Recovery Update from MacFarlane Pheasant Farm

Published On: June 27, 2024Categories: Brooders, Community, Farm Management, History

Last Saturday, a tornado struck MacFarlane Pheasant Farm, causing significant damage and challenging our team. As farmers dedicated to the well-being of our animals and our community, we want to update you on the situation and our ongoing efforts to ensure the safety and care of our birds.

Immediate Impact

Bill and his wife were among the first to arrive on the scene, assessing the damage and check on our team members. The team quickly rallied, and by 6 AM Sunday morning, most of our staff were on-site. Their dedication and quick thinking were crucial as we began to tackle the urgent challenges posed by the tornado including fixing water lines, setting up generators where needed, and cutting power to areas at risk.

The tornado’s force caused severe damage to our facilities, particularly affecting three of our brooder barns. The roofs of these barns, housing approximately 150,000 birds, collapsed, putting their safety at immediate risk. We faced a critical situation: the suspended feeding and watering systems were inaccessible, and we needed to act swiftly to prevent further harm to the birds.

The storm also damaged another 16 acres of pens that housed over 15,000 birds, and approximately 5,000 birds escaped the barns, which sustained roof damage.

Photo of Storm Damage
Photo of Storm Damage
Photo of Storm Damage

Response and Recovery

Our first priority was rescuing and providing for the birds trapped under collapsed roofs. A structural engineer assessed the barns and advised us on safe ways to proceed to safely and manually provide feed to the birds in the compromised barns.

Given the critical condition of the barns, we quickly formulated a plan to relocate the birds based on their age and ability to survive outside the damaged structures. Older birds were moved to outdoor pens and younger birds were relocated to a more secure barn. By the end of the day on Wednesday, we successfully relocated 90,000 birds to other buildings.

To manage the birds that had escaped during the tornado, we put out feed around the barn to keep them close. Throughout the day on Monday and into Tuesday, our team members worked to catch and relocate over 3,000 loose birds to a separate location.

Photo of Storm Damage
Photo of Storm Damage
Photo of Storm Damage

Ensuring Safety and Humane Practices

Throughout the ordeal, our commitment to humane practices of our animals and employees remained steadfast. We worked closely with the city to temporarily close the roads closest to the farm, minimizing the risk of loose birds being injured by traffic.

Community Support and Future Steps

We cannot express enough gratitude for the overwhelming support from our neighbors and local community. Your help has been invaluable during this challenging time, reinforcing our belief in the strength and resilience of our community.

We want to assure our customers that any currently placed orders for birds can still be fulfilled. In light of the recent events, we have chicks available now at a discounted price. We encourage customers to purchase chicks immediately, as there will be no late-season chicks available this year as there typically are.

As we move forward, we continue to focus on the safety and care of our birds. We are coordinating with experts and working around the clock to restore our facilities and ensure all our animals are well taken care of. We are already in the process of planning and constructing a replacement barn by August 1, 2024.

Established 95 years ago, MacFarlane Pheasant Farm has always prioritized humane practices and the welfare of our animals. This commitment guides us as we navigate the aftermath of the tornado, and we are determined to emerge stronger, continuing our legacy of care and dedication.

Thank you for standing with us. We will keep you updated on our progress and appreciate your ongoing support.

WCLO LogoMacFarlane Pheasants relocates 90,000 pheasants trapped in collapsed sheds in wake of tornado
Channel 27 LogoThousands of pheasants are on the loose after tornado damages barn

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