The backyard chicken movement is a consumer trend that likely went undetected by the insights teams at most retailers, but not Tractor Supply.
The nation’s leading farm and ranch store has developed an innovative promotion called “Chick Days,” and is touting the benefits of raising backyard poultry with the promotional piece, “Raise Your Roost.” A dedicate landing page at TractorSupply.com also features a wide range of chicken products to help customers raise a healthy flock.
One of the key benefits of raising chickens, according to Tractor Supply’s vp of merchandise Marc Johnson, is the waste they produce which is said to be an excellent source of support for sustainable gardens.
“Chickens naturally recycle food waste and they provide invaluable fertilizer for gardens,” Johnson said. “What’s more, there’s not a better organic source of pest control than a backyard chicken. They naturally eat bugs, ticks, beetles and other backyard pests.”
The undeniable benefits of raising poultry are pushing the backyard chicken movement into communities that were previously off limits, and gardeners looking to live a more self-reliant lifestyle have been early adopters, according to the company. Chicken manure is a natural, nitrogen-rich fertilizer which makes it the perfect compost companion with leaves and yard waste.
“We compost our chicken manure, all of our used straw and also any table scraps the kids don’t eat. We crush our eggshells and put that in the compost as well for added calcium,” Tractor Supply customer Shannon Campbell was quoted as saying in a press release. “The chickens will even scratch through the compost pile and turn it over, and then I cover it back up.”
Campbell, who has been raising chickens for seven years, called the waste the birds create the secret ingredient of her garden.
“The other great thing about having birds is that you get really good, rich soil out of it. Anybody that does a lot of gardening or has to go and buy soil knows how expensive it is -- so this stuff is like gold really,” Campbell said.