The Meeker County (Minn.) Board approved on November 5 a conditional use permit for Sparboe Farms to construct two 102-by-426-foot poultry barns to be built on the firm's site east of Litchfield, Minn. The new barns are part of a multi-million dollar project to replace outdated barns at the Litchfield complex.

The project is expected to help Sparboe Farms increase its capacity from 554,272 hens to 1.8 million hens, the Independent Review reported. Eight outdated barns are being demolished, and will be replaced with three larger, more modern barns. Construction of the third barn is already underway. The old barns were built in the 1970s, and Sparboe Farms wants to build new ones that would ultimately help the company save on energy and labor costs.


While the plan is to reduce the number of buildings, the newer houses will be larger and would help the company more than triple the amount of hens in the operation. The buildings will include cages with movable partitions and perch bars, which will help Sparboe make needed adjustments in case of changes in hen housing regulations.