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OK, I've ordered my cube (very excited!) and chickens and one bag of feed, what else do I need and any good book recommendations?

25 replies

Janus · 29/05/2009 08:09

I'm ridiculously excited about this!! We have scraped everything together to get the omlet cube (it's my birthday so bit of present from everyone!) which comes with feeders, shade, etc and I also ordered a 20kg bag of food.
This is my first time so not sure what else I need. I probably need a good book suggestion but thought I would ask you experts too!
What do you put on the floor, ie is it just straw or something in the different compartments? Also, do you get yours from somewhere different than pet shop? We have 2 rabbits that use sawdust on run and hay in bedding side to feed on but it is quite pricey, especially buying probably triple what I buy now. Any suggestions?
Other than bedding and food, is there anything else I need?
I guess I should know all this by now but it's not coming until 19th June so I have some time to get prepared now!
Many thanks.

OP posts:
KatyMac · 29/05/2009 08:11

What colour did you get?

I have no idea about your other questions, btw, but I want one too & we are arguing discussing colour

2Shoots · 29/05/2009 08:30

I have wood shavings in the main house part and straw in the nesting boxes. If you can't get wood shavings then get some different type of straw but i can't remember what it's called- it's cut shorter and has had the dust extracted. The reason I don't use ordinary straw in the main house is that it's harder to clean out and also to differentiate the nesting boxes.

I get my stuff from the local agricultural store rather than a pet store as they are cheaper.

You'll need somethig to clean ( a spade or shovel or something) and also boxes to hold your egss.

What food have you got? You need layers pellets and maybe some corn as a treat. Will they be in a run or free rangeing? The reason is ask is if they're in a run they'll need some grit to make sure the egg shells are hard. put some in a pile and let them peck at it

meltedmarsbars · 29/05/2009 22:57

We buy layers pellets, mixed corn and layers grit, mix it all together in the feed bin.

We also bake egg-shells, crush them and add them to the feed for extra calcium.

And we have currants for treats!

I recommend this book

Nekabu · 30/05/2009 06:33

You mean the big cube? The big cube has a slotted floor in the main part (they roost on the slots or sleep in the nesting bit) and the poos drop down into the trays below, as would any bedding you'd put on top of it I'd have thought. I use hay in the nesting box bit. Do you have any riding stables/livery yards/horse owners near you? It might be worth asking if you can buy a couple of slices of hay from them as it'll be cheaper to buy it off a bale like that.

I've had my cube for about 4 months now and am well pleased with it! I'd inherited an old wooden chicken house but it was starting to get rather ricketty, was difficult to clean and we'd had rats chew into it twice - no biggy, we fixed wood over the hole but it's much nicer having a secure, easy to clean cube! Plus if it's raining hard they can shelter underneath it if they want.

What chickens are you getting?

Janus · 30/05/2009 18:20

Hi ladies!
We got the purple cube, it was my choice as this is really my baby but other half liked that colour too so that was lucky. What are you thinking of Katy? I didn't want a green one that would blend into the background when I'd paid all that money for it!
2shoots, they are going to be a bit of both, they have a run that comes with the cube but when I'm in the garden i will let them out but have to careful for a while as we have a labrador and 2 cats and not sure if they are going to want to eat them! I ordered layers pellets but do I need to get grit too? If so, where do you get this?
Nekabu, does that mean you don't put anything in the main compartment? I'm in the new forest so surrounded by horse stables so I will ask at a local one for a bale of hay and see what they say.
meltedmarsbar, I've ordered the amazon book, thanks so much, at least I have some time to read before they arrive now.
We have ordered one gingernut ranger, one rhode island red, one sussex buff and two silkies (childrens' choice, once they saw the fluffy things they wanted them!!). They aren't going to be ready until end of June/mid July so I have a month to get all my stuff together.
One more thing, thinking of my ridiculously greedy dog, what do you store your food in? I may have to keep it outside so wondered if you use something that pretty much keeps the rain out and relatively greedy dog proof?!
Thanks so much again, it's a great help.

OP posts:
KatyMac · 30/05/2009 19:55

I want purple (as our uniforms are purple)
DD wants Orange or Blue
My mum (who is paying so thinks she gets a say) wants green

I will never decide

meltedmarsbars · 30/05/2009 22:18

Purple chickens or coop?

Just clarifying.

KatyMac · 30/05/2009 22:21

You can get purple chickens???Where from?

meltedmarsbars · 30/05/2009 22:36

Well, I did once see a purple poodle!

KatyMac · 31/05/2009 09:29

I wonder if Lavender pekins count?

thesockmonsterofdoom · 31/05/2009 10:13

In my cube (orange btw) (also have a purple eglu both lovely).
I have newspaper to line the poo trays otherwise they get a bit ewww. I have shredded paper in the nest boc and hard wood chips in the run, If you put it on grass the grass will not last more than a week so you will need to move it around often.
I would say, food, grit and mixed corn for treats should be enough to start you off, you will want to think of something like diatemous earth to keep the lice at bay but you dont need it to start with.

KatyMac · 31/05/2009 19:17

Does the orange attract flies? (orange & yellow clothes seem to)

thesockmonsterofdoom · 01/06/2009 07:48

not that I have noticed.
I know yellow did, they stopped making it for that reason.

KatyMac · 01/06/2009 18:03

funny that

meltedmarsbars · 02/06/2009 12:15

One of our hens chases flies. Can't be good for her pelvic floor!!

Nekabu · 02/06/2009 17:18

I don't put anything in the main compartment of the cube (you mean the slatted section, in front of the nesting bit, don't you?) nor do I line the poo trays as I just hose/scrub them after emptying them.

Sounds like you'll be getting plenty of eggs!

IcantbelieveImForty · 03/06/2009 13:27

I've got an purple eglu & put straw in the nesting box.I scrap the poo into the bucket & give it to my neighbour for her compost. I didn't think you should use hay because they are more likely to eat it & then they can have difficulty digesting it (impacted crop) ?

Do you think you'll have enough room on the run for all the chickens ? I ask because I understood the eglu would be enough for 4 chickens. Although the eglu 'pod' can sleep 4, the standard run isn't big enough. Hence I am having a rethink..but that's another thread...

I don't think you need to give them grit for their shells, the grit is for their crops which grind up their food. If you start getting soft shell eggs, you'll need something like limestone flour (I bought it from a horse shop) there is also a suitable for horse apple cider vinegar. There is also chicken spice & a wormer (which escapes me, but is on the omlet website)

The website is very good for help & advice & there are several other sites I've found useful -

Key thing, is don't give them avocada as it suffocates them & whistle when you feed them, so when they are out & you want them in, they respond to you

Have fun !

Janus · 03/06/2009 19:37

ICantBelieve, oh heck, I thought the standard cube could fit up to 6 birds?? It says that on the Omlet website, hence why I went for 5 instead of the 4 I was planning. Do I need to reduce back down to 4? I think one of the silkies will have to go but trying telling the kids that! Good tip about whistling too, shall definitely start with that, or maybe singing!! I have a compost heap so shall chuck droppings straight on, have heard they are excellent.
I got my book today so going to read that if I have time around The Apprentice!!
Many thanks everyone.

OP posts:
IcantbelieveImForty · 03/06/2009 20:26

Janus, I think you'll be ok with the cube, but you might want to think about the extension, which adds another 3 ft in length.

The cube itself holds up to 10 hens, so your 5 should be fine at night time.

I let my 2 out today & they escaped into next doors garden. I whistled & called & thank goodness, they came back I usually give them a couple of slices of cucumber as a reward - they are fast learners!
To keep your chicken feed, I recommend this

Rubbermaid Store n Scoop

I have 2, 1 for pellets & 1 for corn

Janus · 03/06/2009 20:52

ICantBelieve, hopefully mine will be free-range during the day too, just have to go gently to see how the other pets react. If a disaster then I can see me getting the extension pretty quick and have seen a couple on ebay.
Thanks for the link, one more question (!) did you get the large or small container or maybe one of each? Also, where do you get your corn, omlet? We always seem to have a cucumber lurking in the fridge so will give them that as a treat if the dog doesn't steal it first!

OP posts:
IcantbelieveImForty · 03/06/2009 22:34

I bought the large containers because I bought 4 20kg bags of food without looking at the size of the bags ! They are great though, in my back room.
My cat thought I'd bought her new toys when I first let the chickens out. I had to keep a very close eye on her, but in fact the chickens were pretty sharp & clucked in an outraged way & leapt out the way. My cat stares in a slightly fascinated way now, in fact I like to think she is guarding them against the fox : - ). Took about a week maybe of getting to know each other. Not sure how dogs are though..or rabbits.

I give them a small slice each, it;s a little reward for responding to me.

bramblebooks · 03/06/2009 22:43

I have a green cube and bought an extra bit of run for my four girls. They come out and free range / poo around the garden a lot too. It is fascinating.

friendly · 06/06/2009 20:29

Janus - can I ask what delivery time you were given for the cube? I would love chickens so much but keep dithering about numbers, cube colours, money. We live in east Sussex and I think they said 8 weeks with chooks, 3 without. Where are you getting your chickens from? I am very envious!

Janus · 10/06/2009 21:07

friendly, it all depends what option you go for. As I remember the cube plus chickens supplied by omlet would not have arrived until nearly end of July (so about 8 weeks). The cube itself was end of June so about 5 weeks. I went for the cube and paid £35 for them to build it for me. The only reason I went for this option was because I have heard a few people say they couldn't quite get their cube together properly and it leaked and it was difficult to get Omlet to sort it out. I thought if they actually constructed it and there were any faults they would have to sort it out asap. BUT I can't remember where I heard this! I did actually think my chickens would be ready by now so that was the other reason to get the quickest option but as it turns out it seems not until mid July, bum!
I looked on the Omlet website and under 'Breeds' choose chickens and then at the top you can click on chickens for sale. You then enter your postcode and they find the closest seller to you. My lady has been so good, emailing pictures when chicks were born and gave me loads of info on the email before I went to look and took a good half hour explaining about the different breeds she had.
Hope this all helps!

OP posts:
friendly · 24/06/2009 22:22

Thank you Janus for all that info. Only just checked in after a couple of weeks away from mumsnet. We really want chickens but have a baby due at the weekend and just not sure if this is the year to go for it. My dd is very cross with me for saying we would and then dithering. Good luck with your menagerie.

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