2010 Pen Reconstruction
2821 South U.S. Hwy 51, Janesville, WI USA 53546
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2010 Pen Reconstruction

This spring a sizeable undertaking will begin on our farm. I along with several other employees, under the consultation of Chris Theisen, will spearhead a considerable overhaul of many of the flight pens here at MacFarlane Pheasants.

This past winter was exceptionally harsh in regards to the effect on the flight pens. The pens can usually sustain a certain amount of “punishment” from the elements and still keep their structural integrity. As you may know, we take the pens down by removing the prop posts when we are aware of impending inclement weather. This almost always alleviates the threat from heavy snow and ice.

But, in December, we had a storm that, in my eyes and the eyes of many others, is a flight pens worst nightmare; a prolonged, heavy, wet snow event. Even with the pens taken down well in advance of the storm, the damage was unforeseen and unprecedented. The netting simply could not support the weight of the snow in many places and gave way. Along division fences, walkways, support wires, and support posts the netting failed. Also, many of the aging perimeter posts snapped and caved inward toward the pens under the weight of the snow covered netting. Needless to say many pens were, and still are, in shambles.

That is where our project begins. We have formed a tentative timeline based on the needs of Brian Klein as far as moving birds out. Certain pens need to be completed by a certain date so that they may be utilized. It is agreed that pen #4 took the most damage due to freestanding support posts running the length of the pens that tore the netting completely in half in many cases. These posts were initially installed to support a division fence that would essentially make the current pen into two separate pens.

Pen #4 also happens to be needed for birds quite early on so our efforts will be concerted there first. In my opinion this pen represents the most ambitious leg of the project as almost all of the elements of the pen need replacement or repair including new posts, line wires, and netting. Pen #8 will also be a considerable job as we are removing the current pulley system from the large southern pens and replacing it with the prop post style system. We will also be dividing the large pens in #8 by putting up new division fences to make them half the size. As they are now, driving birds out can be unwieldy and frustrating without a lot of manpower.

Other pens included in the renovation are #6, #11 and #12 at Noss, the contract pen and certain breeder farm pens.  The project is substantial and time is of the essence but with the crew I have been provided and the experience that backs us, I am fully confident that our task will be completed on time. The deadline for the project has been set for October 1st 2010.


Shayne Noller
MacFarlane Pheasants, Inc.

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