Comments from Eglu users?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by SoGal, Dec 19, 2007.

  1. SoGal

    SoGal New Egg

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    Dec 18, 2007
    I'm thinking of purchasing one of these as a suburban chicken tractor (first timer). Anyone have experience with them? We're in Zone 8b, so minimal winter concerns, but major summer heat and humidity. Thanks from a newbie.
     
  2. skatcatla

    skatcatla Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 26, 2007
    I used to be really into Eglus, in fact that website was what got me into the whole idea of raising chickens in my urban backyard to begin with!

    However, after doing much more research here are my thoughts on them:

    1) they really can't fit more than 2 chickens, and I can assure you, you'll eventually want more than 2. I ordered three and ended up with 4, and I still want more. ;_D

    2) They are expensive! For just a few chickens you could buy or build something MUCH cheaper.

    3)This last one is purely the environmentalist in me, but I don't like that they are plastic. Easy to clean, sure, but does the world need more plastic items?

    Anyway, just my .2c!
     
  3. arlee453

    arlee453 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    Eglus are really nice, but the likelyhood of you getting started and realizing that 2-3 chickens are not enough is a very real possiblity.

    For the same price, you can get something much larger, and cute too with a larger run that you can actually stand up in.
     
  4. SoGal

    SoGal New Egg

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    Dec 18, 2007
    Thanks for the thoughts. I'm trying to find something unobtrusive for neighbors, though they're generally okay with the idea. I understood that Eglus were recycled plastic, or recyclable at least. Lastly, for someone with minimal carpentry skills, where does one shop for a tractor/small coop in a rather urban area? I've checked area Farmer's lists, but most seem to be much larger than I'd need.

    Also any suggestions for producers that are willign to sell two or three pullets would be welcome.

    SoGal in So GA
     
  5. AtRendeAcres

    AtRendeAcres Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2007
    Clarion County
  6. skatcatla

    skatcatla Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 26, 2007
    SoGal, I'm in Los Angeles and I can't nail two pieces of wood together so I feel your pain!

    I ended up ordering a Chick-N-Pen on line. It's fine for two chickens, but not really big enough for the four I have. Some people on here have got the Chick-n-Barn product and run and then added on to it. I'd go that route over the Chick-N-Pen.

    For instance, look at this thread:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=25549

    You can order that online for around $400 for everything and put it together in a few minutes.

    OR, you might modify a dog house, like suggested above.

    I fell in love with the designs of Wine Country Coops (www. winecountrycoops.com) but they are a fortune, so I actually have a terrific carpenter who is going to build me one for next to nothing. I'll take photos once its done.

    If you check online, you can actually find several sites like henspa.com that offer good ideas for urban coops.

    Oh, and mypetchicken.com will ship three birds to you (although I got four!) or you can check your local feed store. Even here in Los Angeles there were many feed stores that had baby chicks and older pullets for sale.

    Check craigslist in your area too.

    Good luck!
     
  7. LindaN

    LindaN Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 28, 2007
    Chicago
    SoGal, I'm an Eglu owner in Chicago. The Eglu and run are compact and do not allow you to stand up and walk around inside, but that's actually worked in my favor here where we get cold winters. The compact size traps their body heat much better, and now that I've covered the entire run with clear plastic, it's dry, draft-free and warmer in there.

    However, you're in Georgia and don't need to worry about cold winters. In this case, the Eglu design may not work as well for you.

    The Eglu is well-ventilated for a temparate climate, but in your extreme heat and humidity it may not be able to keep the birds as cool as a more open coop design.

    I got my pullets in August, which is a pretty hot and humid month here. I have 3 Red Star hybrids, which are considered a medium-sized chicken. When the days/nights were really hot and humid and I would peek inside to do a "beak count" after closing and locking the door at night, I'd see the "girls" inside the Eglu with their wings cocked out a bit (their "cooling" mode). Although it looked like there was room for a fourth chicken inside, I couldn't imagine they would be comfortable like that in the summer. (Now that it's winter, though, I'm sure they wish they had another friend inside with them to snuggle up with!)

    Even a Chick N Barn may be too stuffy for your situation. Personally, I think extreme heat and humidity can be much more stressful on chickens than cold.

    Of course, you could also allow the chickens to sleep inside the Eglu's attached run at night to take advantage of the evening breezes, I guess. You'd probably want to add a layer of hardware cloth attached to the run, though, if you do that. The run wire is strong, but the spacing between the wires is a bit large and would allow a racoon to reach inside and grab a chicken head/wing/leg.

    Or you could look for something that allows you to remove panels/walls for the summer to allow for more air to flow through, and then add them back on for the winter when it's colder.
     
  8. Dawn419

    Dawn419 Lost in the Woods

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    Apr 16, 2007
    Evening Shade, AR
    We're in Middle TN and have a modified Chick-N-Barn/Yard. We had an unusually hotter than normal summer and the Barn wasn't a problem at all. It's home to 5 Bantam Silkies, just the right size for them but will need to go bigger when we add on to the Silky flock. If you have any questions, please, don't hesitate to contact me.

    Dawn
     
  9. eggzettera

    eggzettera Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have an eglu, I agree that the size limits the number of chickens and you will want more. I want more already and this is my first season having them & I live alone.

    But thats just cause:
    A.) they are not laying now
    B.) I want to convert others by giving them eggs

    I wish that I had hired a carpenter and modified part of my unused double garage. But I do like how I can move it around my yard so they can pre-treat a new garden spot.

    How many eggs will you want? Or better yet WHY are you thinking about getting them in the first place? Are you in town or in the country? If you give us more information we can be ALOT more specific in our help.

    By the way welcome coop.
     
  10. SoGal

    SoGal New Egg

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    Dec 18, 2007
    First thanks to you all for sharing, it's helped to hear other thoughts and see other solutions. I loved the Wine Country Coops in California, but with minimal carpentry skills, think that's a bit past my skill level. I also liked the idea of using the outside of the Eglu as a "screen porch for chickens" - that's how many Southerners survive the summer nights! [​IMG]

    So, a few more details. We're on a long narrow 1/2 acre lot, picket-fenced in back for huge shaggy hound (mellow, think she'll be okay with chicks). My lot is wooded in the far back with pines and dogwoods, compost heap and two beehives (outside the fence). Live oaks line the eastern border under which is a long and neglected shrub border. Grass is scruffy centipede variety (like buffalo grass for you midwesterners) four raised vegetable beds, and a rose/perennial bed of which I am fond.

    Both neighbors homes are quite a ways away, both visually and smell-wise. The neighborhood is older nice middle class brick ranch home subdivision. No one is covenant-crazy, but lawns are kept mowed, maintenance done, etc. Whatever I put in will have to look nice as well as work for the chicks.

    My two close neighbors have been very cool about the dog and my beehives out in the woods, and only mentioned smell as a worry with the chickens. Both are older folks with farm histories but who are happy to be city dwellers now.

    Why chickens? -- for fun and a few eggs, increasing my local food intake, organic compost for my garden. There's only my husband and me, so a dozen or so eggs a week is plenty. Maybe I'm trying to relive my summer youth on my uncle's sheep ranch when my country cousins convinced me that gathering eggs was a REAL honor.[​IMG]
     

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