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Source: Purina Animal Nutrition news release

Arden Hills, Minnesota -- What do a beauty pageant, coop bling and nationwide game nights have in common? For backyard chicken enthusiasts, they're all part of annual Purina Flock-Tober festivities held online and at local Purina retailers each September and October.

"Springtime is for baby chicks and fall is for Purina Flock-Tober," says Katie Signorelli, backyard flock marketing manager with Purina Animal Nutrition. "Flock-Tober has become one of our favorite seasons because springborn chicks are just starting to lay eggs and mature hens are laying strong. We're excited to keep the poultry party going in 2018 with our fourth annual Purina Flock-Tober celebration."

Highlights of Purina Flock-Tober 2018 include:

Local celebrations and free chicken coop signs: Last year, more than 100,000 people tuned in to the Flock-Tober coop sign reveal on the Purina Poultry Facebook page. Back by popular demand, chicken raisers can again receive a free limited edition coop sign with the purchase of Purina poultry feed at participating Purina retailers. This year's sign designs include: Waddle on in, The rooster crows but the hen delivers and L🐔VE. Select retailers will also host in-store Purina Flock Talks to offer hands-on workshops and share chicken-raising tips.

Social media contests and tips: For a chance to win prize packages, including a year's supply of poultry feed, flock enthusiasts can enter the Miss Flock-Tober pageant on the Purina Poultry Facebook page. There will be four categories: Miss Helpful, Miss Congeniality, Miss Performance and Miss Fancy Feathers. Team Purina will also broadcast from the backyard coops at the Purina Animal Nutrition Center and host a Thursday flock game day on the Facebook page each week.

Strong hens, strong eggs: Strong hens strut their stuff. They walk the backyard with confidence. To look and feel their best, hens should transition from starter-grower feed to layer feed at 18 weeks of age or when the first egg arrives. Choose a layer feed that includes the Purina Oyster Strong System to help hens lay eggs with strong, protective eggshells. Chicken raisers can try Purina layer feeds through their Feed Greatness Challenge.

To find a participating retailer near you, visit www.purinamills.com/Flocktober-Finder or connect with Purina Poultry on Facebook or Pinterest; to receive a coupon to try Purina layer feeds with the Oyster Strong System, go to www.purinamills.com/flocktrial.

Purina Animal Nutrition LLC (www.purinamills.com) is a national organization serving producers, animal owners and their families through more than 4,700 local cooperatives, independent dealers and other large retailers throughout the United States. Driven to unlock the greatest potential in every animal, the company is an industry-leading innovator offering a valued portfolio of complete feeds, supplements, premixes, ingredients and specialty technologies for the livestock and lifestyle animal markets. Purina Animal Nutrition LLC is headquartered in Arden Hills, Minn. and a wholly owned subsidiary of Land O'Lakes, Inc.