Omlet, a UK company specializing in smartly designed chicken coops, has announced the “Eglu Cube,” an even larger model than the original Eglu that can support up to 10 chickens (if you add the optional 3-meter wire run). The Eglu Cube is wheeled to make moving it around the yard simple, while the curved, nook-less surfaces make it simple to hose out while also helping to prevent infestation of red mites.
The wire chicken run extensions also feature a guarantee—”No Foxes Allowed”—by way of a fiendishly clever addition of about six inches of wire that extends flat from the bottom of the fence, making it difficult for burrowing animals to gain entry. (Unless they were smart enough to start digging a tunnel, a la The Great Escape, but my guess is most foxes aren’t big Steve McQueen fans. James Garner—ironically—has a huge follow in the marmot community.)
Hens are sustainable, fairly easy to take care of, offer great natural fertilizer, and are surprisingly unobtrusive in even suburban settings. Most communities will allow residents to keep at least a few egg-laying hens (although rarely roosters). I don’t know if the Eglu Cube will ever be available in the States, but even if you can’t get your protein-craving hands on one, building a coop isn’t all that difficult. And certainly cheaper than the £425 – £695 price of the Eglu Cube—if not quite as cute.