SOURCE: Purina Mills

Purina Mills

March 02, 2011 13:47 ET

Chickens Flock to the Garden; Purina Mills Announces 2011 Great Starts™ Program

ST. LOUIS, MO--(Marketwire - March 2, 2011) - Chickens have always been known for their ability to produce fresh, homegrown eggs for backyard and farm poultry owners, but lately chickens have been playing a new role -- as garden composters, tillers and exterminators. Land O'Lakes Purina Feed announces the 2011 Great Starts™ Program, a program focused on healthy starts for baby chicks that can provide benefits throughout many aspects of a healthy, natural life.

"Our customers are continuously finding new reasons to love owning chickens," said Mary Corley, marketing manager of Land O'Lakes Purina Feed. "Along with the traditional benefits of fresh eggs and fun companions, chickens can be a valuable attribute to any backyard garden."

The combination of chickens and gardens are part of the locavore movement -- people's desire to manage the freshness and quality of their family's food and reduce their carbon footprint. With both a flock and a garden, owners not only get fresh vegetables and eggs, but the chickens will produce fertilizer after eating the garden waste in addition to their feed, help control the pests and prepare soil before planting.

"Purina offers multiple premium poultry products under the SunFresh® Recipe brand that are Certified Natural with added vitamins, nutrients and minerals. The proper nutrition is fundamental in insuring that chickens stay healthy and producing," said Corley.

The trend of chickens in the garden is catching on with good reason, according to P. Allen Smith, the garden and home expert who provides lifestyle advice on the NBC Today Show and PBS.

"It's encouraging to see chickens take their rightful place in America's backyard," says Smith. "My backyard chickens are both practical and delightful. They eat insects, provide great organic fertilizer -- and they always surprise and delight visitors to my garden."

Smith, who recently formed the Heritage Poultry Conservancy to preserve rare breeds, adds, "Chickens make great pets, are good for kids to raise and amusing to have around. 60 years ago they were backyard mainstays, why not now?"

To keep both novice and experienced poultry owners up to date on the care needed for their new chicks, Purina is continuing to offer the "Register Your Chick" program and encourages owners to visit Customers can sign up for the free e-newsletter program that matches new chick owners with time-released management and care tips through the first year. The e-newsletter 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. Poultry owners can also stay in touch by visiting

Purina caters to both the smaller backyard flocks with five pound packages of Purina® SunFresh® Recipe Start & Grow® and Purina® SunFresh® Recipe Flock Raiser® -- two products formulated specifically for baby birds -- and Purina® Layena® product 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 ideal 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, other local Purina® dealers and sign up for the rewards program to receive frequent buyer coupons 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. Purina® dealers will also 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, pets or helpful gardening tools," said Corley.

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 popularity. To find a participating dealer, check out or

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:

Newborn chicks enjoying their SunFresh® Recipe.
Chicken image
Four year old Meredith pets duckling for the first time.

To view supporting documents and/or photos, go to and enter Release ID: 288299