So it’s been a couple of months now that we’ve had the chickens and their coop so I thought it would be a nice idea to review it in case anyone is thinking of acquiring a brood of their own. J had been the driving force behind getting chickens and he had picked out a coop that he thought would fit into our lifestyles. J and I both work, him full time and me part time (at the minute) and so our time at home is precious and somewhat limited. Having just gone through potty training with C, I wanted to keep poo cleaning up to a minimum and I wanted it to be quick and easy to do. I was also keen not to avoid as best as possible the smell which seems to linger around chicken coops I’ve encountered before. I had originally stipulated a long time ago that I didn’t want chickens until C was three as then she would be old enough to know not to pick up the poo. Looking back I don’t know why I thought that three was the magic age when she wouldn’t pick up things she shouldn’t. I’ve now discovered that for C the chickens doing a poo is exceptionally fascinating but thankfully she doesn’t seem to want to pick it up.
Anyhow I digress, the point is that I demanded it was toddler proof and quick and easy to keep clean. So J found the Eglu. Whilst most coops are made from wood, Eglue makes its coops from plastic. That means they can easily be hosed/wiped down and no risk of poo getting stuck on wood (ew). The plastic is also apparently better to keep free from red mite which tends to plague chickens. A plastic coop avoids the issue of a wooden coop needing repainting every year or rotting after a few years and needing totally replacing. So although the Eglu Cube is more expensive than your standard coop it should hopefully work out cheaper in the long run. The Eglu cube has space to house up to ten chickens depending on their size and we’ve found it fits well for our six. It has a seperate laying area to roosting area so can easily be shut off at night via a sliding door keeping the girls roosting nicely on their bars. Underneath the roosting bars there is a slide out tray which pulls out to easily remove the girls nightly poos, of which there are many!
The cube is raised off the ground and reached via a non slip ladder which keeps them further away from those dreaded nighttime pests. There is a hatch on the side to collect eggs from and the back opens up as well for ease of cleaning and changing bedding. Whilst we’ve not yet experienced the extreme weather conditions which the Eglu is equipped for (ventilation for hot days and double insulation for horrible winters) I don’t have any doubt that these will prove beneficial. The cube came with a small run, which we extended to a 4 metre run so the girls can at least have some space in times where we have to keep them enclosed in there. Although as you can see Dorothy has managed to get on top of the run somehow! The run benefits from an ingenious flap thing which lies flush to the ground and provides extra resistance for foxes. We went for the cube in the green and it blends in remarkably well with the rest of our garden. The advantage of the cube being raised is that it also provideds a shaded area underneath which we’ve already seen our girls using. Eglu are apparently bringing out an automatic door opener for the Cube in the summer so that will make our chicken care even easier!