What came first- the chickens or the blog?

Omlet Eglu, a really good investment

It was a great opportunity to give the plastic Eglu coop a really good clean out before it was installed in its new home.
I can heartily recommend the Omlet hen houses. After two and a bit years it is as good as the day it arrived.
Easy to clean out, sturdy, double insulation for heat and cold, dry, insect free, no rotting wood, it comes in bright funky colours (I went for green but there is gorgeous purple and bright yellow among others).
There are roosting bars, an easily accessed nest box, the cute ladder, poop trays which can be removed and cleaned regularly, and a secure door for night time.
It’s great.
Omlet does a good range of pet things – mostly for hens and rabbits.
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A New Residence

Last Saturday, thankfully a sunny day, we began to clear out a garden shed near the kitchen at the side of the house, and to redesign it into a hen house with a safe and secure run.

Mr G worked off the frustrations of his week by banging out most of the horizontal planks on one side of the shed, we then forcefully removed one of the upright posts so the Omlet Eglu coop would fit in.
As part of our cunning plan we invited some teenage boys round for the afternoon with the promise of food, and once the shed was floored with a thin fabric membrane and covered deeply with wood shavings, the coop was lifted in (minus the hens of course). We needed all hands on deck at this stage. The coop is not so much heavy as quite large, with the legs and wheels attached underneath so need to be lifted up and in to the shed.
We then attached plastic coated wire mesh to the open side for security.
As the sun began to sink and our energy wane, we introduced the Gillybirds to their new and hopefully more permanent home. They were extremely cautious. New smells, new textures underfoot, no more open air run.


Soon it was time for the security of their own wee green home and a good night’s sleep.
That was when I realised I hadn’t made a hole to allow me to pull out the lever to open and close the coop door, so it was out with the pliers one more time.

Neither Mr G nor I are particularly skilled at DIY so this was a challnge. I feel we rose to the occasion, especially when my mother asked if we had got a professional into do the job!
The next day I managed one coat of paint to the side and front door (where I get access for eggs and for feeding and watering)

The rest of the week has been very showery so the necessary second coat has not yet happened.
I am however delighted with this dove grey paint, you can still see the wood grain. The hens have realised that when they hear taps running they can see me working away at the kitchen sink. I get a really good close up view of them from the kitchen, when they are closed inside during the rain they climb on the steps and look out at me.
During dry weather they are now decimating my lovely secret garden which I have so lovingly planted over the past year. It is a small price to pay for their security and need for a piece of earth to scratch and peck.


Times they are a’changing

Here at Gillybirds Manor we are one week into a major building project which will hopefully put an end to our considerable flooding issues in the garden. If you check back to the start of this Gillybirds blog here is evidence of the Gillyboys actually swimming on the lawn two summers ago.
This work has meant considerable disruption for us, for our (mostly) patient neighbours, for the dogs and most particularly for the Gillybirds themselves.

Initially we moved them, with considerable effort from the back garden round to the front garden, placing them directly under our bedroom window. I realised how early they start singing their sunrise song!
It has been two years since we built the Eglu coop, and trying to remember how to deconstruct it was quite a challenge. However it all worked out well and we are able to rebuild it quickly and they appeared to enjoy a change of scenery, although seemed to miss the activity of the back of the house. Lucas the pup missed them too. (He is not allowed round the front of the property given his tendency to run away.)

None of us likes change, it is unsettling, unnerving, can take away your confidence, and your ability and desire to lay eggs – however they settled very quickly, surrounded and soothed by our rather overgrown lavender plants, though I felt bad knowing this was a very temporary interim move, as their new location was directly in the path of where the heavy machinery was to manoeuvre for the next few weeks.
More to follow……

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