DELANSON — Last Saturday, a neighbor pounded on the Chandler family’s door to grab their attention. Upon answering, they realized why – their barn was on fire.
The Chandler family moved to the farm in 1987 from Rotterdam. They didn’t know much about farms, but they knew one thing. They wanted to raise their children on one. So from three years old, Bobby Chandler grew up on Mariaville Farm in Delanson, which is still owned and operated by his parents.
Around 200 chickens and 50 pigs were killed in the blaze. The cause of the fire is still under investigation but electrical issues are suspected.
However, due to the positioning of a shipping container, the flames were restricted to one barn. Behind the barn, stood a large metal container. The container prevented the fire from spreading further, saving the family’s home as well as all of the cows.
The family is raising funds on GoFundMe to contribute towards the costs of rebuilding the barn and acquiring new equipment and livestock. The family hopes to raise $50,000 to offset costs that are not covered by insurance.
“I think the policy was unclear,” said Bobby Chandler. “They [his parents] thought the livestock was covered.”
The Mariaville farm does all of their breeding in-house, but his mother estimates about $10,000 worth of livestock was lost. The pigs that perished were the first entirely brucellosis-free herd in the state, said Chandler. In the process of attempting to save some pigs, Christine Chandler was bitten and needed surgery the night of the fire.
As well as all of the livestock lost, the family lost a substantial amount of equipment, including a tractor, and brooders that house chickens.
In addition to the GoFundMe campaign, the family can be supported by community members frequenting their store, For the love of Bacon. The store does sell meat raised on their farm but Chandler says that in spite of the fire, they should still have enough stock to meet demand.
“Yesterday was the busiest day we’ve had in a while,” said Chandler.
Where the store is struggling right now is with eggs. The chickens lost made up 80% of the farm’s egg layers. However, they have a variety of other products helping to keep them afloat.
Bobby’s wife bakes a variety of Keto friendly treats for the store, there are also grab-and-go style meals available for purchase.
The barn was originally built in 1990 as just a hay barn, with necessary additions being added over the years. The family hopes to use the fire as an opportunity to come back with an even better barn. The rebuild will allow them to focus more on manure management, allocate space for each animal, and overall be more sustainable, says Chandler.
“The goal is to build it back to be a better barn,” said Chandler.
The family hopes to host some events to raise money and get the community even more involved. They also noted that the Mariaville Fire Department Ladies’ Auxiliary hopes to host an event benefiting them as well.
To donate, visit the Mariaville Farm – The Chandler Family on GoFundMe.com. For the love of bacon, located at 834 Duanesburg Rd, Schenectady.
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