Showing posts with label weather. Show all posts
Showing posts with label weather. Show all posts

Friday, February 13, 2015

Keeping Warm Thoughts in Cold Weather

Taking Precautions When the Forecast is South of Freezing.



A reminder to all poultry and livestock caretakers and food processors to monitor building and other environmental spaces that would be sensitive to cold. 

  • Temporary windbreaks surrounding nursery areas should be considered if in high wind velocity area.  Smaller animals are more temperature sensitive.  Heat Lamps and other hanging heaters should be hung by a chain or cable to prevent falling into bedding.
  •  Water meters should be checked closely to spot broken or plugged (frozen) plumbing. 
  • Product refrigeration equipment needs to be checked to ensure continued operation even when exposed to outdoor conditions if product needs to be cooled. 
  •  Rod conveyors and other non-heated areas of egg farms should be cleared at the end of day to eliminate thermal checks. 
  • Diesel supplies on farm should also be checked for jelly formation, most especially backup generators and tractors.  
  • Heaters, clothing, hand warmers, and other safety equipment for workers should be considered in areas with frostbite exposure warnings
  •  Product holding areas should be monitored so that product awaiting processing is kept at optimal temperatures. 
  • For small flock enclosures partial wrapping with plastic film may help prevent wind from penetrating the coop.  Be sure adequate ventilation takes place after the wrap.  Loose hay and straw may help birds survive cold environments by burying themselves partially into the bedding. 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Dropping Weight in a Storm

Rake to reduce roof weight

Source: http://www.avalanche-snow.com
Snow, Ice and wind loads can cause roof system failures in older poultry housing.  To combat heavy snows, the use of a roof rake to pull down snow off a roof can be employed.  In my Feb. 11, 2010 post, I discussed the use of a home-made rake.  While watching one of my favorite home improvement shows, I saw another design that cuts the snow making it easier to move than a plowing rake.  For examples take a look at:

http://www.minnsnowta.com/index.html

http://www.avalanche-snow.com/index.asp

After a heavy snow, you should check roofing systems for any breaks in support bracing and rafters.  Why you may have survived this storm the next one may finish off your your roof.  Be Safe and check your housing.

Where trade names appear, no discrimination is intended, and no endorsement by the author & Penn State Cooperative Extension is implied.

Friday, November 2, 2012

The aftermath looking forward

Source: http://www.co.pennington.sd.us/
Take a moment to survey your housing!          

We have just gone through some of the worst weather this fall.  When these events pop up, it is always a good practice to check your poultry housing over carefully for unseen damage that may have occurred.  Look up into attics to see if any rafters or bracing has broken or come loose.  Look at power poles for splitting.  Open electrical boxes for water accumulation indicating a compromised water seal on the supply weatherhead.  On housing that is over ten years old, things may have worked loose in the wind.  The last thing you wish to see is a weakened roof that would collapse under the next storm.

Look closely at the boots on feed bins for leakage.  Clumping feed is a good indicator that water got into the tank somehow.  If possible, allow the tank to empty and then check the tank with a droplight at night.  This may be able to show spots that may be leaking.

With small flock housing, consider "pinning" temporary housing to the ground using spikes made of re-bar or other suitable materials.  Store summer shade fixtures until needed in the spring.

Clear all drainage culverts around poultry housing of any debris before the next storm event.  With proper precaution, a few minutes will help save hours of repair when you really don't wish to make repairs.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Thinking ahead of the storms

Prevention is the best policy from weather related farm failures

With all the recent weather, I am reminded that we should always think ahead of the storm and be prepared to act. This means that now with all the snow, we should be able to clear our farm roads and remove snow from animal housing to prevent roof collapse under the weight of the storms. Some suggestions include:
  1. Open the Attic doors of the barn to allow warm air rise to the roof line and help melt the ice.
  2. Rake off the roof (see illustration, right) to help remove the snow. A rope system tied to a 2x6 four foot long can remove snow off a gabled barn without getting up on the roof.
  3. Lower feeding equipment and any other suspended equipment for temporary relief of weight on the truss systems.
As with all snow events, water is your next concern. Be sure all water collection and handling systems are operational to handle the snow melt. Snow removal equipment and backup generation also helps protect the farm from road blockages and power outages. Be sure all emergency equipment is checked and ran periodically so that it will work when you need it.

No matter what the most common threat is to a farm a farmer needs to be prepared for those challenges.