Hickman’s loses two barns, 165,000 hens in fire

Hickman’s Family Farms lost about 165,000 hens and two barns in a fire that occurred on the afternoon of March 6.

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Two barns and about 165,000 hens were lost in a fire at Hickman's Family Farms location near Arlington, Arizona. (Buckeye Valley Fire District | Facebook)
Two barns and about 165,000 hens were lost in a fire at Hickman's Family Farms location near Arlington, Arizona. (Buckeye Valley Fire District | Facebook)

Hickman’s Family Farms lost about 165,000 hens and two barns in a fire that occurred on the afternoon of March 6.

The fire occurred at the company’s farm near Arlington, Arizona, about 50 minutes west of Phoenix.

According to a Facebook post from the Buckeye Valley Fire District (BVFD), the lead agency to respond, the cause of the fire is unknown at this time.

BVFD’s post stated that when crews arrived, they found “heavy smoke and fire coming from one metal barn structure with an extension to a second barn.”

The crews, which included units from Buckeye, Goodyear, Avondale and Harqualhala, were able to contain the fire to two structures and keep the fire from spreading to adjacent structures. The Arizona Fire & Medical Authority also responded.

One person, described as a civilian male adult, was transported to a local hospital, where he was treated for smoke inhalation.

Sharman Hickman, community outreach manager and a third-generation member of the family-owned egg company, told azfamily.com that Hickman’s Family Farm is inspecting the damage and developing a recovery plan for its operations in Arlington.

“Our biggest challenge is making sure that all of our staff knows that we care about them,” she said. “And we’ll take every effort to make sure this never happens again.”

Numerous other egg companies have experienced fires in the past 15 months. Among other egg producers to suffer fire-related losses include Cal-Maine Foods, S&R Egg Farm, Gemperle Farms, Trillium Farms, Michael Foods and Konos.

According to the Egg Industry 2021 Top Companies report, Hickman’s Family Farms, also known as Hickman’s Egg Ranch, is the 15th largest egg company in the United States, with a flock of 6.3 million hens. The company was founded in 1944 and is headquartered in Buckeye. In addition to its operations in Arizona, Hickman’s also has hens in Colorado and distribution operations in Iowa, Nevada and California.

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