We purchased our house in 2009 for just over $25,000. It was in live-in condition, but being the restless spirits we are, we decided to do a bunch of remodeling - gutted and remodeled the kitchen, gutted and remodeled both bathrooms, gutted what we use as the master bedroom, new carpeting throughout, several new zo-e-shield windows, added insulation to the attic, rebuilt the chimney, replaced and moved the water heater, installed a wood furnace, and put up additional food and emergency storage.
Then, over the Winter this past year, we decided to delve into raising our own chickens. The decision was to harvest our own organic eggs. We did some research into Chicken Coops, and found that a Chicken Tractor was our best bet. After doing more research, we decided the Eglu Cube by Omlet was the way to go. It is not an inexpensive solution, but being made of a high grade of plastic, and being quite modular in design, it is easy to clean, care for, and keep pesky pests away from our chickens. So, in March or April we actually placed our order for the Cube. It comes from England, and they only ship periodically, so we needed to get into the queue to receive ours. We had a lot of preparation to get ready for the chickens anyway. We needed to fence in the back yard (we had already made the decision to do an organic garden as well), and wanted mostly to keep the deer and other large animals out.
|North fenceline & tilled garden.|
|South and Southwest fenceline|
|South and slightly East|
Well, at the end of that week, I had only gotten 3/4 of the fence posts placed, and no fencing put up. I had to work frantically the next couple of weekends in order to finish up the fence, and build the gates.
|Eglu Cube as shipped.|
|Inspecting each box.|
|Everything is there.|
|Retrieving the first pieces to assemble|
|Putting together the wheel assembly.|
|Installing the supports to the base.|
|More assembly of the "tractor".|
|Tractor assembly & back of run. Done!|
|Front wall, installed.|
|Installing the ladder.|
|Installing the wire mesh run.|
|Installing the skirt.|
We were quite concerned that the chickens might peck at the plastic, and ingest it. They haven't done that at all. Since we're concentrating on everything being organic, we were quite concerned, but it turned out to be a needless worry.
It was quite interesting dealing with someone in England to purchase this product. I dealt with Clare, and no matter how upset we might have become, she always was pleasant and easy to deal with. We didn't really get upset, but did get firm with her a couple of times when the shipment didn't come like it was supposed to. They're also about six or seven hours ahead of us, so that didn't make it easy to always talk to Clare when we needed to.
|Side panels going on.|
|Installing divider for nesting box.|
|Installing the roof and back access panel.|
|Installing the roosting bars.|
|Moving the tractor.|
|Installing small fence.|
Moving the Cube is not as easy as Omlet makes it out to be. Yes, the wheels are large, but there's nowhere to grab onto for control. If the yard was perfectly smooth, then it would be much easier, but our yard has small divots all over it. The chickens dig additional holes as well. I decided to add a couple of handles to the back panel to make it easier to balance on the two wheels, and to pull it if necessary. Makes moving a bit easier.
|Completed Cube with feeder & waterer|
All in all we're quite happy with the Cube. Even though it's supposed to be insulated against the cold, we've decided we're going to keep the chickens in our wood room in the house for the winter. It gets very cold up
here, and we don't want any chickens freezing their toes or combs off.
|The chickens arrived healthy & sound|
|Wondering what's up.|
|Checking out their new home.|
|Beulah, Henrietta, & Nellie.|
|First eggs. Rather small.|
|Granddaughter helping collect|
|Searching for treats (bugs, worms, etc.)|
|Watching the chickens.|
Many more adventures to come.
If you are not in a position to purchase one of these Eglu Cube tractors, you can build your own coop. There are lots of resources for plans online. Here are a few:
1. Building a Chicken Coop
2. How to Build a Chicken Coop with Easy Step-by-Step Instructions
3. Easy D.I.Y. Chicken Coop Plans