A Meat and Dairy Article from All-Creatures.org

Dangerous, Dreary 'Chick Days' Resume at Tractor Supply Stores

From UPC United Poultry Concerns
March 2023

"Tractor Supply Stores is continuing its brutal Chick Days program once again in 2023, with no improvements from last year after all my discussions with them about the rampant problems.” – Employee to UPC, March 8, 2023 

selling Chicks Ducklings

An employee at one of the Tractor Supply stores reports being told by the store manager that the company wants to stop "the crap about the chicks this year."Intrepidly, this employee continues to document the response of TSC leadership and the suffering of the chicks and ducklings who often arrive dead and dying after their long transit by airmail to local post offices. This employee tells UPC that, 2 weeks ago, "our first shipment was sent to the wrong post office, over 25 miles away." The next day the manager claimed that the "tanks" into which the chicks were supposedly placed once they reached the store were empty already because "they all sold within the first few hours." Sounds hinky. In a following shipment, the employee wrote that "One duckling was dead and several chicks barely survived had I not nursed them back."

In the past few years, UPC has received increased complaints and photos from customers and employees documenting, at TSC stores across the country, sick baby birds, vents impacted with encrusted feces, and filth in the tanks and trays including unwashed, often empty, fecal-filled food and water dishes.

We think that, in addition to documenting and protesting the inhumane treatment of these baby birds by Tractor Supply Company, the link between factory-farm hatchery birds and the rampant spread of Avian Influenza should be stressed. The online publication Sentient Media reported this month:

Public health officials are urging governments to prepare for possible avian flu spillover to humans. The disease is now spreading between mammals including foxes, otters, sea lions and bears. And while human cases remain extremely rare and the risk to the human population is low, health officials warn the situation — and risk level — could change at any moment.

The good news is that one of our members in New Jersey learned that two TSC stores in NJ will NOT be selling chicks or ducklings this year. This new practice is "at the request of the local town government asking them not to sell them." She told UPC: "This gives me an idea that residents of towns where there is a Tractor Supply store could contact their local Mayor/Town Council/Board of Health asking that the town’s Tractor Supply store NOT sell chicks or ducklings."

What Can I Do?

Contact your local government administrators where there are TSC stores. Talking points can be from a human health perspective – the spread of Avian Flu. The fragile birds arrive at the stores typically from out of state. They are often dumped in parks and ponds where they could be exposed to avian influenza through the droppings of infected wild birds, or they could spread the virus if they themselves were already infected. Avian influenza is known to jump species including humans, so this is a health concern as well as a humane issue.

Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper(s).

Express your concern to store managers and to the head of Tractor Supply Company:

Hal Lawton, CEO
Tractor Supply Company
5401 Virginia Way
Brentwood, TN 37027
Phone: (615) 440-4600 extension 4601
Website: www.tractorsupply.com

Customer Solutions: 1-877-718-6750
[email protected]

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