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Help! New Eglu owner needs advice

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I have ordered my eglu and 2 chickens after reading how easy they are to keep as pets, and how my 'city' garden will accomodate them just fine.


However, since ordering I have been on the forum and have started to panic! Firstly I am worried at how noisy they will be. I live in the ground floor flat of a terrace house, so do have neighbours close by. The website says..."The only noise you will hear is a gentle clucking as your chickens' search for worms and a satisfying cluck as an egg is laid." But people are reporting being woken at 5am by their noisy feathered friends! Do I need to worry about noise? I don't want to be on the street's most hated list!


Also, I am slightly overwhelmed by the variety of food, supplements, bedding, bark, lime etc that people say they need. Would anyone be able to give me the low down on exactly what is necessary to get started?...I think I wrongly assumed that the nice Omlet man would give us everything we needed! I don't have a car, so am hoping that my local diy/garden store will have what I need, otherwise I can hop onto the bus down to Old Kent Rd B&Q which will hopefully have everything else...


Any tips for a newbie city chicken owner would be much appreciated! By the way, anyone else in the Denmark Hill/ South East London area?




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I must be a bad chicken mother because all I have got so far for my girls is some layers pellets & mxed corn :oops: I keep meaning to buy red mite powder (which I must), diatom, stalosan, lime, a cat litter tray to catch the fallen pellets out of the grub, garlic powder, vermx, oyster grit etc.

In fact the one thing I have bought is a red plastic dog food bowl from Wilkinsons which I put their treats in - works like a dream if I have to lock them away quickly.

As for noise, yes mine do bawk bawk occasionally, but not early morning- others will beg to differ. Keeping them locked in the Eglu until a decent time in the morning seems to work for those people, I just make sure the run door is secure at night so my girls can get up when they want to :D

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Hiya, i also had these worries, iam too waiting delivery of my cube.

Firstly you need to think about where you are going to put your eglu is it going to be on grass? If not you can have it on wood chippings in a perminent possision. If you would rather not have wood chippings then you can use hemcore of aboise which obsourbs poo and what-not its basicaly just shredded straw that smels nice. As for the food, you will need to provide your chickens with layers pellets (i presume you are getting your chickens from omlet at 18 weeks old?) and fresh water everyday. The other essentials are mite powder and worming treatment, grit for the egg shells too. Other things that arne't essentials are, garlic powder (to stop the poos smelling) mixed corn (as a treat) There are so many things but these are all available in in the omlet shop online (see top right).

About the noise, most chickens hardly make any noise just usualy a gentle cooing noise, unless they are really scared then they might shout. They are no louder than wild birds, or any of your neighbors dogs or a lonley tom cat!

About the lime stuff, that is just to basicly claean the bark/woodchippings to stop any nasties growing in there.

Oh yeah, nearly forgot, you will need to provide your hens with a dustbath, a container e.g washing up bowl, with sand, compost, or wood ash with a generous sprinkling of mite powder in so they can bathe in it (natures way of getting rid of lice)


i know its a lot to take in but dont worry, you will get used to it.

enjoy your chooks!

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Hi Nicky,


I dont think you need to worry too much....We have layers pellets, grit and mite powder.......Although we havent had ours that long they are all doing well and now laying everyday :) oh and we have jst got some hemcore for the bedding......


Ours make a bit of noise now and again but no worse than a dog barking, in fact it sounds quite nice hearing them clucking now and again......I dont think they smell too bad and the poo seems to wash away quite easily.......


You will love having them and im sure the people around you will love the odd egg or 2 :)

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Hello Chick Nic. Welcome to the forum. :lol:


You don't need to get everything at once....you'd bankrupt yourself!


I have bought things as I go along and I suggest you do to, otherwise you will have a load of stuff that is not needed.


I would recommend Aubiose to put in the nest box ( and run if it is not on grass)...but the bales are large and storage might be a problem for a flat dweller, unless you have a garage or similar.


I would also suggest that you get a metal bin to store your layers pellets.


Mixed poultry grit is essential too. Costs about 4 quid for a 25kg sack oop north. :lol:


That is for starters.


When you have had them a few months you might want to think about worming the hens (some people don't bother) and I would suggest you get some Flubenvet. You can but it online.


I use Barrier Red Mite powder for no better reason than I like the smell.


I put it in the nest box and on the ends of the roosting bars.


I'm sure others will put their recomendations here too.


It will all seem a bit overwhelming at first, but it's all quite straightforward really, and you'll love having hens.

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I'd echo what Egluntine has said - except that I don't agree that you need a sack of grit. It is my understanding that the pellets contain everything a chicken needs. If your hens are able to scratch around in your garden, they will get natural grit there too.


What Omlet brings you is all you need. Other things are by choice and you will learn as you go along.


As you can see already, we all have different ideas about what you absolutely need! What we are all agreed on is that you will love your hens and their yummy eggs. :D:D

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I got a really small bag of grit from a horsey type shop, the pellets should have everything that the girls need and if they are free ranging they will pick up stones and grit like ginette said.....


I think the best thing to do is just see how "your" girls get on, and dont worry to much, I bet if everyone analysed what you "should" buy for a dog people would be put off and 9 out of 10 times you would never need it.....

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Great, thanks for all your speedy replys!


So, essentials I need:


Wood chippings/ aboise for the run and nest box (as it's not on grass)

Food Pellets (which will come with Chickies from Omlet)

Mite powder

Poultry grit


I think I'll go for the garlic powder too, as a Londoner I do have rat paranoia, so that should keep the smell down.


I do intend to let them out most evenings and every weekend, but I will have to keep them in the run when I am at work as there are bound to be foxes.


Thanks for all your advice.....any more is very welcome, esp from any other city chicken keepers! (Chicken's in zone 2....everyone thinks I'm mad!)



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We have a beautiful red eglu and 2 brown hens (they didn't have any black available and I didn't want to wait!). C-Day is 9th Aug..can't wait...I will post pics as soon as I have some.




PS I joined the facebook Omleteers group - is anyone else on that one?!

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Hi Nicky


I live in a terraced house in Maidstone town centre and have had no problems with my two (apart from them pecking each other!) since getting them in May. No comments from the neighbours


You soon get the hang of looking after them, and improvising if need be. In the recent down pour we had waterproof coats, trousers and and old oilcloth over the run to keep them dry.


We found the first couple of weeks a bit nerve racking but we are so pleased that we have them!



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I like to give my girls the grit to grind down anything they eat when they are free ranging, even though they will pick up the odd tiny stone here and there.


Ginette is right when she says that the layers pellets contain all the essential nutrients....I just like to take a belt and braces approach.


My girls do like to eat the extra.

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Dont worry Nicky, to start off with your chickens will be ok with what you've got and food and water.


You can add all your bits and bobs as you go along. We have a box in the garage for chicken bits which we add to every now and again. I would really recommend Hemcore/aubiose for the run as it stays dry under foot and keeps the smells down and the poo disappears. :)


We put poultry spice in their food (which came in a big tub for about £7 and we've had it for nearly a year).


I think the hens will be just fine in your garden, our deeds do state "no poultry" in them, but as most rules are broken in our cul-de-sac anyway we still got our chooks and only 1 neighbour has even sussed we have got them :shock::lol:


Let us know when they come and welcome to the forum...its great here and we will do our best to answer ANY questions !!

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I'm so excited for you! We have to wait a while longer for our chooks, but we haven't checked our deeds yet either - I'm too scared to look now that we've ordered our (green eglu) cube!


I have to say it does seem like a lot to think about doesn't it - but everyone seems reassuring so hopefully we'll all be fine!

We are hoping to get ex-batts so I'm a bit worried about the food as i don't think they can have pellets to begin with.


Good luck,


Nicky (another one!)

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The thing I have found really useful is putting in something to line the poo tray (we got a huge sack of easibed for about £6, a plant-pot-full is more than enough, so it will last for ages). Then you can tip the whole lot onto the compost heap/bin/whatever (and it's only a plant-pot-full after all, so shouldn't fill up your bin too much).


And, although I don't want to mention the subject of the nights drawing in, I suspect that any problems with early morning noise won't last long as the days will be starting later and later. If you see what I mean :?



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Hey! I have had my chickens for nearly 2 months now. I started with chicks, which I hatched myself from eggs. I was completely new to all this but absoutely loved chickens which really brought me through. They do need a lot of stuff but are really worth it when they are happy, healthy and laying! For the basics you should have:

* Layers mash/pellets

* Grit

* Sawdust for the floor

* Hay for the nest boxes

* Mite powder (you do nto have to buy this straight away! It is really unlikely that your chickens will get mites straight away when you get them)

* A nice airtight container for your layers mash/pellets. This will keep them tastier and safer!


Don't worry at all about your chickens! They will be fine with these! Just make sure you have money aside so if they get ill or need something, you will be able to buy them what they need!



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I find all the bck bicking rather restful - mine only get loud when you show them treats, or remove them from the patio when they'd rather not go! I just leave mineinside the eglu until I get up , at which point there is faint clucking and pecking coming from insiide - the enighbours would never know and we get louder train.traffic, dog noise all the time. It is dead easy, the Omlet people have all you need except the stuff to put in the nest box - he says you can use shredded paper if you want. Mine dustbath themselves in the dirt and eat stones (in preferent to the grit provided). I use old newspaper for the poo tray. Also you can order most stuff like mite poweder, verm x and layers pellets online if you don't have a car. So don't panic!!

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echo everything said above - the Eglu comes with everything you need to start with - just buy things as you need them.


For a town garden close to neighbours, the extras I would definitely buy at the outset are aubiose/hemcore and garlic powder, because they will minimise any smell/poo problems.


You're going to love having them!

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Welcome ChickNik, i've nothing much to add, that all these helpful folk haven't already said, except to say that I have 3 really quite noisy hens and that's even though I researched quite hard to find breeds that are meant to be reasonably docile - a warren, a black rock and a speckledy. Boy can they make a noise when they choose.


I have neighbours all around me and as the hens are at the end of my longish garden they are actually closer to my neighbour's house (beyond my back fence) than they are to mine. Most of the early morning noise is fine - it's happy burbling and not high volume, but in the first 5 weeks they averaged about once a week where at least one of them went into alarm call mode (really loud BURRRK, BUK, buk bukk, repeatedly) and I think it was because of cats (and, once, gail force winds) as I seem to have escaped foxes so far. And it always seemed to be at 5.30 am!


I raced out in my dressing gown worrying about the neighbours, but I think the point others make about similar noise levels to a loud dog, or cat fight or noisy children is quite right. My neighbours' children wake me from sleep regularly. And no one has complained or said a thing. If you are worried enough then follow the suggestion, at least in the beginning, of keeping them locked in until a decent hour. I've never done that, but it may be worth a try.


As for 'stuff', build up slowly and only get things as you need them, don't buy up too much at the beginning, it just isn't necessary (I know this as I didn't wait!!) - your eggs will cost £50 each at the beginning as it is!


I have a LOT to say considering I have little to add! ahem. My other piece of advice is based on my eglu-owning friend in Dulwich. She has foxes and a fox killed one of her hens when the hen was less than 18 inches from her feet - don't underestimate Mr Fox until you can gauge their interest in/ability to access your garden.


Lastly, never understimate the value/use of grapes, sweet corn and cabbage! Hen drugs! :D

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