A Herbruck’s Poultry Ranch barn in Ionia County, Michigan, was badly damaged in a fire on April 30, killing an undisclosed amount of chickens.
The blaze was reported by workers at the facility around 6:15 p.m., reported MLive.
“On Tuesday, April 30, Herbruck’s workers at the Ionia facility observed smoke from a barn. The workers immediately contacted the fire department, which arrived at the scene and were able to contain the fire,” the company said in a statement.
“No Herbruck’s workers or first responders were injured. The one building that was damaged was partially occupied at the time of the fire, and sadly, none of the birds in this building survived. We are deeply saddened by the loss of our birds.”
Multiple fire departments and emergency agencies responded, and an investigation is taking place. The company, in its statement, said it will likely take several weeks for investigators to determine the cause. Herbruck’s said it will provide updates on the situation as more information becomes available.
According to reports, this was the fifth fire in 16 years for Herbruck’s Poultry Ranch. Prior to this, the most recent fire took place on February 9, 2018, in an egg cooler, which measured 70 feet by 100 feet. The cooler was determined to be a total loss.
Herbruck’s Poultry Ranch, according to the Egg Industry Top Egg Companies Survey, is the 11th largest egg company in the United States. At the conclusion of 2018, Herbruck’s had a flock of 8.65 million hens. Herbruck’s produces white and brown conventionally raised eggs, cage-free eggs, organic eggs and nutritionally enhanced eggs. It also produces liquid egg products, consumer packed and institutional or bulk packaged egg products.
The company is in the process of adding to its operations with the construction of a new egg production facility near Mercersburg, Pennsylvania. Plans call for the facility to house 2.4 million cage-free hens.