Almost a week after Hurricane Idalia hit Florida, the livestock body count is climbing higher, especially in poultry operations.
The Messenger says estimates say as many as five million chickens died from the Category Three storm. Winds were around 125 mph when the storm hit land. The hurricane tore apart barns and fence lines and killed livestock from cattle to chickens. Chicken coops were ripped apart by high winds or high waters, and many coops were crushed by falling trees. The chickens that survived the storm were seen roaming around looking for food as their feeders were destroyed in the storm. Many others died in the heat and humidity. The storm hit farmers hard, tearing up crops and multiple livestock facilities.
A spokeswoman for the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences says the actual death count of poultry could take months after all the assessments are completed.