New vs. Classic: Ice Melts or Rock Salt

One of the most important decisions you make this winter could be whether you use rock salt or an ice melting product. Your choice could affect the health of your lawn and the surface and stability of your driveway and sidewalks. While rock salt may be the first thought that comes to mind, it isn’t always the best choice for every person. If the outcome is the same, what’s the big deal about product you use?


Photo of Hendricks Choice De-icer. Bag is bright green with white and black writing in all caps that says "Hendricks choice, premium de-icer, safe, fast acting, economical, 50 lbs."

Hendricks Choice Premium De-icer at Hendricks Feed & Seed Co., Inc.

Rock Salt

Rock salt is a great way to economically and quickly melt snow and ice and create safer walkways, and it is one of the most popular ways to do so. Salt mixes with water to create a brine, which has a lower freezing temperature than water and causes the ice to melt. While rock salt has traditionally been used to melt ice on driveways, sidewalks, and parking lots, there are downsides to this traditional winter staple.

Rock salt can be corrosive to cement and cause damage to the surface and stability of the driveway or sidewalk. Long-term use of rock salt in these areas can lead to cracking and salt scaling. While these issues can be easily fixed in the short term, over time they could cause significant damage to the safety of your walkways. Rock salt may also cause your lawn or plants to wither. However, rock salt is still the most economical and widely available way to get rid of ice and snow, and it is a fine choice.



Ice Melts

Photo of bottle of Liquid Snow Shovel. Bottle is almost opaque white with a label on the side with green and black writing.

Liquid Snow Shovel at Hendricks Feed & Seed Co., Inc.

Ice Melts, on the other hand, is a newer invention that combines different chemicals (like magnesium chloride and sodium chloride) to create a solution that melts ice faster and in colder temperatures. It melts ice and snow for longer periods of time than rock salt does.

Some ice melts are safe for pets or children, but always make sure to check the labels before letting children or pets near ice melted surfaces. The cons of ice melts are the relatively higher price as compared to rock salt and the learning curve that comes with using new products.



Whichever method you choose, Hendricks Feed & Seed Co., Inc. has you covered with multiple de-icing options and advice from professionals on what will work best for your cement.

High Energy Bird Seed for Winter Months

The winter is a great time for casual bird watching with a cup of steaming hot coffee from the comfort of your living room. However, colder winter months mean thinking about changing up the bird seed that you provide for your backyard birds. Covered or frozen ground, lack of insects or spiders, and freezing temperatures leave birds searching for high energy ways to get them through the day. What is the best food solution to this winter dilemma? Provide a variety of high fat and energy foods.


Photo of Elite Wild Bird Seed. Bag of seed is red with birdhouse and cardinal image superimposed on bag material.

Elite Wild Bird Seed at Hendricks Feed & Seed Co., Inc.

Black-Oil Sunflower Seed

This seed attracts the greatest variety of birds, and it is high in nutritious value like fat and protein. Its shell is thin and small, and this makes it easier for smaller birds to eat. This seed is great for you and the birds because of its nutritious value, and it also appeals to a wide variety of birds. This seed can be found at Hendricks Feed & Seed Co., Inc in our Elite Wild Bird Mix or in our Wild Bird Seed, or you can opt to mix your own with our bulk black-oil sunflower seed. This seed should be placed in a tube feeder for best access.


Peanut Butter

Peanut butter is a fun and low-cost option for feeding birds in winter. It is high in fat and calories, and it will provide much-needed energy. Additionally, making your own peanut butter balls (with peanut butter and cornmeal) can be a fun activity for those chilly winter afternoons spent with children and grandchildren. This sweet (and messy!) activity is a classic way to introduce them to bird watching. Peanut butter can be placed on a platform feeder or in a bowl or plate in the backyard.


Image of Orange Suet Dough. Image has an orange colored banner with a suet cage, bird, and two orange slices.

Orange Suet Dough at Hendricks Feed & Seed Co., Inc.


Lastly, suet, or beef fat, is a time-tested winter food for birds. While in the summer it may easily spoil, this is not a problem with cold temperatures. Like black-oil sunflower seeds and peanut butter, this a high energy food and has high-fat content. Hendricks Feed has several options for suet including High Energy, Peanut Blend, and Orange Dough. Suet cakes can be placed in an old mesh onion bag or a wire basket. Either option will work well with this tasty treat!


Birdseed changes with the seasons and Hendricks Feed & Seed Co., Inc has the solution to all of your winter bird feed needs.

Happy Holidays from Hendricks Feed & Seed Co., Inc.

The team at Hendricks Feed & Seed Co., Inc. wants to extend a very Happy Holidays to all of our clients and our community. We are grateful to everyone that we have worked within the last year. We are always hoping to provide our clients with the best products combined with the best customer service. Thank you very much to the community in Dubuque, Iowa.

Also, we hope that you enjoy our new website. In an effort to make it as easy as possible for everyone to have access to our products they are available online through our shop. We have a wide range of the following products:

Kent Show Feeds, Eagle Seed, Hardware, and more


Thank you again for being a valued Hendricks Feed & Seed Co., Inc. customer in 2017! Here’s to a great year in 2018.