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We are first-time chicken owners and found this forum very useful, so I thought I would share our tale of early days with the eglu and maybe help other new owners.


Before we bought our hens, the Omlet team were very helpful in providing information about some concerns we had (things like bird flu and garden suitability). We ordered a Miss Pepperpot and Gingernut Ranger from Omlet along with our eglu. Delivery was arranged for a convenient time and the helpful delivery man set the run up, let us handle the chickens, showed us how to clip their wings and answered all the questions we could think of. Our hardest job was thinking of names!


We kept the chickens in their run for the first week, as advised, before letting them venture out. They were inquisitive but a little nervous of human contact at first, but after a couple of days they were eating out of our hands (although still not letting us pick them up).


We followed advice on this forum about picking them up in the evenings just as they were roosting. This (along with them coming into lay) seemed to work a treat and after six weeks or so with us they are now reasonably happy to be handled.


The first few days we waited with anticipation for our first egg, which we had been told would be soon as the chickens were at point of lay. After a week or so we had nothing, but the comb on one of the chickens was becoming noticeably redder and larger so we hoped that would be a good sign. Gradually, the same chicken started crouching when we came near (another sign that the forum had told us to look for) and after about four weeks we had our first egg!


In fact, it was two - but both were under the roosting bars, soft-shelled and broken. We had been giving our chickens grit, so we assumed that the shells would harden in time. What had confused us was that we had two at the same time - both exactly the same colour and size, in the same place. As mentioned, only one of the chickens looked like it was coming into lay. We assumed that the same one managed to lay two eggs at once (although we are still unsure if this is actually possible).


Next day there were no eggs, then a couple more soft-shelled broken ones on consecutive days (also found under the bars). Finally, a great moment when we opened the hatch and found a perfect egg in the nest box. Over the next few days, we had an egg or two each day and realised both our chickens were laying. We've even worked out which one lays the darker brown eggs and which one the light beige by keeping an eye on them and checking after they visit the henhouse (it was great finding a still-warm egg and solving the puzzle!).


We've now had a decent little supply of eggs and tried them fried, scrambled and poached. They seem to taste better when you know where they have come from and how fresh they are. We are looking forward to building up a surplus so we can give some to friends/family in our special Omlet eggboxes.


In conclusion, we have thoroughly enjoyed our early chicken-owning experience - they are funny, friendly animals and the eggs are a great bonus. We've also found that they tend to behave more or less "by the book", i.e. they will find their way to the roosting box at night, they will lay eggs sooner or later (even if you think that day might never come!), they will work out that the nesting box is the best/easiest/most comfortable place for them to do that and they even help out your lawn (we move the eglu each week and the patches where they have been are considerably greener than the rest of the garden).


Things to watch out for are the little nips on your fingers when you open the run (you soon realise they don't really hurt though), scratching around the garden and creating dust baths. They can mess up your flowerbeds a bit, so some netting might be an idea if you're precious about your pansies.


Hope this helps other new "parents" like the rest of the forum has helped us.

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Excellent post - brought back the memories, now over a year ago, of when my first two girls arrived and I'm sure will help others with new girls or those considering taking the plunge into getting :) They are great stress busters, their antics at times can be quite hilarious.


You really can't beat having chooks in the garden and the fresh eggs really are a bonus. Not bought shop eggs for over a year now and now selling my surplus - having trouble keeping up with demand at the moment.


Keep on enjoying :)



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great post (and what a great forum name!) :)


I am up to three months now with my girls and it's brilliant!

And the eggs DO taste better, all my friends say they are much nicer than shop ones (mainly 'cos they are so fresh). Glad to hear you're enjoying it so much.

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Just curious, which one lays which egg? Both our gingernuts are laying and they produce different colour eggs. Chandon's seem to be darker than Moet's. What colour will Peri (the Mrs Pepperpot) lay?


Our Pepperpot produces light beige eggs, occasionally with slight freckles - currently coming out quite long and thin. The Gingernut's are darker and rounder in shape, and she also layed the largest so far (a 70g whopper - the first few were around 40-50g).

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