About 34,000 chickens died in two poultry farm fires in the eastern United States.

The first fire occurred on January 23 near Yadkinville, North Carolina, while the second one took place on January 24 in Rockingham County, Virginia. Both fires were reported around 3:30 p.m. on their respective days.

Poultry barn fire in North Carolina

An estimated 10,000 chickens were killed in the fire in Yadkinville, according to a report from the Charlotte Observer. Fire Chief M. Dale Couch of the Forbush Volunteer Fire Department said the incident is under investigation, and the cause of the fire had not yet been determined.

The personnel to arrive on the scene, according to Couch, found the fire near the feed silos at the center of a chicken house measuring 40 feet by 400 feet. Heat from the fire reportedly caused the ventilation system to turn on.

“The activation caused the side curtains to drop and the exhaust fans to come on, causing the fire to rapidly spread through the house,” he said.


No other animals or people on the property were injured, Couch confirmed.

The birds were being raised for Mountaire Farms, the sixth largest poultry company in the United States. According to the WATTAgNet Top Poultry Companies Database, the Millsboro, Delaware-based company processed 48.97 million pounds of ready-to-cook chicken on a weekly basis in 2018.

Poultry barn fire in Virginia

The fire in Virginia is also under investigation and a cause has not been determined.

In that incident, one barn, which was built in 1978, was destroyed by the fire. According to a report from WHSV, fire crews were not able to get close enough to open a door to see if any chickens could be saved. The barn was allowed to burn, while firefighters protected the other three barns on the property.

No people were injured, but an estimated 24,000 chickens were lost in the one barn. The company for which the chickens were being raised was not reported.