should look like…and more to the point, what it shouldn’t look like!
I filmed a little time-lapse video of the build over the two days which shows you just how easily it all goes together. My top tip would be assemble it from the outside. Once (okay twice!) I made the mistake of getting in the coop to fix the roof and interior in place, only to realise it wouldn’t be easy getting back out! If you fancy a laugh check it out on my YouTube channel: Omlet Eglu Build
Cant wait to share the next step with you! Introducing the girls!