Entries in wind farm cows (1)

8/22/11 Turbines cause trouble for another farmer AND more complaints about the noise problem the wind industry says does not exist


Last week Better Plan learned of a dairy farmer named Kevin Ashenbrenner whose farm is in the Shirley Wind project (Town of Glenmore, Brown County WI) From an email to Better Plan:

"He has lost 17 calves and 15 cows since the Shirley turbines started spinning, that's more than he loses in 5 years of farming and breeding. The closest turbine to his house is 9/10 mile away as the crow flies. There are six turbines total around his property. His family is also suffering badly with headaches, anxiety, and insomnia."

He's not alone. This video interview with Kewanee County dairy farmer Scott Srnka describes similar problems after turbines went on line near his farm

Another Wisconsin farmer, Joe Yunk, talks about what happened to his beef cattle after the turbines went on line near the farm that was in his family for generations:

He says "I had beef cattle for about two years prior to the turbines operating and never lost any animals. However, shortly after the turbines began to operate, I had beef cattle become ill and die. I reported this on the WPS hotline and nothing was done. I lost ten animals valued at $5,000 [each] over a two year period and couldn’t afford to continue."

(Source: Read Yunks full testimony to the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin HERE)

After turbines in the Blue Sky/Green Field project went on line near the Town of Marshall in Fond Du Lac county, James Vollmer's chickens began to fail. His hatch rate plummeted and there were a high number of unusual deformities in the chicks that did hatch, including missing eyes, crossed beaks and missing leg bones.

Vollmer has been around chickens his whole life. His grandmother and grandfather raised poultry and he says he took to it right away.  He has photograph taken by his grandmother of himself  as a toddler in the chicken house with baby chicks nesting on his back. He says, “I can’t remember a time in my life when I wasn’t around chickens.”

He joined 4-H and by the age of nine he was showing chickens at the county fair.  4-H taught him to be ameticulous record keeper, a habit he has never lost. He’s been documenting all that has happened with his chickens since the wind turbines started up.

How could someone who has raised healthy prize-winning poultry his whole life find himself in a situation where he is unable to keep them alive?

When Better Plan visited Mr. Vollmer in 2010, the chickens were not doing well.

“They shouldn’t be hanging their heads and sitting there like that,” said Vollmer, “They should be going outside and running around.”

Vollmer knew there was trouble when his birds went into a full molt the first winter the turbines were on line.

“Then they pretty much quit laying eggs.”

A full molt in winter is unusual. Birds don’t spontaneously molt in the winter when they need their feathers most to stay warm. And he’d never had a problem with egg production before, but his hatch rate plummeted to 11%  He said, “I didn’t know what was going on.”

Dr. Lynn Knuth, a biologist from Reedsville, has an idea. In 2010 testimony to the Public Service Commission Dr. Knuth says

 "The deformities seen by the farmer are similar to those reported in a study done by the U.S. Army Aeromedical Research Laboratory (Shannon et al, 1994). In this study, fertilized eggs were exposed to different levels and frequencies of whole-body low frequency vibration. The results revealed increased mortality and birth defects caused by the vibration.
 As a biologist, I am concerned. Chick development is used as a model of human embryonic development."


To Better Plan's knowledge, the effect of wind turbine noise on domestic animals has not been specifically studied, but there are studies on the effects of aircraft noise on domestic animals.

A white paper issued by the Engineering and Services Center 
U.S. Air Force, Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Department of the Interior includes this statement:

"Sudden or unfamiliar sound is believed to act as an alarm, activating the sympathetic nervous system. The short-term physiological stress reactions, referred to as "fight-or-flight," are similar for many vertebrate species (Holler 1978).

Various stimuli can produce similar physiological effects. Different stressors have their own unique effects, however, and reactions to stress can vary between species and also among individuals of the same species.

0nly laboratory studies have been able to eliminate these variables and show that noise produces certain physiological effects.

The general pattern of response to stress includes activation of the neural and endocrine systems, causing changes such as increased blood pressure, available glucose, and blood levels of corticosteroids.

The effect of sympathetic activation on circulation also is believed to have an effect on hearing (Holler 1978).

A correlation has been shown to exist between the reaction on the peripheral circulation and the temporary threshold shift caused by noise exposure.

Prolonged exposure to severe stress may exhaust an animal's resources and result in death.


From California

Can chickens provide early warnings of wind turbine health dangers?

SOURCE http://eastcountymagazine.org/node/6999 

By Miriam Raftery

August 21, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) – Like those proverbial canaries in the coal mine, chickens near wind farms may provide early clues to potential harm to health of humans and animals.  That’s the contention of Hamish Cumming, a farmer battling proposed wind turbines near his home in New Zealand.

He has written a letter to East County Magazine seeking help from people living near wind farms locally (and in other locations) to document cases of shell-less eggs, dead chickens, or other animals that suffer internal hemmorrhaging.

The “humble chicken” is common in rural areas near wind farms and can be easily monitored, Cumming says.   Chickens under stress may produce a soft-shelled or shell-less egg that can’t be laid, killing the chicken. Such incidents have been documented near wind farms, says Cumming, who has also collected examples of livestock and a dog that died from internal hemorrhaging near wind farms.

“There are reports from many wind farm locations that chickens within a 3 km distance from turbines exhibit shell-less eggs during some weather conditions,” he stated. “Some locations have reported shell-less eggs or dead chickens that coincide with residents’ complaints about “noisy nights” from turbines.”

In fact, shell-less eggs are also known as “wind eggs.” According to Broad Leys Publishing, which specializes in books for poultry owners, a yolk-less wind egg may occur in a young pullet, but “wind eggs can also occur in older hens if they are subject to sudden shock.”

Chickens aren’t the only species suffering ill health effects from living near wind farms, Hamish says.

“So far there are several records of dairy cattle in Canada and Australia reducing milk output by as much as 30%,” he wrote.

The Discovery Channel ran a report on massive deaths among bats that suffered lung hemorrhaging when flying near wind turbines: 

Goats in Taiwan, verified by the Taiwanese Department of Agriculture, have reportedly died due to stress-induced conditions within 2 km of turbines.  “I have had reports of high levels of stillborn lambs and calves (up to 10%)…and stillborn horses in Australia and overseas, only after wind farms commenced operations,” he claims.

Wind farms may even be damaging to the family pet, he believes.  “A dog was verified by Werribee Veterinary Hospital as dying from multiple organ fibrosis, believed to be stress-induced—and it was also within 2 km of turbines.”

Animals grazing near wind farms have also exhibited fibrosis, or hemorrhaging of major organs, when butchered, he observed.  He believes this may explain why some native birds abandon habitat and cease breeding close to wind turbines.

That’s of serious concern to Cumming, who has endangered bird species nesting on wetlands at his New Zealand farm.

There have also been claims around the world of human health impacts in some communities near wind farms. Dr. Nina Pierpont, a Johns Hopkins  School of Medicine trained physician and Princeton University PhD, has authored a book titled Wind Turbine Syndrome documenting serious health effects in people living near wind turbines due to low-frequency sound waves: . The wind industry has disputed her findings.

Cumming seeks residents in East County and elsewhere around the world who live within 5 km of wind turbines to create a large data pool.  Participants may already own chickens, or be willing to acquire them for the study.  Cutting open a dead hen will expose the shell-less egg, if that is the cause of death, he said.

He seeks the following data:

1.  How close the nearest turbines are to your chickens or slaughtered animals
2. How many turbines are within 5 km
3. Brand and size of the turbines
4. Name of the wind farm
5. Your country

Data may be sent to Hamish.cumming@bigpond.com

East County Magazine is also interested in hearing about local cases of animal hemmorrhaging, wind eggs, or human health issues from people living near wind farms in San Diego's East County: contact editor@eastcountymagazine.org.



SOURCE: The Courier, thecourier.com.au

August 19, 2011


Trevor and Maree Frost say they are under siege in their Leonards Hill home of 30 years because of noise from the Hepburn wind farm.

Mrs Frost, a part-time cleaner at Daylesford District Hospital, said she had suffered extreme sleep deprivation since the two turbines began operating earlier this year.

“I’ve had enough,” Mrs Frost, 57, said this week. “I want something done. I want my life back. That’s all I want.”

Mr Frost, a 65-year-old firewood supplier, said he was not so badly impacted but had witnessed the deterioration of his wife over recent months.

“She makes a lot of mistakes because of a lack of sleep,” he said.

Mrs Frost said the noise varied from a low whoosh to like a jet engine, depending on wind velocity and direction.

She said she was forced to wear earplugs while working outside.

“It’s not acceptable for country life,” she said.

“What we’ve worked for in the last 20 or 30 years, it feels like it’s all been for nothing.

“This is our place. I’ve never had anything that has interrupted my sleep like this, even when you’ve lost someone in your family. The stress is there all the time.”

And the couple say their daughter, Jenna, 22, was forced to move away from home because of noise from the turbines, about 520 metres from their house.

“She couldn’t hack it,” Mr Frost said. The situation is complex for the tightly-knit Leonards Hill and Korweinguboora communities around the wind farm.

The turbines are located on land owned by Mr Frost’s cousin, Ron Liversidge. The two men haven’t spoken in recent months.

Mr Frost said he and his wife had made an official complaint to Hepburn Wind and were keeping a diary of the noise impact.