Biggest problem so far is water; while I do have a generator, it only does 120 volts, and the well pumps are 230v; so I've been having to pull water out of the river to water my 600 critters. 450 gallons of water twice a day.
|lots of thirsty critters. the weaner sale pen right now|
Really makes me think about some sort of gravity powered or wind powered solution -- I daydream about a windmill and a water tank with a gravity feed to the animal troughs. I even went and looked one up; you can buy a pretty good quality one for about $4k. Not writing that check now, but if this was a major catastrophe and my power was going to be out for a month or two, I'd sure like to have one.
|Dreaming of windmills|
Right now I'm using a 12v RV-style water pump with a garden hose to supply water to the drinking nipples that most of the hogs use, and feeding it from a 55 gallon drum. The rv pump is an on-demand, and I'm running off my set of car batteries that I use for electric fences. When those run down I'll probably pick a vehicle - a truck or skidsteer or something - and have the engine running to replenish the batteries. 1 of the drinking nipples can service 40 or 50 pigs, and one small rv pump can supply enough flow to keep 8 or 10 nipples going.
|sprayer converted to livestock waterer|
The second problem is feed; the motors that drive the feed augers are 3 phase 230v; and my generator does single phase. So to get feed to the critters I'm having to pull it out of the inspection plate at the base of the augure. With a trowel. By hand. I have to say that it's making me weigh the feed to each critter -- so while I'm spending a lot more time on (read: labor costs) I'm probably actually using less feed than normal.
One of my few vices is internet, and I actually do have both a DSL based internet, via phone line, and a sattelite internet via dish, and I've found that I need both. When my power goes out the DSL line goes out, too. So having the sattelite allows me internet access (and telephone via voip, and email) and I think it's worth the money to have both. If I had to choose one I'd probably pick the DSL line -- the sattelite is fast once it gets going, but there's a half-second delay before anything happens just because the data has to travel 44,000 miles before there's any response.
I actually purchased a whole-house backup generator, propane fired, but hadn't gotten around to hooking it up. Needless to say that task got bumped on the priority scale.