Did you have a good 4th of July? Ours was a little different this year. It’s been a rough week for hubby – really rough. We’ve had record-breaking heat here, which means back-breaking work for Bart. He’s been working his tail off to keep the turkeys cool.
Our barns use tunnel ventilation. See those big fans? They are 52 inches in diameter, and there are 14 of them in each building. They suck air through the barn and produce a really nice breeze for the birds.
Inside the barns is a mister system…rows of water pipes spray a fine mist into the air. This helps cool the air that blows over the birds and helps cool the birds themselves.
99% of the time, those two things do a great job, and our turkeys have no problem staying comfortable. This week of record-breaking temps has been hard on them, though.
Younger birds can deal with extreme heat. Our other two flocks are doing just fine. But one flock is nearly market weight and they have more trouble handling the high temps.
So Bart has been spending his days and evening spraying water on the birds from this tank.
We had one really, really bad day at the beginning of the heat stretch. It was hot during the day, and didn’t cool off much over night. When Bart went to bed, he hadn’t lost many, but when he woke up the next morning, it was a disaster. Then, while picking up the dead, he ended up with heat exhaustion…I was really worried he was going to get heat stroke because he insisted on going back out to “wash birds” with the water hose to keep from losing more.
Since that day, he hasn’t lost many. But he’s been working 14+ hours in the heat. It’s been pretty crazy, but he’s been able to keep the barns a couple of degrees cooler than the outside temp, which is the goal.
I am constantly amazed by his dedication to the turkeys and the farm. He has continually sacrificed his own comfort (and health) for the comfort and health of the turkeys. And I know he’s not the only farmer out there who does that. The longer I’m on the farm, the more and more I’m realizing how hard farmers work, and how thankful I am for them and the food they produce!