Christina and Byrnie Florea operate Ridgeview Farms, a family-run poultry business in Paulden, Arizona. They raise chickens, turkeys and quail for meat and eggs. They are regulars at the Prescott Farmers Market and also sell to a few restaurants around the state.
Ridgeview Farms is known as the “Home of the Happy Chickens.”
But sadly, a recent flash flood killed hundreds of their chickens and some of their turkeys.
And the monsoon rain continues.
In today’s forecast, another hazardous weather outlook has been posted by the National Weather Service for Yavapai County.
They describe what happened on a YouCaring page.
"On Monday July 17 a severe thunderstorm tore through Paulden, Arizona. The storm began with marble-sized hail then dumped 1.25 inches of rain in less than an hour, resulting in flash floods. The flooding at Ridgeview Farms in Paulden killed 630 chickens and eight turkeys. In addition to the heartbreak of those lives lost, we estimate that their deaths will mean somewhere between $10,000 and $12,000 in losses. We won’t have meat to sell for the next 7 weeks.
"The storm on Monday also shorted a circuit, which defrosted a freezer full of chicken. The storm damaged the chicken barns and ruined tons of chicken feed in the feed grinder. We were able to rescue about 45 chickens and donated some of the dead chickens to the Heritage Park Zoo so they wouldn't go to waste.”
Their land is lower in elevation than neighboring property, so as the rain accumulates, it continues to flood their land. About a week later, another storm flooded the yard, but this time they were able to move 700 young chickens out of their barn to safety.
Right now, they’re hoping to rent a backhoe, which would allow them to fix the ruts in the yard, and protect the remaining chickens. Backhoes are expensive, though, the going rate is about $700/day.
They also need to repair the barn and purchase new chickens to replenish their inventory.