As I prepare for a HomeShed sale this weekend (September 5-7) I have some important news to share.
And it’s all because of the turkeys.
“Help Prevent Disease: Please do not enter without permission.”
One of the most important ways we keep our turkeys healthy is by limiting their exposure to germs. Avian & poultry disease can be spread in many different ways…from birds flying from farm to farm, to rodents, to bugs, to visitors carrying germs in on their clothing or shoes.
Limiting germ exposure is called biosecurity. It’s the reason why we don’t let many visitors in our barns. It’s the reason why we have a separate pair of boots for each barn. It’s the reason why Bart showers in between barns.
And it’s the reason The HomeShed, as we know it, is coming to an end.
You see, Red Granite Farm has chickens. And IF those chickens were carrying a disease that could make my turkeys sick, and IF I happened to step in chicken poo or get a feather stuck in my hair, and IF I then contaminated our barns, it could be devastating. I know, I know…that’s a lot of IFs. But it’s simply a risk we can no longer take.
This is so hard to explain to people, so I’m sure you have some questions.
Wouldn’t you know if the chickens were sick?
Maybe, maybe not. Remember chicken pox? There’s an incubation period, where the affected person carries the germ but isn’t showing any signs of illness. By the time the symptoms show up, they’ve already spread the illness. It’s one of the reasons ebola is such a problem in Africa right now.
Second, although chickens and turkeys are both poultry, they have very different immune systems. One disease that is going around (Mycoplasma gallisepticum) doesn’t seem to bother chickens. They can carry the germ, but they don’t get sick. Turkeys, on the other hand, suffer greatly from MG. In some cases, farmers have lost more than 1/2 their flock to MG (thousands of birds) and then have had to euthanize the rest of the birds (depopulate) in order to disinfect their barns.
Why now? This wasn’t a problem the last two years? Why is it now?
It’s always been a concern, but things are changing at Red Granite Farm and it’s about to become riskier. RGF has expanded the number of chickens they have, and because of that, they’re going to build a new chicken coop closer to the end of the barn I use. More chickens + new location = more risk.
Is this really the end of The HomeShed?
No! I will keep my booth at Antiques Iowa, and may do some shows. I love picking, collecting and decorating, so I’ll keep doing those things in some way, forever! The last few days, working in the Shed, have convinced me this isn’t something I can just quit doing!
So, come on out this weekend. The HomeShed will be open Fri & Sat 9-5 and Sunday 11-4, and I’ll probably be marking down a lot of my merchandise so I won’t have as much to move after the October sale!