The below 0 degree temperatures and wind chill days, this week, have been busy times in the brooder barns. We pay special attention to our birds when it is so cold, but the real work begins BEFORE the first hard frost. When we start to have cooler nights, we go around the farm turning on baseboard heaters to heat the boot room areas to make sure they are operating properly, before the big freezes!
Winterizing is important for the protection and health of our birds. Everyone on the farm makes this protection their highest priority before, during, and after the big freezes. In the brooder department we have to make sure the birds do not get chilled. We are still dealing with young birds in barns, throughout the winter, to keep up with the demand for our White Pheasants, so it is a busy time.
The young birds will pile up if they are not kept warm, which can result in the loss of birds. We have temperature and fan controls going all the time and alarm systems are attached to our temperature controls, but nothing is more important than the human element. We check and double check our birds during the winter months. It is much easier for young birds to get stressed in the winter and stress is not their friend!
Protecting birds is our number one priority, but we must also protect our equipment. If a room is not being used, we don’t heat it, so we have to drain ALL water lines not in use in barns or boot rooms. Frozen or cracked water lines can be very costly. We pay special attention to boot rooms because our source of water is located in those rooms. Because we are so diligent, we rarely have problems like this, but it has happened. So, this is very serious business.
Communication is the key to our success in keeping both the full and empty barns properly cared for in the winter. Everyone pitches in to help those with less experience understand the processes we use. We have multiple people do walk-throughs to make sure nothing is missed. Employees all understand the importance of following proper winter procedures so we don’t lose birds or other financial assets.
If you would like to talk more about winter on the farm at MacFarlane Pheasants, contact us through Facebook or on our website at pheasant.com.