Cold Air Creates Unique Challenges for Chicken Farmers - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Cold Air Creates Unique Challenges for Chicken Farmers

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SEAFORD, De. - Anybody who stepped foot out of the house Thursday was likely to have realized just how miserable and cold it is outside. But this weather can be even more debilitating for those who are forced to work outside.

"I'm just tired of the snow and the wind," said Craig Truitt.

Truitt faces the cold air nearly every day. It's a necessary evil, which accompanies the fact that his job as a chicken farmer, means he's outside every single day, rain or shine (or snow).

"We either have the chickens to take care of or we're trying to get ready for chickens," Truitt said. "You never really have any time off."

Truitt gave WBOC a tour around his property, showing off his chicken houses - which hold approximately 25,000 chickens each. Truitt stopped the tour by a fan, used to ventilate the chicken house, which was covered in icicles approximately two feet long. Without this proper ventilation, the chickens within the house could die.

"If it gets heavy enough," he said pointing at the icicles. "It could weigh them down. But mainly it's just the threat of freezing the fan or the shutters so it doesn't get proper air flow."

Then there's the process of clearing out their long driveways so the feed can be delivered. Truitt said the high winds makes this process more difficult.

"Yesterday the lane was clear when the feed truck came in," he said. "Then we had a little snow last night. And as you can see the wind has drifted snow back in the lanes. So it's gonna have to be plowed out again before the feed truck comes."

Inside the chicken house itself, the temperatures sits at just about 80 degrees. The temperature needs to stay at this level so that the chickens can continue to grow in a healthy manner. Maintaining this heat can be a costly expense.

With all these obstacles, WBOC asked Truitt if he'd rather be doing something else.

"No," he said without hesitation. "This is what I enjoy doing. I've done it almost all my life and I can't imagine doing anything else."

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