DEXTER — Two calves were killed Tuesday morning when a roof weighed down by heavy ice and snow collapsed on a barn owned by Dale Robinson on Airport Road in Dexter.
A cow also had to be destroyed because of injuries it received when the roof fell sometime during Monday night, according to Robinson. A new tractor and a mixing wagon stored in the barn also were damaged, he said Tuesday.
Robinson, who had 75 head of cattle, including heifers, housed in the barn, said he awoke at 3:45 a.m. to do his chores, and the roof over the 90-by-146-foot barn already had caved in. The farmer, whose home is about 300 feet from the barn, said he did not hear the roof collapse.
Dexter firefighters were called to the scene and assisted Robinson in removing the animals from the wreckage. Robinson immediately called Clark’s Auction Sales in Skowhegan, explained his situation and asked if the firm could come and get the cattle.
Joanne Clark of the auction sales company said that about five livestock trailers arrived at Robinson’s dairy farm early Tuesday morning to pick up the cows, which were sold during the day.
The majority of the animals were milking cows, according to Robinson, who sold the milk to Garelick’s Farm in Franklin, Mass. The company collected the milk every other day, he said.
The ice storm that devastated much of Maine earlier this month also affected Robinson. The dairy farmer lost his power during the storm and had to dump his milk for six days.
“We ended up dumping quite a few thousand dollars’ worth of milk,” he said.
Robinson, who has no insurance, estimated his losses at $150,000 for the building and the loss he took from the sale of the cattle. He said he would not rebuild until spring and would get by during the winter by working in the woods.
The dairy farmer is no stranger to disaster. A fire in 1996 demolished his barn, along with 100 head of cattle.