Major snowstorms or freezing rain events can be disastrous at MacFarlane Pheasants! Before and after these events we have a plan to protect our game birds. We watch the weather carefully and check our birds night and day during the winter to be sure all heaters are working, that our birds have feed and water, and that all fences and netting are in working order. After the event, employees triage the entire farm to determine if there is damage and if so, what our priorities are for addressing the issues. I’ve listed some typical priorities after a storm emergency.
1. Fix any pens that allow birds to get out or move them to an adjacent pen immediately if it is more secure.
2. Rescue any birds that have been trapped under fallen nets or isolated from food and water.
3. Collect any birds outside the pens. This is done by herding them back into pens, using funnel boxes baited with corn, or physically netting birds, if we must.
4. Make sure all birds have access to food and water. We typically spread cracked corn out after an event since birds may not have had access during a storm. The corn provides high energy and helps them recover from the stress of the storm.
5. Get pens repaired after physically removing the snow and ice.
Each storm event is different and the degree of damage varies, also. The one thing that is certain in the game bird rearing industry is that at some point you will have to respond to a storm. A solid plan of response can make a bad situation less stressful on the farm and keep our birds safe and secure.