Tuesday, July 13, 2010
When we are experiencing fast onset hot weather we need to be more reactive than reactive in poultry housing. Birds usually show two stages of panting from slow open mouthed breathing to a heavy, labored pant. Keying on this is very important as energy expended on keeping cool by the birds is sacrificing production. output.
To counteract hot weather, provide the optimal environment for evaporative cooling and feed birds in cooler portions of the day. The heat of metabolism from feeding may exacerbate an already bad situation. You may want to map temps in the hottest portion of the house to pre-cool these areas before heat builds up in the house.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Be reasonable – Do it my way
One group that I have discovered recently was The Good Egg Project. This included video segments with the farmers explaining different aspects of the production cycle.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
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:
- Open the Attic doors of the barn to allow warm air rise to the roof line and help melt the ice.
- 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.
- Lower feeding equipment and any other suspended equipment for temporary relief of weight on the truss systems.
No matter what the most common threat is to a farm a farmer needs to be prepared for those challenges.
Where are the New Farmers Coming From?
Like many who wonder where the next generation of labor to help us is coming from, should really ask "Where is my next meal coming from?". Like the rest of the labor force the average age of a farmer is rising. Further, when you count encroachment from cities, tax burdens, zoning of land, and the lack of allied industry support for some commodities, it is daunting to think that anyone is heeding the call to work in agriculture.
But there are shining examples out there. 4-H programs show kids how to raise animals with proper care. They also teach leadership skills and responsibility that will serve them well both on and off the farm. We should support 4-H and FFA programs to help kids, no matter from what background learn more about the world they will soon enter to work.
Friday, December 18, 2009
We have heard in the media over again about how the swine flu has spread through the world. Because of this consumers have moved away from pork products for the wrong reasons. Let's face it, from a virus standpoint there has to be enough human genetic code in the virus to infect a human. Since most human flu we see is multi-species (avian/human/swine) lets just use the classification of H&N (e.g. H1N1) to describe this and give the animal producers a chance. Since this is NOT a food borne issue we should be able to enjoy fully cooked pork and pork products without scare.
To protect ourselves from human transmission, be sure to use good hygiene and cough control, especially as we head into the holiday season. Wash your hands including the backs of your hands with warm water and soap. Rub your hands with soap for at least 20-30 seconds before rinsing. Cough or sneeze into a disposable tissue or elbow if you must to keep your hands from being contaminated.
Lastly, stay home if you are sick. I was sick for two days and stayed home until fever was normal for 24 hours. By doing so, I was able to recover quickly and without lasting effects.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Be sure to have adequate materials at hand to compost, so to be at the ready for when its necessary to handle mortality on the farm.