Winter Storm Ion on the Farm

Sun. Feb 24, 1935

“This afternoon the weather began to change, a light mist was falling and this later changed to a snow.  The storm increased and turned into a regular blizzard.  Our turkeys are always out in the open during all kinds of weather and when this storm became very severe we discussed the necessity of shelter for them.  D.L. insisted that they had always taken care of themselves and that they would be in good shape and come thru it fine, but late in the evening we found that their feathers were becoming loaded with wet snow and ice and the heads covered with ice.  It seemed that the best thing would be to get them in the big barn and the only way to do this was carry them in.  We would make several trips thru the deep snow and the blizzard, then after coming to the house to melt the snow from our eyes and faces we would make several trips again.  In this way we finally had all of the flock under cover.  They are very hardy and very independent birds, but you could see that they appreciated the shelter of the big barn.  Had we known the storm would be so severe, we could have driven them inside early in the afternoon.”

Elmer G. Powers, Quietdale Farm, Boone County, Iowa

The Farm Diary of Elmer G. Powers, 1931-1936

Co-Edited by H. Roger Grant and L. Edward Purcell


This week, Winter Storm Ion brought bitter cold temperatures to Iowa.  How cold?  Actual temperature Sunday night was -12⁰F and wind chills reached -40 to -50⁰F.

turkey barn family farm Winter Storm Ion

 Although these cold temperatures are extreme, Iowa faces some tough weather every year.  Cold, snow, and ice are three of the reasons that Iowa’s turkey farmers raise their turkeys inside warm, climate controlled buildings.

Even during the coldest winter days, the turkeys on Iowa’s turkey farms will have no idea what the weather is like outside.  Inside their barns, they will have 24 hours access to food and clean water and be immune to the stress that cold weather could cause their bodies.