Tornado, wind, or flood damaged livestock structures
Having a tornado, straight line winds, or flood occur at your animal production site can be a very traumatic experience, especially if you live at the site and there were both property and livestock losses. After the initial shock, livestock and poultry producers are now facing major decisions concerning those partially—or totally—destroyed buildings. Instead of quickly fixing up the damaged facility or rebuilding a new unit on the same site, stop for a while and ask yourself several questions:
- Do I (and others in the operation) want to continue raising livestock on this farmstead?
- How much will it cost to repair the damage to the existing building?
- If building new, should the unit be located where the old barn stood?
- What about manure handling? Is there room to construct a larger barn? Is this farmstead too small for any more buildings?
All of these questions and more have probably crossed your mind if you are an unlucky person who had storm or flood damage. Although the storm/flood was tragic, try to look at it as an opportunity to improve your facilities. This may be a way to streamline a pig flow problem, consolidate your manure handling, expand a dairy operation, or relocate a facility to a more desirable site.
Answers to many of these questions are difficult but need to be made with as much information as possible during the time period you set. Decisions about staying in the livestock business may be the easiest to make. Deciding to build new or fix the old unit should be made after getting some solid bids on renovating costs. It is probably better to start from scratch if the cost of repair is more than 2/3 of the cost of a new barn. The other questions fall under general farmstead planning and design concepts for facilities. A good source for this type of information is the MidWest Plan Service (MWPS). Obtain a catalog of MWPS publications.Unfortunately, most of the information you need at this critical time is going to be specific to your situation. The general guidelines that are outlined in publications (MWPS and others) are only that: guidelines. Don’t be afraid to seek outside opinions plus consultants’ input. A $500 to $1,000 investment for planning services could, and probably will, save you thousands of dollars if the building “system” is not put together properly.