Sorry in advance as this post is a tiny bit ranty.
As per my last post, we started our chicken journey with a basic Eglu Go and two meter run, as below (in this case a temporary set-up for some bantam chickens whilst I made up their real home). I immediately extended the run by an extra meter, so the two hybrids chucks had a secure home and a three meter run. The blurb for Eglus says that you can keep up to four smaller chickens (like the hybrid rangers I have) or three larger variety (like Buff Orpingtons) in the Go, but the problem then is the run size. Everything I read says a minimum of one square meter per regular sized chicken and so I felt happier with three square meters for my two, and that was knowing they would be outside most of the day. I just prefer to give them as much room as I can.One of the reasons I went for a Go, apart from asking lots of friends who have them and reading a load of reviews, was that I wanted to keep moving it around so the chucks could be on fresh grass when they were contained in the run. With three meters, it is very possible to move, but it’s quite hard work. The grass tends to grow through the fox proof skirt (in my case, probably because I don’t mow the lawn enough!) and it becomes quite difficult to drag it around. In fairness, it was much easier with the two meters.
After Mabel was munched (in January, this year) I decided that when I got the new chickens, I’d also upgrade the coop to a Go Up, as above, with an extra one meter extension. This meant buying all the component bits separately (run, run extension, frame and wheels). Boy, did I have problems! To cut a VERY long story short, I realised that the wheel handle wasn’t correct. It didn’t look anything like the promo photos and there wasn’t enough sticking out to get a good grip on to push the handle down and hook under the brackets. I took lots of photos, wrote emails and made many phone calls to Omlet over the next week. First, they sent me a new frame…..er no, that wont solve it (but I politely went through the motions and waited another day for the re-delivery before calling them to point out it was, in fact, the same frame as the one I already had). Then it was agreed that the wheels were wrong, turns out they were an old design sent out by mistake. On opening the box, the ‘new’ replacement wheels, were the same as the existing wrong ones. As with the originals, they were in the correct box, but had the wrong handles inside. Grumpy, much, me? Noooooo.Eventually, after lots of deliveries back and forth, I got the correct wheels. (I hope you appreciate that I ran out in the rain to take this photo). Not sure how clear it is, but there is a turn in the handles that makes it much easier to grip and maneuver. (storm Katie, which wasn’t forecast to be all that windy here, turned out to be much worse than expected and the poor hens went for a ride during the night!)
For my birthday again this year, my lovely sister bought me a second Eglu Go to use with the old run, sitting sad, lonely and unused in the corner of the garden and because I am now a chicken addict. After struggling to drag it around, I again decided to ‘upgrade’ it to a Go Up and guess what…..yes, WRONG bloody wheels delivered again. This time I got a bit grumpy on the phone. The girls I have dealt with at Omlet have always been so polite and as helpful as they can be, so total respect there, but I thought not being offered any compensation was poor and it strikes me that lots of people must have the wrong old style wheels, as each package I get has been previously opened and re-taped and I think when they get returned (as with mine) they just end up back in the system and go out again to another customer…at least that’s my theory, anyway.
Would I buy from Omlet again? Absolutely, because the design is bloody genius and I appreciate I was possibly just unlucky with my wheel order and, as above, the customer service girls were lovely, it just took a lot of effort on my part to sort the problems out and that irks me. Also the foxes around here are a big problem, they are in the garden every night and I’m confident that my chickens are safe in their runs, even if I’m away overnight and the doors to the coop can’t be closed. This is my current set-up. I have two Eglu Gos and (as of recently) both have whopping three meters of run on the front, which with the one meter underneath the Eglu makes four meters in all. I didn’t know if they would still be easy to move around the garden but they are perfectly fine, if a tiny bit wobbly. I’m really happy. Doris lives with her new hybrid pals, Edna and Beryl and the other Eglu has the Bantams (next post!). They all free range together, but I don’t think they could have lived together, for instance in a Eglu Cube (which I do LOVE) as the big chucks can be a bit mean to the small ones when they are all out together if I don’t watch them.
In short, buy and Eglu, it’s worth it, but check the wheels you are sent if you’re buying them at a later date as an add-on!!