SOURCE: Purina


March 16, 2010 17:33 ET

Chickens Aren't Just for Farms Anymore; Purina Mills Announces 2010 Great Starts™ Program and Andy Schneider, "Chicken Whisperer" as Purina Poultry Ambassador

ST. LOUIS, MO--(Marketwire - March 16, 2010) -  With the popularity of poultry raising from farms to backyards sweeping the nation, Land O'Lakes Purina Feed announces the 2010 Great Starts™ Program, a program focused on healthy starts for the many baby animals that herald the coming of Spring. Land O'Lakes Purina Feed is especially pleased to be working with Andy Schneider, "The Chicken Whisperer," the go to guy for helping people raise their own backyard flocks and the host of the nationally broadcast radio show "Backyard Poultry with the Chicken Whisperer." Together, they will be sharing poultry raising tips as part of the 2010 Chicken Whisperer Tour with educational "Poultry Workshops" at Purina Dealers nationwide.

"Farm families have known the joys of raising their own poultry for years, but people everywhere are beginning to realize the many benefits of raising poultry," said Mary Corley, marketing manager of Land O'Lakes Purina Feed. "We are excited to have the Chicken Whisperer as an ambassador to help families get started with their own flocks, so they too can participate in the chicken raising trend."

As part of the locavore movement, people are looking to manage the freshness and quality of their family's food, to reduce their carbon footprint, and to teach their children a more natural approach to food production. "Purina offers multiple premium poultry products under the SunFresh® Recipe brand that are Certified Natural with added vitamins and minerals," added Corley.

Andy Schneider, The Chicken Whisperer, has been a leader in the development of the backyard chicken movement that has grown in popularity over the past two years. Eighteen months ago Schneider founded the Atlanta Backyard Poultry Meetup Group, which just recently reached 800 members, the most of any local group in the country. Since then he has assisted groups from all around the world in developing their own Backyard Poultry Meetup Groups. 

"Purina's SunFresh® Recipe products are designed to be simple for the novices with starter feeds for baby chicks, ducklings and turkey poults and Purina® Layena® feed for adult birds and laying hens. The starter products and layer products are complete feeds making it easy for consumers who are learning about their new flocks," said Andy Schneider, The Chicken Whisperer and Purina Poultry Ambassador. "A safe coop, Purina® SunFresh® Recipe complete poultry feed, water and a little love will grow lots of wholesome, healthy chickens and eggs for families."

Poultry owners, both novice and experienced, are hungry for information on the latest tips to care for their poultry. In response to this need, Purina has developed the "Register Your Chick" program and encourages owners to visit and sign up to receive a free enewsletter program that matches new chick owners with time-released management and care tips through the first year. The enewsletter provides information about how to keep chicks healthy and growing, producing eggs when they are mature, and how to keep them safe from predators. It also includes basic management tips like hand-washing and sanitation practices like cleaning the eggs. 

With the trend towards smaller backyard flocks, Purina has provided a five pound package of Purina SunFresh® Recipe Start & Grow® and Purina® SunFresh® Recipe Flock Raiser® -- two products formulated specifically for baby birds. The Purina® Layena® product is still available in a twenty-five pound and fifty pound bag as adult laying hens, even in small flocks, consume a quarter pound of feed per day. A twenty five pound bag is perfect for a small flock's monthly feed requirements. Purina poultry feeds are available through a network of select dealers. Purina Certified Expert Dealers, a segment of Purina's authorized dealers, carry the full line of products and are specially trained to answer questions about care, feeding and management of these and other animals. Consumers can find a knowledgeable Purina Certified Expert Dealer and other local Purina dealers by visiting

Throughout the duration of the Great Starts™ Young Animals Feed promotion, dealers throughout the country will offer advice and guidance on how to raise baby chickens from freshly hatched chicks through laying, including details on proper nutrition to provide the best eggs. They will also advise on the feeding of baby rabbits, goats (kids), fish (fingerlings) and other springtime baby animals. During the Great Starts™ promotion period Purina dealers will be providing special cost-savings on Purina brand feeds -- perfect feeds for these baby animals.

"The Great Starts promotion coupled with Chick Days events are designed to show people how easy it is to raise their own chickens for eggs, meat or pets," added Corley. "It's an activity for the whole family. For adults there's a sense of pride and of self-sufficiency in raising your own food. And children learn responsibility and make a worthwhile contribution to the household by caring for the flock."

It is recommended for those who wish to participate in Chick Days to contact their local dealer as soon as possible to reserve their hatchlings due to the increase in popularity. To find a participating dealer, check out or

About the Chicken Whisperer
The Chicken Whisperer is the host of "Backyard Poultry with the Chicken Whisperer," a nationally broadcast radio show about keeping backyard poultry and living a self-sustaining lifestyle. Schneider has founded over 25 local Backyard Poultry meet-up groups around the world and is a contributor for "Mother Earth News Magazine," "Grit Magazine" and the "Farmers' Almanac." Visit for more information.

About the Purina® brand
Land O'Lakes Purina Feed LLC is a national organization serving producers and their families through 4,700 local cooperatives and independent dealerships throughout the United States. Our high-quality feed products are designed to enhance the performance, health and productivity of animals, which has made the company (in combination with its wholly owned subsidiary Purina Mills, LLC), North America's leading feed company. We are committed to providing producers, cooperatives and dealers with an extensive line of animal feed, ingredients and services designed to help agricultural producers, dealers and cooperatives compete in the global marketplace. See the Land O'Lakes Inc. Web site at or the Purina Mills Web site at

Documents and/or Photos available for this release:

Photo Credit: Studio Chambers, Andy Schneider, Chicken Whisperer

To view supporting documents and/or photos, go to and enter Release ID: 246952