“We were very lucky that they we’re hurt; not one of them. But the whole thing really shook them up; when we found them they were huddled together under their pen, the poor little things,” said Pat Goodwin, who with her husband Allan, operates a sheep and cattle farm on the Tidnish Road, overlooking the waters of Baie Verte.
A final check of the sheep at about 10:30 p.m. revealed all was well, but sometime before 2 p.m. the wood and steel-framed roof of a large adjacent barn was apparently ripped off by the wind, falling on the steel-frame, plastic-roofed barn nearby.
“I got up to check the ewes at 2 a.m. because a couple of them were about to lamb. When I went into the dome barn, which is steel structure with a plastic roof, I couldn’t see the sheep anywhere. I shone my flashlight back and forth and it was then that I saw that the roof from the other barn had come off and crashed into the sheep barn. It was such a shock, I just clambered over stuff to get to where the sheep had been and thank heavens none of them were hurt. There was plastic flapping loudly in the wind and I could tell they were spooked. Sheep get upset quite easily and this had obviously been a big, noisy accident,” she said.
Because of the cold, stormy conditions, the Goodwin’s had to wait until morning to transfer the sheep into another barn which also houses 30-40 cattle. The cattle from the damaged barn have since been sheltered in a small lean-to nearby.
Damage to the roof of the wood structure and replacement of the steel and plastic dome barn is estimated to be about $15,000-$20,000. The barns were uninsured.
The roof of the wood frame barn has since been partially re-built, however the plastic-roofed dome barn which had housed their sheep will not be replaced until spring, Goodwin said.
“The steel framework is bent quite bad, so I doubt if we’ll be able to salvage anything from it; but we’ll be rebuilding it again in the spring since it’s a wonderful type of barn for the sheep,” she said.
The couple has been farming in Baie Verte since 1981 and despite the damage to their barns, still plan to continue raising sheep and cattle in the years to come.
“There was a lot of damage done, but we were still fortunate that none of the stock was injured. We hope there will be no repercussions with the sheep when it comes to lambing time, but most of the ewes aren’t due to lamb until early April, so I think everything will be alright,” she said.Sackville Tribune Post