April 9, 2005 It’s no secret that pets are beneficial to our general well-being with two thirds of all homes keeping a pet and research showing that children who have pets are more self-reliant, more sociable and less selfish than children without pets, that adults with pets have less stress and heart-related illness and that elderly with pets are more active and outgoing. Think pets and you tend to think of dogs (39% of US households have a dog) or cats (33%) but a new innovation might see chickens considered as ideal family pets in the future. Launched last year, the UKP365 (US$700) Eglu is the brainchild of four British Royal College of Art graduates and in its short time on the market has significantly improved the popularity of the chicken as a pet, at the same time as promoting a self-sustainability concept to families throughout the UK. Accordingly, the Eglu offers a taste of the good life for all, particularly if you’re a chicken.
Launched last year, the UKP365 (US$700) Eglu is the brainchild of four British Royal College of Art graduates and in its short time on the market has significantly improved the popularity of the chicken as a pet, at the same time as promoting a self-sustainability concept to families throughout the UK. Accordingly, the Eglu offers a taste of the good life for all, particularly if you’re a chicken.
UPGRADE TO NEW ATLAS PLUS
More than 1,500 New Atlas Plus subscribers directly support our journalism, and get access to our premium ad-free site and email newsletter. Join them for just US$19 a year.UPGRADE
One of the prime reasons for the unpopularity of chickens in built-up areas are issues of sanitation, the prevalence of predators and the generally poor aesthetics of the common hen-house.
The Eglu was designed by Royal College of Art graduates Johannes, William, James and Simon who are the four founders of Omlet, a company conceived as a way for people to get closer to their food and improve their quality of life through sustainable intelligent design and the keeping of pets that sustain a healthy wholistic existence.
The resultant Eglu is the world's most stylish and innovative chicken house and is the perfect way to keep chickens as pets at the same time as creating a regular supply of fresh, delicious food (eggs to you) and promoting a healthier lifestyle. The purpose of the Eglu is to make keeping chickens extraordinarily easy and rewarding.
Omlet co-founder James Tuthill says: “The eglu is the first ever major rethink of domestic chicken housing and will make keeping chickens enjoyable for anyone. Nothing compares to the fantastic taste of home grown eggs and the good feeling you get from knowing exactly where your food is coming from.”
The eglu is ideal for small to medium sized garden and offers chickens the highest standard of living; wooden flooring is standard throughout and above the contoured nesting box there is an eggport for collecting the eggs. Maintenance of this innovative coop is straightforward thanks to a tray, which neatly collects all the droppings, ready for the compost heap.
Every eglu comes complete with a specially designed run. Virtually impenetrable to predators such as foxes the eglu leaves chickens free to eat worms and ponder life’s great mysteries. Also included are a feed and water container, an all weather shade and a bag of layers mash to ensure a bountiful supply of eggs. The eglu measures approx 0.8m by 0.7m.
The run has an area of 2sqm making it class leading in the 2-3 chicken coop market. Omlet recommend that the chickens are let out of the run to explore the garden whenever possible.
In the UK, Omlet will deliver an Eglu direct to your door, complete with two organically reared hens and a comprehensive guide to looking after them. The complete eglu kit is available to order for UK£365 including chickens and a 28 day money back guarantee, online at www.omlet.co.uk
For customers not living in the delivery area Omlet will send the eglu via courier and advise on a local chicken centre. The price of an eglu without chickens is £355
Footnote: American spending on pets nearly doubled in the last decade, to US$34.4 billion in 2004, and is poised to continue strong and resilient growth in 2005 according to a recent report. The American Pet Products Manufacturer's Association (APPMA) forecasts growth of about 5 percent for 2005. With 153 million cats and dogs in the United States, about 62% of U.S. households own at least one pet.View gallery - 8 images