Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Devastating Loss

So.. things happen sometimes. Things happen that sometimes make us want to quit farming.  Last night was one of those nights.

When I got home from work, the first thing I do is get a bottle to our bottle lamb. She's doing just fine, but without constant supply when she wants it, she isn't growing as fast as her sister. While I was feeding her the bottle... I heard strange peeps from the barn. Thought maybe some turkeys had hopped out again, and were trying to find their way back to the warm heat lamps.

So I went to investigate.

What I saw still has me sad and angry today.

The automatic waterers that I bought to make my life easier and ensure my birds always got the water they needed, no matter if I was at work all day or asleep in the middle of the night... these waterers that worked great for 2+ weeks doing exactly what I ordered them for... had overflowed.

Something went wrong with one of the units and it spent how many hours filling their brooder with water. Most of my darling little birdies that were slated to go live outside this coming weekend... had DROWNED. Over 3 inches of water filled their brooder.

I quickly moved the ones that were still alive (albeit soaking wet) to a new, clean brooder with heat lamps and a heated pad underneath them.  16 birds survived. I had started 2 weeks ago with 75 birds. Though soaking wet and relatively miserable, those 16 survived the night, and will likely be OK going forward, assuming no other mishaps.

I am so glad my daughter wasn't with me to see this. I could hardly move this giant stock tank with so much water in it. I am heartbroken at the loss. And still so angry that I haven't called the company to complain (yet.)  Believe me, I sure will.

I put in a standard 1 gallon waterer, and with only 16 birds, I don't think they'll run out while I am at work. So disappointed, and so sad for those poor birds. What an awful way to go. I would have thought that after 2 weeks of use (I even set them up 2 days before my birds arrived to see if they would leak!) I was home free with a functional product I could rely on. Nope.  Back to square one on the automatic watering...  And back to square one on getting my birds started off for this year.

I am so sorry little birds... I guess this engineer is going to have to engineer a product herself, since she can't trust products on the market...