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Flocktoberfest 2016

Flocktoberfest, Tractor Supply Company’s, celebration of birds begins Oct 3rd and runs through Oct 30th. We have all the products needed for Wild Bird care, and for backyard chicken keepers to keep their flocks happy, healthy and warm during winter months. You will find product including lamps, tarps, poultry nettings, heated water feeders, bedding and chicken grit to help with continued egg production throughout the winter months.

Just like any other living creature, the survival of wild birds depends on their ability to find food, water and shelter. But as temperatures drop and winter months approach, the availability of these resources dwindles. Tractor Supply Co. also has great deals on feed, bird feeders and houses.


Feed birds responsibly this winter


Long, bitter-cold winter nights can be hard on wild birds, so a hanging bird feeder filled with fresh bird food is an important part of helping them survive and thrive. But if you choose to feed your backyard birds, be sure to do it responsibly by using these tips:

  • Once you start feeding wild birds, continue throughout the cold season.
  • Locate your bird feeder in a sheltered area, out of heavy rains and blustery wind, so feed stays dry.
  • Keep your feeder a safe distance — at least 8 to 10 feet — from shrubbery where prowling house cats might hide.
  • Clean feeders regularly to prevent diseases. Scrape bird droppings and moldy food off feeders and rinse or wipe clean with a disinfectant solution of one part vinegar to 20 parts water. Allow feeders to dry before refilling. 
  • If you build a feeder, avoid using plywood, because some birds will eat the glue. 
  • Store birdseed in a tight, waterproof container to keep it dry and out of reach of rodents.

Not all birdseed mixes will suit all wild birds. Some birds, including finches and grosbeaks, eat only seeds and nuts. Others, such as chickadees, nuthatches, and woodpeckers, rely on both plant and animal sources of food.

Experts recommend black oil sunflower seed as one of the best single seeds to attract a variety of birds to your feeder.

Setting out high-energy suet, a highquality animal fat, provides birds with a good supplemental source of high-calorie fat during winter when they’re expending so much extra energy trying to take care of themselves in harsh weather.

Fun birding activities for kids

Children have a natural curiosity about the world around them and this extends to bird-watching in their back yard. Enhance their interactions with birds by teaching kids about the different bird species that visit your area.

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Discover migration patterns to see more birds

Some birds migrate long distances, others short distances, and some stay home year-round. Birds migrate in relation to the resources available to them. When the temperatures change and food becomes scarce, many birds fly south, while others simply move to lower elevations within their permanent range.

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Attract bluebirds to your yard

Interest in bluebirds continues to grow, and many people across the country — bluebirds are found in every state in the contiguous United States — have installed nest boxes in their yards to ensure they stick around.

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Store bird seed to keep it fresh

Fresh bird seed is the most effective way to attract wild birds to your yard. Keep it fresh and appetizing to your feathered friends with these tips:

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Wild Bird Videos from Tractor Supply Co.

How to Choose a Bird Feeder

There are many different styles of bird feeders available and when deciding on what type to buy it's best to determine what kinds of birds you want to attract, and where your feeder will be located. To draw the greatest variety of birds it's best to provide several different types of feeders and use a seed that compliments them. Here are some different styles of feeders, and the types of bird seed that work best with each.


How to Select Bird Seed

Setting up a bird feeder is a great way to attract birds to your yard, but there are many types of birdseed to choose from. Understanding the differences can help you offer the most desirable meal to your local birds, and help attract different species to your backyard. One mistake commonly made is choosing birdseed based on the birds you want to attract. Instead, start by selecting a seed for the birds already in and around your yard. Birds are social creatures and will investigate their area for feeding activities, which will in turn draw more birds of different species to your yard.

Preparing Chickens for Winter


Winter brings unique challenges to keeping a flock of chickens healthy and safe. Birds must have access to fresh drinking water. If your coop is near an electricity source, use an electric chicken waterer or place a deicing heating element in the chickens’ water containers to keep water available to them constantly.

If you don’t have the means to plug in an electric waterer, simply keep a spare waterer in the house and switch it out with the frozen one as often as needed.

Late autumn is a common time for chickens to go through their annual molt, which is when shedding and growth of new feathers occurs. This is the time to consider offering your chickens a high-density vitamin filled feed, or enhancing your current feed with vitamins and food supplements.

Although regular layer feed is all a mature flock probably needs yearround, some chicken keepers choose to add scratch to their birds’ diet during the winter. Scratch includes whole grains that help produce more body heat during digestion, providing a little more warmth as chickens roost overnight.

However, scratch should be used sparingly and provided only when it’s very cold.

Frostbite is always a threat to chickens' fleshy parts, such as combs, wattles on roosters, or feet. If you notice signs of frostbite — tips of the exposed flesh are blackened — apply petroleum jelly liberally to those fleshy parts.

Most importantly, monitor your chicken's behavior. If they are moving about and acting normally, they are fine.

Keep a healthy winter chicken coop

When temperatures plummet in winter, it’s imperative to provide your chickens with sufficient shelter from the weather. Even with cold temperatures, a henhouse must provide adequate ventilation.

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6 ways to prevent poultry disease

Avian influenza (AI), or "bird flu," is a contagious disease that can infect all types of birds. All bird owners should be aware of the AI basics, what you can do to help prevent the disease, and the steps to take if you suspect your birds may have it.

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Parasite precautions will keep your chickens healthy

If you own chickens, chances are that they have intestinal parasites, but it’s nothing to fret over — if you keep them in check. "The word 'parasite' should not be a big concern; they’re going to be there," says Dr. Gary Butcher, a veterinarian and professor of poultry diseases at the University of Florida.

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Integrating new chickens into your flock

If you own chickens, you will occasionally want to add some new birds to your flock.
New chickens should be quarantined away from your existing flock for at least 30 days to guard against parasites and disease. New birds can carry disease into a flock even if they exhibit no outward signs of illness.

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Stop your chickens from bullying one another

When hens peck or bully other chickens, this is a natural occurrence and a way that chickens establish dominance in their flock. Indeed, the term "pecking order," which means the hierarchy of authority in a group, originated from this fowl behavior.

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Chicken Care Videos from Tractor Supply Co.

From tips for helping your chickens stay healthy using natural remedies — to finding the right chicken coop, these Chicken Care videos from Tractor Supply Co. will help keep your flock happy and healthy all year 'round.

Flocktoberfest Infographics