I want to give notice to anyone considering purchasing an Eglu Go who lives within range of raccoons. Here's a map of the world where raccoons are present:
I bought an Eglu on March 4, 2013 to house three chickens that we got for our children as an Easter present. We had great fun watching our new chicks grow up indoors for a few weeks until they were old enough to be moved outside into their new Eglu Go home. The chickens seemed happy in the Eglu Go, but the happiness didn't last very long. A few weeks ago I went outside to let the chickens out from their coop and was surprised to see one of our chickens, Chicky Chirpa, walking freely around our backyard. And that's when I saw the massacre.
The entire back wall of the Eglu Go is a door that latches and unlatches with a turn k"Ooops, word censored!", a useful feature for easily getting into the coop to clean and retrieve eggs. This is how the raccoons got into the chicken coop. There were muddy raccoon paw prints all over the back of the door and it was clear to me from viewing the prints and the scratches around the k"Ooops, word censored!" that the raccoon(s) fiddled with the k"Ooops, word censored!" and managed to open it. The door was completely separated from the Eglu Go. Feathers were everywhere. My girlfriend and I ran around our neighborhood looking for the two missing chickens hoping that they had escaped and were running around like Chicky Chirpa. After having no luck finding them, we returned to the Eglu Go and saw raccoon prints in the dirt leading away from the Eglu Go toward a vacant house next door. The vacant house next door has an open crawl space where the tracks were leading. I grabbed a flashlight and trained the beam into the crawlspace of the house to find even more feathers and the bodies of our other two chickens, Mary Poopins and Princess Zelda.
What a disappointing and heartbreaking experience! We had to explain to our children, 7 and 4 years old, that their chickens weren't alive anymore. We've now got one chicken left and are still figuring out the best way to introduce new chickens in the future. Feeling very unsafe with the Eglu Go and disappointed in what otherwise could have been a fun and rewarding experience, I feel compelled to let everyone know that I am most dissatisfied with the Eglu Go.
Central to my decision to purchase the Eglu Go are the claims it makes about keeping out foxes. I assumed the safety and security issues that were addressed in the design phase of this product would include most urban critters, but this is not the case.
I called customer service and, after being told that a representative in the US (I live in Oregon) would be calling me back, I waited a week with no response or calls from Omlet. Three days ago I called a second time and spoke with Johannes. He said that raccoons have not been much of an issue for owners of the Eglu Go, but they do have an ancillary add-on lock that attaches to the back door. He said he would find one in their stock and get one out to me and call me back. Why this locking mechanism doesn't come fitted on the door already I do not know. Well, this morning I got the following email from their customer support:
I'm so sorry to hear you are having trouble with Racoons getting into your GO. Johannes in the UK office has located some of the locking bars we have had made and is having them sent over to the USA for them to go on sale in the USA.
It will probably be a couple of weeks before they arrive but I will let you know when they do so you can place an order for one if you wish to do so.
So this is where I am at. The lock is not available yet, but when it becomes available in the coming weeks I will be asked to pay for it. How much will it cost? I have no idea. Ugh. After spending six hundred dollars on a coop that couldn't keep raccoons from killing my chickens, I'm told that in the coming weeks I may, if I wish to do so, pay for a locking mechanism to place on the door.
In the meantime, I have connected ratchet straps across the coop completely closing off the back door. This makes it impossible for me to get into the coop to clean and retrieve eggs without removing all of the straps, a time consuming and annoying process, but it's the only way to keep the door critter-free.
If you've made it this far into this post, I want to reiterate my initial warning: if you live in an area where raccoons could be present, the Eglu Go in its current state cannot keep them out of your coop and away from your chickens. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but it really sucks to find your chickens killed by critters that this high-end urban product should keep out.
I'm available to talk more about my experience if anyone is interested in hearing more or seeing photos of my strap hack that currently secures the back door. Email me at josh @ dipperstove . com or call me at 541-241-0081.
Sincerely, Josh Sullivan
In memory of Mary Poopins and Princess Zelda.