Once feathered out and several weeks old, like this pullet, they can handle cooler temperatures.
Sometimes agriculture, on any level, is hard. It’s unpleasant, it’s discouraging, it’s enough to make adults shed tears when animals are lost. Even “just livestock” – be it meat rabbits, chicks, calves, steers…we all have stories. When the heat goes out on a batch of chicks and some die it leaves a hole in the heart, not just for the financial loss but the loss of potential.
It may seem odd to you that for all the times you represent that we don’t care about the animals under our charge, that reading the report of what you have done, Mr/Ms. Coward, brings about an abnormal rise in anger and disgust that you cannot possibly understand.
For those who follow this blog and others, and those without a connection to agriculture, targeting “factory farms” while saying farms like us are ok. We may be different to those who will do anything to destroy large farms, but the loss of animals is the same.
When chicks are hatched they must be maintained at 95* for the first week, lowering the heat 5 degrees per week. When the farm gets the birds down to 70* they are feathered enough to handle colder temperatures (in outdoor systems). The disgusting folks broke into chicken houses, tampered with the heat and ventilation systems and dismantled the alarms that would draw attention to the fact that something wasn’t working.
“One of Coker’s employees discovered the dead chickens a week ago Tuesday. He said he noticed a large amount of steam coming from the sides and the roofs of the chicken houses when he arrived at work around 7 a.m. He immediately knew something was wrong.
When he walked into one of the chicken houses, he said it was like a sheet of white – almost like snow – that wasn’t moving. The ventilation was shut off and the temperature inside the house was turned up to 115 degrees.”
Those birds adjusted to 70 degree temps were cooked at 115* with the ventilation system off. Add to that walking in on thousands of young birds dead. 200,000 birds. $65,000 from your family’s home.
Clarendon County Sheriff Randy Garrett said someone familiar with alarm systems used in chicken houses is responsible. Those alarms also control the heat, air conditioning and ventilation units and notify farmers by cellphone when buildings get too hot or cold. Chickens can die in about an hour if the ventilation and heating systems are turned off.
They altered it knowing what would happen and walked away to let the birds suffer and die. They will justify it that it cost the farms money. They will say for farms it’s all about money.
It seems for these cowards it’s all about power and inflicting what you want on others. For decades the animal rights
movement has banged the drum of making it expensive to operate. These cowards know how to operate the systems and are targeting growers for a particular company. They claim animals suffer but inflict the suffering in actions like this, then blame the farms.
That mentality has been seen as a mental illness when activists put meat
before food for people. There are many on social media that encourage actions against large farms, without regard for the animal suffering created so long as it’s for the cause.
It’s despicable. Inexcusable. Cleaning those barns with a spoon at a dime an hour would be not enough punishment. There is nothing ethical about those actions. There is no excuse and no looking the other way saying “well the birds would die anyway.”
They would die to feed people. Not die in the actions of a coward that left them to be roasted to death in 115* heated barns. The $1.7 million loss will be felt, but I bet it won’t replace the image in the farmer’s mind of 200,000 dead young birds in a stifling hot barn with alarms turned off that should have signaled him something was wrong.
Theft, vandalism, assault and torturing animals is not excused “for the cause” because some folks don’t like how it’s done. Those folks could buy from those raising birds the way they want, but they don’t.
To the people behind such cowardly attacks, who equate destroying farms with a hero mentality – it’s not hero it’s heinous cruelty that you claim to be against. It’s the ultimate coward to destroy and not take responsibility for the actions. Farmers should not fear for our lives for speaking up, for raising animals or for providing food for people. I hope that the general public – everyone who has eaten chicken in the last few weeks – I hope you will stand with these farms in support of bringing the criminals to justice. It’s not just financial – it’s saying that there is no excuse for these actions. Disagree with them being in barns but fund the alternative, don’t destroy animals in suffering in the name of compassion. That’s a twisted kind of compassion. The 200,000 birds is far more than we supply, but they suffer in heat the same way.
Condemn the cruelty. Condemn sending a message in a manner that breaks the law. Condemn threatening farmers with personal attacks.
Anything less is inexcusable.