The rain. I mean it is just rain. I never knew how completely f*&ked we could become from rain. My Sunday morning went from typical routine chores to a state of emergency, life / death situation well before breakfast and will probably continue throughout the day.
It has been raining on and off for over a week. Until yesterday we were able to keep up with the wet, but in the last 24 hours it has turned into more of a tropical storm. We checked on all of the birds, as we always do, before going to bed last night. It was raining, but everyone was safe and sound. Well it rained and rained hard all night. Add on gale force winds and this farm looked like a war zone this morning.
To many, the crisis that this rain and flooding has brought is just a tougher time getting to Starbucks this morning, but on a farm, it means a real crisis. Upon waking, we quickly made our way out to check on all of the birds. We walked out to shredded pen tarps and flooded fields, and relentless wind and rain.
The turkey’s protective tarp was literally shredded into pieces. We found them wet, cold and shivering, but they are big and strong enough to handle this type of weather so we hopped into the RTV to head out to the 77 broiler’s that are in the side pasture. They are only 4 weeks old and still somewhat vulnerable.
We hoped for the best, but came upon the worst. The rain has saturated the ground and has left it deeply puddled. Overnight four chicks succumbed to exposure. The rest were cold, wet, shivering and in various states of hypothermia. We quickly loaded up a dozen that looked close to death and raced them into the barn where we tucked them under heat lamps. Frantically, we rescued the remaining cold, wet chickens and transported them into the guinea coop where the straw floor was warm and dry.
We headed back out in the driving rain to get the pen out of the flooded pasture and move it to higher ground. Next we made a beeline out to the turkeys to repair their pen with a new tarp, which is a lot harder to do with winds and rain that almost lift me off of the ground. After battling the elements for 30 minutes, the new tarp was up and secure. The turkeys showed their appreciation and good health by serenading us with their gobbled barks…..a positive sign that they are okay.
So now we wait. I sit here looking out at the rain as it races across the field in a sideway pattern and wonder how much more these animals can take. Time to suit up again to head back out where we are needed most. I wish all I was missing this morning was a good cup of coffee.