I started this post last week, when we were forecasted to have a big blizzard. The meteorologists talked about it for days, and then we got a dusting of snow. Today, we’re in another blizzard. This one was supposed to stay far south of us. It didn’t.
When “they” predict a big storm, we do what everyone else does…we make sure the fridge is stocked, take care of any other errands, and prepare to hunker down.
But the fact that we have 40,000 (and sometimes 60,000) turkeys in our care adds a whole ‘nother dimension to storm preparation.
How does Bartastic make sure his turkeys will be okay during a storm like this?
1. Check the generators. Our turkey barns have generators in case of a power outage, and they are tested automatically every week, because we just never know when disaster might strike. But those generators are significantly more important when a storm is coming! (By the way, our HOUSE does not have a generator…just the turkey barns. I could pause here and list all the ways that the turkeys live more comfortably than I do, but that is a blog post all by itself.)
2. Check LP levels. LP is short for liquified petroleum, which powers our generators. In a winter storm, LP trucks would have a hard time getting to us if we were to run out.
3. Prepare the machinery. The skid loader is in charge of clearing snow. Bart fueled it up so that he would be ready to clear our driveway, the driveways to the barns, and even our gravel road if need be. When we get a lot of snow, he uses the skid loader as his main method of transportation, and has even dug out the neighbors a time or two.
4. Check feed levels. Some farms mix their own feed on site, but ours comes from a feed mill that specializes in turkey feed and is located 20 miles away. Bart makes sure that our feed bins are as full as possible, in case the feed trucks are unable to make it to our place.
5. Make sure he has all supplies on hand. Bart always has extra parts for water lines and feed lines, and he also checks his supply of sanitation products.
If all goes well, the turkeys will never know that a blizzard raged around them while they were warm and toasty in the barns. They’ll go on with their comfy lives as if nothing has changed. Our goal is always to minimize stress on our birds so they will grow big and healthy, and that goal doesn’t change during a blizzard (whether we’re forewarned about the impending snow or not!)