Snow is expected to fall during a Colorado winter, but this year we have had more than our share. It started snowing the week before Christmas and kept up a weekly borage through the first of the year. As the snow piled up livestock producers in southeastern became hampered in their ability to get out to care for their stock. As the state of Colorado realized the grave situation facing the ranchers, the Blizzard of 06-07 was declared a disaster and the National Guard was mobilized and assisted with air drops of hay to stranded cattle. Code 3 was contacted by the Colorado Veterinary Medical Federation to assist and coordinate a volunteer relief effort at a 5,000 acre 8,000 head free range hog farm. The farm, which was split into two facilities, is located in far southeastern part of the state that was buried under several feet of snow with drifts up to 10+ feet. The hogs were trapped in the huts that were strung across the fields of white. Our challenges were many: dig out those hogs that were stranded in the huts, open up access to get food and water to animals, move heavily pregnant females to dry protected shelter to give birth, dig out and bed down the huts to move the pregnant sows to, and locate and care for hundreds of piglets that had been abandoned or orphaned due to the weather.
Code 3 assembled about 40 volunteers from several groups to help in the effort. We spent a little over a week helping the farm staff get back to a point that they were able to manage the operation on their own.