Christmas is almost here now and it's hard to beelieve another year is coming to an end. This will be our last full newsletter of 2010, but look out for some top secret, eggstra special emails coming your way shortly...you won't want to miss them. But for now we hope you enjoy and we wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happy new year!
Last week it was snow Eglus, this week it's snow chickens. Yes, the trend is back and snowhens are sweeping the nation yet again. We were particularly impressed by one Eglu owner's efforts at building a hen and a cockerel. They are eggstremely realistic, taking the snow chicken phenomenom to a whole different level...apparantly the real hens were not too impressed! So, have you built a better one? Can you step up to the snowhen challenge? If you're lucky enough to have a white Christmas why not get out in the snow and show us how it's done!? Send your finest photos to email@example.com and we will publish the best!
In New York it seems that even bees are getting in the Christmas spirit, producing red honey. Beekeepers in Brooklyn were confused to find thick, scarlet honey in their hives that they compared to cough syrup. After testing the substance they found it contained a red dye food colouring which is also found in maraschino cherry juice. It is beelieved that the local bees enjoyed visits to the vats at the Dell's Maraschino Cherries Company before returning to their hives. And the cherries didn't just affect the honey - one beekeeper claims his bees glowed red in the evenings. How very festive indeed!
It's amazing what you can find on the internet these days...it is full of weird and wonderful websites that never cease to shock and surprise. We made a strange little discovery whilst browsing recently that we thought we'd share with you. It's a website that visualizes numbers of visitors to other websites. That might sound like a mouthful so let's give you an eggsample: Omlet US has an average of 2,601 visitors daily. That means 1 in every 666,667 internet users visit omlet.us every day and if it were a country it would be larger than Vatican City but smaller than Montserrat. Pretty random eh?
The Omlet Forum has been running for nearly as long as we have and it proves popular with poultry fans everywhere. The numbers of members has been growing year on year and we are proud to announce that we have now hit the 10,000 mark. Pretty hentastic news we think. We hope you continue to use the forum and enjoy meeting other chicken, rabbit and beekeepers! And a big well done to the moderators for all your hard work!
From the Omlet Team
Everyone can make mince pies and it's not as hard as you might think... here is the simplest and quickest recipe:
You will need:
225g cold butter, diced
350g plain flour
100g golden caster sugar
280g jar of mincemeat
1 small egg, beaten
Now that wasn't hard, was it!?
The stage was set (well, the farmer’s old cow shed), ready for this year’s nativity. A few of the villagers had worked hard transforming it into a festive stable. Bales of straw, a shining star above the door and a beautiful manger made from a recycled Black and Decker workbench set the scene.
Barbara and I were responsible for crowd control and catering. Gallons of warming drinks and finger food were laid out, with donations accepted for the bus shelter roof fund.
Casting had taken place weeks before, and all were happy with their lines, props and characters. Matilda, the saddleback sow, knew what to do and relished the ear scratching by members of the cast. After 7 dress rehearsals, Mr Perryman being a stickler for precision, the opening night arrived. Crowds gathered on a cold December evening, whilst mulled wine was passed to eager adults and toffee apples to excited children.
All was going splendidly until the 3 Wise men entered stage left, causing a slight nervous shuffle amongst the animals. Children waving toffee apples, caught Matilda’s gaze. Proving too much for her snout, she lunged for the nearest child’s hand, upturning the manger and launching baby Jesus, a doll, into the awaiting audience!
After gasps from the onlookers, order was resumed and the nativity concluded to rapturous applause.
"On behalf of Barbara and I, we would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy, productive New Year."
Your names and ages:
Ste Haggan (27) & Stu Peers (28)
Where do you live?
Manchester City Centre
What pets do you have?
10 hens, 2 old horsefield tortoises (Oscar & Olivia) and an 11 month old Weimaraner (Jasper).
I have just qualified as a Chartered Accountant and Stu is an Operations Manager for Asda Living.
How will you be spending this Christmas?
This Christmas we will be spending Christmas day having a huge Traditional Turkey dinner with our family and then celebrating again on boxing day with a nice pork roast with our family visiting from Spain. This will be the first time grandpa will be seeing his new grandchildren :-D and what a variety they are.
What's on the top of your Christmas list?
Wicked the musical tickets for next march showing in Brisbane, Australia. We are going to Oz in March and have seen Wicked in London and can't wait to see it in Brisbane. I would definitely recommend the work of Gregory Maguire... he will turn your childhood fairy tales up side down!
What Christmas song do you most like dancing too?
Well i'm going to say "Once upon a Christmas Song" by Geraldine McQueen - just because it's very irritating haha ..... over and over and over and over and over again!
What's your favourite part of Christmas dinner?
Pigs in blankets .. I dread to think how many I could get through but they are so scrummy.
What are your chickens called?
Yolk (she is top of the pecking order), Nugget, Tikka, Dipper, Pop Corn, Kiev, Custard, Pancake, Scramble and Meringue.
What will they be eating on Christmas day?
As the girls love dried meal worms, for Christmas day we have ordered some live meal worms, these will be accompanied by warm mash, some corn and curly Kale.
Do your chickens have a party trick?
They are mini houdinis. We let them out of the WIR into the netted area and as they can see lots of goodies growing around them, they fit through the smallest of gaps to get out to it. When one sees, they are all escape and run around ransacking everything.
Why did you choose the Eglu?
We wanted something that was a little bit different and liked the look of the orange eglu cube as it was bright and modern. Our chickens are on our allotment and we liked the eglu as it would brighten up the place rather than the traditional brown or green coloured wooden coops. After we bought the orange cube and multi colour shades, we got into a little trouble as the allotment rules say coops should be made of wood and a natural colour, after I argued that the eglu was more modern, had less risk of red mite etc and that their rules were out of date, the committee then changed the wording in the policy so now they are "allowed". We have since bought a red classic as a summer house for the girls and our girls were named as "the luxury chickens" by others on the site :-D .
What's been the most surprising thing about keeping chickens?
Before we got the chickens, we didn't really think that they would have individual personalities really or that they might actually be clever. After watching and interacting with them, it is amazing how clever they are and how different they are to each other. They each have their own character and they are so funny to watch.
Can you imagine life without chickens?
No not at all. It is amazing how much pleasure they bring. Having them on the allotment makes it so much more pleasurable to visit as it brightens it up when it's drab and dreary. They get fed lots of fresh goodies by everyone there and we are rewarded with beautiful yellow yolks in our eggs. My family get involved with them and mother looks after all the animals when we go away - I think she secretly loves it because she takes visitors, even though she has a little moan. We bake a lot more now too.
When it comes to baking most people either love it or hate it (and you're usually either great at it or hopeless), but with the right kitchen utensils everyone will find it a little bit easier and a lot more fun. The Piggy Wiggy range definitely brings fun to the kitchen, and a bit of colour too...yes, it does help if you're a fan of pink to be able to appreciate this in all its glory, but if you like pigs that's a bonus too! If you just can't choose between the superb spatula, the wonderful whisk and the stylish spoon, why not opt for this baking set that contains all three!?
This makes a great gift for children and it will oinkourage them into the kitchen to get 'bacon' from an early age.
Thinking about keeping bees? This DVD will give you a bee-brilliant introduction to the fascinating world of beekeeping.
Follow the Whittington family's journey through their first season of beekeeping, from the arrival of their Beehaus to the harvesting of their very own honey. Learn from their experiences and share in their buzz at this exciting hobby.
This is an entertaining yet educational dvd that is perfect for anyone that has just bought a Beehaus or those that haven't made up their mind yet about keeping bees. It includes all of the Omlet TV episodes as seen on our website, and some that have yet to be published.
If you're new to keeping rabbits or guinea pigs this is a great little pack to get you started. Containing five of our most popular health products you'll find that you have all the basics covered and you'll be well prepared!
You'll receive Vit-Min Drops, Small Animal Shampoo, Fly Strike Protector, Insecticidal Powder and a Salt and Mineral Lick. All at a fantastic price!
Stock up for Winter with this pack of our finest chicken feed and organic mixed corn. Omlet's organic chicken feed is not only delicious but it has just the right amount of protein for garden hens, allowing them to lay more consistently over a longer period of time. And your hens will go mad for this corn - great as a Christmas treat!
This pack includes a 10kg back of each and it works out 10% cheaper than buying them seperately.
Omlet Ltd, Tuthill Park, Wardington, Oxfordshire, OX17 1RR firstname.lastname@example.org