Hurricane Lisa Damaged Chicken Barns
Hurricane Lisa devastated Belize City and parts of rural Belize District. Lisa made landfall as a category one hurricane some ten miles south of Belize City. Lisa made her way inland passing through the north of the Cayo District and south of the Orange Walk District and in its path, caused some damage to the productive sector. Roofs of chicken barns were blown off. President of the Poultry Association Armando Cowo tells us more.
Armando Cowo, Manager, Belize Poultry Association: “The damage has not been quantified as yet. I haven’t been able to be out there because of other priorities but by the end of this week I will be having all those figures compiled as to the quantification of the damage but visually we know where we are with the damages. I mean several barns had their roofs torn off completely or at least fifty percent of the roof gone and that impacts the growth and development of the birds. You have to remember these birds are going through stress from the wind and the water and therefore that will affect their growth. They won’t be feeding as normal after that stress or it might take a week or two more in the barns to reach marketable weight.”
Reporter: You explained as well that when the chicken gets wet it delays their growth because –
Armando Cowo, Manager, Belize Poultry Association: “Yes because then the feed that it is consuming that is being converted to energy to keep itself warm and to keep itself rather than growing because you have to understand that the body produces energy for you to keep warm and even us if you get wet in the rain you immediately feel that temperature change in your body where your body starts to generate more heat.”
Reporter: And what are some of the reactions that you’ve been getting from the farmers there ?
Armando Cowo, Manager, Belize Poultry Association: “Not much damage in terms of quantitative loss like number of birds lost not much it’s more the infrastructural damage so therefore we need to gauge where the growth stage is where those birds are and see what the impact will be on the market.”
Reporter: And then I would imagine like completely some roofs completely blown off ?
Armando Cowo, Manager, Belize Poultry Association: “Yes there are a couple barns with their roofs completely blown off and there are several others with partial roof gone.”
Reporter: And that delay in terms of the bird’s growth would that cause a significant impact on the market ?
Armando Cowo, Manager, Belize Poultry Association: “That is something I need to assess. Yes it will cause an impact but it won’t cause a huge impact in the sense but we’re looking at maybe a delay of a week in terms of getting those birds ready for market. But we do have enough chicken for everyone that’s a given because we always keep what we call buffer stocks in our freezers at the plants. We normally keep two weeks buffers so shortage of chicken for Christmas there won’t be any, you’ll get your chicken for Christmas. You’ll get your turkey and you’ll get whatever else you need for Christmas from the poultry industry.”