If you’ve been reading along you already know why I didn’t buy a boxed wooden coop. In this post I’ll share why I chose the Large Omelet Eglu Cube as my first coop and my experience with that.
While researching coops, I wanted something that was easy to clean and maintain. A coop that was predator proof and large enough to hold my three Buff Orpingtons. I wanted something that would last for years and keep my chickens safe and healthy.
The Omelet Eglu Cube got great reviews. It’s made of hard plastic and very easy to keep clean. The tray is also deep and pulls out easily. It won’t warp and weather, both hot and cold, won’t harm it. Omelet says that their coop is completely fox proof. I’ve never had a fox try to break in but I was confident that it would keep one out.
It doesn’t have windows and I was concerned about ventilation but it does have vents and I never had an issue with that. Without windows it is dark in the coop but my chickens spent the daylight hours mostly in the run so that worked out ok. The Eglu Cube stays warm in the winter and cool in the summer. All in all, it’s a great coop but also very costly. I do believe it would last for years.
Additional run extensions can be purchased in three-foot increments. I bought an additional three-foot run extension. It’s about 3 feet wide. Omelet advertises it for 6 chickens. I do think it’s best for only about four large chickens though six will fit. Having the additional run sections available meant that I wouldn’t have to buy a separate run. This made the idea of spending a lot for it seem like it would be worth it. With three feet of space under the coop, the 3-foot run that came with it plus the additional 3 foot run extension that I purchased gave my chickens 27 square feet of space which fell within the 6-10 feet minimum space needed per bird.
It has one large nest box that I had planned to divide into two sections. It concerned me that it only had one but I’ve since learned that chickens always seem to want the same one anyway. The nest box in the Eglu Cube can easily hold two chickens at once and it is accessible from the outside. There is also a door between the nest box and the coop that can be open or closed. When I first put my chickens in the Eglu, I kept that door closed to ensure they wouldn’t sleep in the nest box.
I ordered the Large Eglu Cube, the run, and the optional wheels came in several boxes. The company had decent customer service. I had questions before purchasing it and they got back to me quickly and they answered all of my questions. Their delivery was on time and nothing was missing or damaged.
Putting it together was a challenge. The run comes with many small welded wire pieces that have to be clipped together. The clips did hold up but it takes some getting used to to be able to get them on. I broke some in the beginning but I had plenty and I knew I would be also adding some additional zip ties.
The instructions were just ok. Not impossible but not simple. If you are good at pictures it’ll be easier. I do better with detailed written instructions rather than one sentence with a picture. I assembled it in the garage and it took hours to complete it. It was extremely sturdy once it was finished.
Though I really liked the coop I realized that it was going to cost me even more money than I’d already spent. The coop is fox proof. It’s made in England and they have foxes but they don’t have a raccoon issue there. We have a lot of raccoons here and the spaces between the welded wire were large enough that a raccoon could reach through. The way I fixed that was to cover the entire lower portion of the run area with hardware cloth. I learned quickly how difficult it is to work with hardware cloth and how much it costs. That took several more hours to do. The second thing that I realized was that the little door in the front was quite small. I could squish into it but it’s a very small space. About 2 feet by 18 inches. I spent a lot of time inside while assembling it. It wasn’t fun but it was doable.
After getting it assembled in the garage, I moved my chickens from the brooder into the coop. It was then that the little door started to become a bigger issue. The chickens would run to the back under the coop so for me to get at them meant that I needed to crawl inside. Getting them into the coop that first night was a challenge. Also, at that point there was bedding and chicken poop in the run area. I kept thinking about how I would get eggs if they didn’t use the nest boxes. Worst of all how would I ever be able to clean it. The coop was simple to clean. I could just rinse that off but I was unable to clean the run while it was in my garage. There just wasn’t enough space to move it around in.
The next issue came when the chicks were almost ready to go outside in it. The coop was advertised showing chickens on beautiful green grass. After having chickens for a while, I now know that the grass will be gone quickly if chickens stay in the same place too long. When I purchased it, the plan was to move it around the yard so the grass wouldn’t die from them staying in one spot. It is possible to move it, the wheels work well but it’s not as easy as it seemed in the videos when there are extra run extensions attached. It has a skirt on the bottom to prevent predators from digging under it so that can get in the way while moving it. I found it quite awkward to move.
The coop portion was simple to clean, ventilated, and it is fox proof. It is very expensive but I cannot say that it isn’t worth the money. It depends on what you are looking for. I believe it will last for years. I did have to add a couple of additional locks because I worried that a raccoon could turn the locks on the coop and get into the back or in through the nest box. The company assured me that they had never heard of a raccoon getting the back open on that particular coop. Depending on the predators in your areas this may not be an issue and adding the locks, though it meant drilling into the plastic, did go well.
What the Eglu Cube didn’t have that became the biggest issue for me was a door that was normal size for a human to easily get into. I realize that many coops don’t come with walk in runs but this particular door I found to be a nightmare. It was flimsy and way too small. Not to mention that the door was also covered with hardware cloth which made it tricky to close and it caused several scratches. That was my doing so it’s not Omelet’s fault but had those spaces, in the welded wire, been smaller I wouldn’t have felt the need to add the hardware cloth. There may be another work around for that issue but I couldn’t figure out how to attach a wooden door easily. Someone who builds things might find a better solution that I did.
Reaching in to hook the food and water dish on the side was something that I couldn’t imagine doing on a snowy winter morning. I lost my balance squatting down to do it many times. I found the best way to deal with the water dish was to put it in empty, reach in, and fill it from a jug. There were also many times that I did have to go all the way to the back which meant trying to walk in a squatted position through the run. I cursed it every single time.
I will add that Omelet does now sell an additional door attachment. I’m assuming this is because many people had issues accessing the back of the run. It requires cutting the welded wire and adding a door that is about the size of a chicken. For me it wasn’t worth doing that. It would help to grab an egg that was laid back there but wouldn’t help me to clean it. To clean it easily it has to be moved.
I had also decided not to use it as a tractor. It just wasn’t simple to move with the run and I wanted the bottom a little more predator proof. The skirt was good but it didn’t lay completely flat because of where it was in the yard. I put pavers on the skirt to help with that and placed the whole run over pavers and filled it with bedding.
A note about Omelet, I do love their other products. The coop came with a water and food dish that I love. I’ve purchased a couple more of them now that I have more chickens. The food dishes keep the food dry and its less messy than other feeders that I’ve used. They have held up well. I have also bought a couple of their perches. Those are great and they can be put up at a variety of different angles. They even can attach to hardware cloth. I also bought the extreme weather tarps and some lighter ones. The lighter ones provided good shade and the heavier ones were really heavy duty. One of the best things that I purchased from Omelet was their automatic coop door. It fits on any coop and it can be mounted inside or outside. It works great and it has a timer and also an additional light option. I’ll make another post about that at another time but for now I’ll just say their automatic door really is worth looking into if you are thinking of getting an automatic door of some kind.
I didn’t keep my chickens in the Eglu all that long. I knew I had to do something before winter came. They are now in a shed type coop that I bought afterwards and they have a large covered walk-in run. I still use the tarps, the automatic door, and all the other supplies that I bought from Omelet.
Maybe one day Omelet will redesign that little door and perhaps make the welded wire pieces with smaller spaces to keep out more predators.
Omelet does sell a walk-in run but that would have meant spending a lot more money and more welded wire assembly along with more hardware cloth. I didn’t want to invest any more in it. If I had realized just how small that door was and what a huge issue it would be, I wouldn’t have spent the money on the additional run extension or the wheel assembly. I would have just bought the coop and put it inside the walk-in run. I did think about purchasing it for a time because I did like the coop but the idea of spending more on the run and the hardware cloth to cover it made me scrap the whole idea. I’d still be using what I originally bought if it wasn’t for the door issue.
With all that said, the Eglu Cube Chicken Coop was not for me, at least not for the long term. If I knew then what I know now, I wouldn’t have spent the money on it but since I did, I won’t get rid of it. It can serve as a short-term extra coop. It was great to put a second group of chicks in this year as they were slowly being introduced to the 3 Orpingtons. It would be a good tractor if it didn’t have the extra extensions. If you don’t have raccoons in the area and are just worried about foxes it’s wonderful. Lastly, if you free range your chickens housing will be easier. They need a place to sleep at night and the Eglu is perfect for that.
If you want to make it completely predator proof, keep it stationary, and be able to get in easily to clean and interact with your chickens then I’d recommend either putting the Eglu Cube inside a walk-in run of some sort or getting a an entirely different coop and run.
I opted for the latter and things are much easier now. Getting to the final step was quite costly. More than it needed to be but I didn’t have all the information that I needed to make the decision in the beginning. I spent a lot of time in the beginning thinking about what the chickens would need. I realized that though chicken keepers don’t have to live in the coop, it is really important to know what you need for a setup since you’ll be doing all the housekeeping in there. The money that I spent on a new setup was worth it because now chicken keeper and chickens are all happy with the final coop and run setup.