About 250,000 hens were killed in a Herbruck’s Poultry Ranch barn fire in Ionia County, Michigan, on April 30.
The company had earlier stated that the barn that caught fire was partially occupied and that none of the birds inside had survived, but at the time did not reveal how many birds were lost.
Herbruck’s Poultry Ranch, in a statement to WLNS, said that the company was fully operational on May 1, and that it plans to rebuild the damaged facility.
The fire was discovered by workers at the Ionia facility around 6:15 p.m., who immediately called the fire department. Responders from multiple fire departments and emergency agencies arrived on the scene and were able to bring the blaze under control.
No workers or emergency responders were injured.
The cause of the fire has not yet been determined, and Herbruck’s Poultry Ranch informed reporters that it could be several weeks before investigators determine a cause. The company stated that it intends to provide updates on the situation as it 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 11thlargest 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.