Saturday, 29 May 2010

Eglu Go

We need another temporary chick coop, as we've hatched a batch of chicks a bit too close to the previous batch;  and I might be keeping one or two of the   earlier hatch, and need somewhere for them to live until they are old enough to integrate with the Big Girls.

I already have a Cube for my Garden Girls, which I love;  and an Eglu which is our normal temporary home/hospital/isolation ward, which I like.

Another Cube would be great, but not suitable for the purpose. Another Eglu would be a good option.... but Omlet have bought out the new Go a (almost unnoticeably) cheaper version of the Eglu.  We saw it at Grand Designs and again at the Ideal Home Exhibition.  It was interesting. 

After much umming and aaing, I ordered an Eglu Go the other day.. They don't have the visual impact of  the Eglu (or my favourite, the Cube),  but it has some design features which make even better for chicks - and therefore our purpose -  than the Eglu.

Firstly, the door panel on the Run can be positioned anywhere.  It's surprisingly inconvenient having a door panel at the end of the run when you are dealing with small chicks.  Having the door in the side means I'm more likely to be able to catch them, and will certainly find it easier to herd them into the house to be shut in.

Secondly, the entire tray - including nest box - slides out for cleaning.  On the Eglu the tray and the roosting bars come out, but the nestbox is part of the base.  It's still not difficult to clean, especially if you have a power washer, but there is no doubt that having it removable means it will be even easier to clean. 

So, it arrived yesterday, and DH put it together for me.  The end result is a mixture of good and not so good.  I suspect my view is reinforced because I already have first hand experience of the Cube and the Eglu, and it was inevitable that I would be comparing the newcomer with those.

It's much more flat-packed than the Eglu as the design is simplified.   It's a sad that the iconic shape of the Eglu has gone, but the new shape is much more practical - from a manufacturing, delivery, and storage point of view. And also from a user point of view - you don't have to hoik the heavy top shell off to get to the nestbox to clean it.

The first thing we noticed as soon as we unpacked the parts, is that the  plastic isn't as good quality as the Eglu.    Once it was built, we found there were four very obvious yellow spots on each side and on the top, which are  the result of the injection moulding process.   It's a shame that they couldn't be moulded in such a way that these imperfections are on the inside, but I assume that there is a reason it has to be this way.  And once I noticed that imperfection I noticed that the bracing bars on the inside were creating a pattern on the outside. 

The up-side of the cheaper panels is that they are easily replaceable, so it's possible to change the colour. Omlet promises limited edition colours, and I had been hoping that one of these would have been imminent as the Go isn't available in orange, purple, or lilac.

The run works well. I can't see how you can extend it unless they end up selling a converter as they do with the Eglu.  We won't need to extend it though.     To take the run off, you have to dismantle the Go.. but I guess we won't need to take the run off very often except when we're putting it away for storage.  

A thoughtful feature they've put in, is two holes ready drilled marked "web cam". 

The waterer is OK,  but I really don't like the look of the feeder.  I imagine it's been designed to make it even harder for other creatures to steal the food.

And do you know what I found saddest of all?   The egg boxes.  When I bought my Cube and my Eglu,   Omlet provided 10x4egg boxes, with an Omlet logo on.  I'm not too bothered about the Omlet logo but the 4-egg boxes were perfect.  When you only have 2 or 3 hens, it's quite hard to give away 6 eggs - 4 eggs is much better.  And it was just so... right.  

What came with my Go?  10 toilet-roll-tube coloured 6-egg boxes, which looked like crap.  Now, I know that it's a tiny thing.  But it just wasn't Omlet.    I can understand that the cost of producing their own branded egg boxes is an expensive overhead,  but why didn't they buy some  blue 4-egg boxes from Flyte So Fancy and use those instead?    At least it would have been something unusual, something different,   something a bit less ordinary.

Am I happy with my purchase?  I don't know. I think so.  The revised features I mentioned should make it a better choice for our circumstances than buying an Eglu would have been.  

I'll find out more about how it works in practice when we put some chicks in it.  This will be in about 3 weeks when the latest hatch are hardy enough to have short spells out. 


  1. We just ordered our Eglu Go in red. Now they have panels in purple which I'm sure you'll be glad to know. Fun blog!

  2. Ooh! Where?! I rushed to the Omlet Shop to look, but I couldn't find them. Probably just as well, as I don't NEED new panels....