4 March 2022

Tractor Supply Company Chick Days
Baby chicks for sale at a Tractor Supply Company store, 2021.

Bird Flu and Tractor Supply:
Urge “No Baby Chicks or Ducklings!”

“Mass cullings have been implemented as a highly contagious form of avian flu has swept across the eastern half of the United States in recent weeks, killing both farmed poultry and wild birds.”
HealthDay News

Poultry factory farms and transport methods, added to traditional farming practices, live bird markets, cockfighting, and the wild-caught bird trade, have created the conditions responsible for the spread of avian influenza (bird flu) viruses capable of infecting birds and humans. Backyard-poultry keepers and their birds are not immune to this contagion. See How Infected Backyard Poultry Could Spread Bird Flu to People.

Salmonella infection of backyard birds, children, and adults is also a risk. More and more children have egg allergies and complications of seasonal flu. The risk of infection, says Dr. Pascal James Imperato of the State University of New York’s Health Sciences University, is “especially high for young children who come into contact with baby chicks and ducklings.”


Urge Tractor Supply corporate offices to stop selling these birds. Typically shipped by airmail, the newborns come to the stores in a fragile state of food and water deprivation and extreme stress. Their condition weakens their immune systems, making them particularly vulnerable to avian influenza and Salmonella infections. At the store, they receive little or no care, and often don’t have food or water, or else the food and water bowls are full of filth, as has been reported by customers and employees. For a full account in 2021, see UPC's Poultry Press.

Letter to Hal Lawton, CEO Tractor Supply Company by Suzanne Dragan LPN BA

March 16, 2022

Dear Mr. Lawton:

I am respectfully asking you to please NOT sell chicks and ducklings at Tractor Supply stores. People buy these birds on a whim then decide they do not want them once they grow bigger. These birds are dumped at ponds, the seashore, in rivers, in parks, along the highways and even in the middle of cities where they are hit by cars, starve to death, die of thirst, are attacked by predators, get caught in fishing line and tortured by cruel people.

I personally have scooped up dumped “Tractor Supply” ducks & chickens and am overwhelmed with the numbers of birds needing help. Our shelters are overwhelmed with unwanted “Tractor Supply” chickens and ducklings. We have no places to re-home them.

There has been an upswing in avian flu affecting our wild birds especially waterfowl. Avian flu can spread easily to commercial and home-raised flocks. By selling ducklings and chicks, Tractor Supply is aiding in the spread of this deadly disease.

I am the daughter of a Poultry Scientist. My Father was head of the Poultry Science Department at Ohio State University and was a nutrition consultant for numerous prominent agricultural animal feed companies. I have lived with and know chickens and ducks. As a child, I was in 4-H. Tractor Supply ducklings and chicks do not fare well and die miserable deaths.

Please, stop selling ducklings and chicks.

Suzanne Dragan LPN BA

Letter to Hal Lawton, CEO Tractor Supply Company by UPC President Karen Davis

March 28, 2022

Hal Lawton, CEO
Tractor Supply Company
5401 Virginia Way
Brentwood, TN 37027

Dear Mr. Lawton:

I am writing to you on behalf of United Poultry Concerns regarding your sale of chicks and ducklings in your stores. We urge you to stop selling these birds. Hearing from visitors and employees, we know the suffering and neglect these birds endure, denied the care they need.

Even if the birds were healthy to begin with – which they are not – they would be susceptible to contagious diseases including, but not limited to, avian influenza and Salmonella bacteria. The CDC has explicitly linked these infections not only to the industrial farms but to small-farms and backyard poultry flocks this year and in previous years. Children are particularly vulnerable to contracting Salmonella infections, yet parents routinely bring them into your stores and let them handle the fragile birds, often squeezing them to death, while your workers merely stand by, often distressed themselves but feeling helpless to intervene.

Do you care about these problems, or do you care only about stocking birds, regardless of the consequences, to lure customers to purchase other items for which the birds are used as bait?

In addition, people who buy baby birds from you frequently abandon them once they no longer care to provide for those they have purchased. All of us who run sanctuaries are left to deal with the suffering that is carelessly perpetuated by Tractor Supply Company.

We would appreciate a reply to our concerns. Thank you for your attention.



Karen Davis, PhD


Stacked display trays at a Tractor Supply Company store, 2021.

Thank You for Taking Action!
– United Poultry Concerns