HELP - Hens arriving tomorrow & can't buy food!

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taildragon

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HELP - Hens arriving tomorrow & can't buy food!
« on: May 19, 2020, 14:04 »
Having waited months for some hens, and having been let down several times, I received confirmation earlier that 4 Black Rock hens will be ready for me tomorrow morning!

The dealer has thrown me a bit of a curve ball though, by telling me that the birds are 15 weeks and not the 17 week old POL birds that I was expecting. He's advised that I should feed them on grower pellets for the first two weeks before moving to layer pellets. Although I can buy layer pellets easily, I have failed to find any stockist of grower pellets locally.

What can I substitute? I read about the calcium balance considerations on older threads here, so I'm assuming I can mix layer pellets with "something else" to give them a suitably reduced calcium intake. Is there anything in the human store cupboard/pantry I could use (sugar-free breakfast cereals such as cornflakes or weetabix)? I have several kg of "wild bird seed" mix which I use in my garden bird feeders. Also I have peanuts for the feeders but I'm not sure if they're a good idea for young hens. Fresh veg?

Letting them free range is not an option for a couple of weeks yet, by which time they'll be old enough for layer pellets anyway.

HELP!!!

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taildragon

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Re: HELP - Hens arriving tomorrow & can't buy food!
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2020, 14:16 »
I've just had a call from one of the larger pet stores to say they have chick crumb (and layer pellets). Does that help us?

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Aunt Sally

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Re: HELP - Hens arriving tomorrow & can't buy food!
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2020, 14:36 »
Can the supplier oh the birds not supply some food to keep you going for a few days ?

PS. Any type of chicken food if better than none.
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taildragon

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Re: HELP - Hens arriving tomorrow & can't buy food!
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2020, 15:35 »
This particular breeder/dealer just sells birds and nothing else. The one I originally went to sells feed and all the sundries & equipment, but they are closed for business atm.

I can get layer pellets at the Co-Op in the village. I'm just trying to establish if there's something I have (or can get easily) which would offer a more healthy option if it were mixed in with the layer pellets.

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Aunt Sally

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Re: HELP - Hens arriving tomorrow & can't buy food!
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2020, 15:45 »
The supplier must have some feed which he gives the birds while in his care.  Phone him and ask it he could supply a little to last a few days.

Otherwise layers Is better than nothing.

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taildragon

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Re: HELP - Hens arriving tomorrow & can't buy food!
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2020, 09:01 »
Just a brief note to update this thread.

A search across a large geographical area, involving the assistance of friends & family together with planes, trains, and automobiles resulted in the delivery of a sack of grower pellets to my gate on Wednesday evening.

Pellets that the birds studiously ignored for the following three days.  ::)

In the meantime they've been having a ball eating up weeds and whatever creepy crawlies they can find.

Managed to coax the little dinosaurs into trying some pellets yesterday by giving them a very small amount of wild bird seed mix (devoured instantly), then adding a little more to the pellets. That worked, once they tried a few pellets they were happy to eat them.

Next hurdle is to convince them that the nesting box & house I spent days building, would be a good place to sleep at night... :D

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New shoot

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Re: HELP - Hens arriving tomorrow & can't buy food!
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2020, 09:17 »
If you are having trouble getting them to go in the coop, put a small torch in there as it starts getting towards bedtime.  They will go to the light, then you can take it back out once they settle.

Chickens are not over burdened with brains and see anything new as a threat. Once they get into a routine, they will be fine, but it takes a few days to filter through  :)



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