4 Ways to Prepare Your Flock for Disaster

This country has endured historic storms in the last few months. From record breaking snowfall to outbreaks of deadly tornadoes, people, and their birds, are suffering from the damage. According to the Wall Street Journal, approximately 25% of poultry houses in Alabama were destroyed by storms on Wednesday, April 27, 2011. We thought this might be a good time to offer a few tips disaster preparedness as it relates to poultry.

Obviously, when an F-4 tornado tears through your neighborhood, your first thoughts are probably not going to be your chickens; you will most likely be thinking about staying alive. However, in the aftermath of such a storm, you will want to continue caring for your flock if at all possible.

Here are a few items you may want to have on hand in order to be prepared to take care of your birds in the aftermath of a devastating weather event:

  1. Water. Clean drinking water for your turkey, chickens or ducks is as important as clean drinking water for humans, and if the water supply in your area is compromised, there may not be enough bottled water to share with your flock. Boiling water may be an option, but if you don’t have electricity boiling enough water for yourself and your animals could be an arduous task.
  2. Food. Putting a few bags of food in storage will be important if you don’t have a way to get more supplies. Right now, in Alabama hundreds of roads are closed because of trees, downed power lines and other debris. In the best case scenario, your birds could graze, but should you need your extra supplies during the winter, there may not be much for them to graze on.
  3. Generator. If you have an incubator or use heat lamps, a generator can keep them working. Of course, in the worst situations, humans need generators too. But, if you have a generator and your family and neighbors are taken care of, then taking care of your poultry is a good idea.
  4. Heat packs. Chicks must stay warm, and the sort of heat packs they are shipped with as day old chicks can be purchased and stored for years. They last for 72 hours and could equal survival for any chicks you might have when you lose power.

Having emergency supplies on hand can save the lives of humans and animals. Do you keep extra food and water for your family and your animals in storage? Have you encountered difficulty taking care of your birds due to weather-related disasters or another emergency situation?  We’d love to hear your story in the comments!