500,000 Chickens Perish in Farm Fire

About half a million chickens died on an egg farm near Roggen, Colorado at Moark Hatcheries. Three large buildings used to house hens were destroyed. No people were harmed, but the damage is extensive and most of the animals on the site lost their lives. The chickens killed in the fire produced about 250,000 eggs daily, about one eighth of Colorado’s egg production.

Firefighters not only had to contend with the blaze, but there were also limited water supplies nearby, so they had to transport water in to do their jobs. The egg farm supplies retail outlets such as Wal-Mart and others in the Denver area.

One of the leading causes of barn fires on smaller farms is heating equipment malfunctions or placement too close to flammable material. Portable heaters, heat lamps and box fans sometimes are used with the assumption they are suitable for agricultural settings, but that assumption can be false.

A woman who began tracking fires on farms said, “My original intent was to see what factors were involved – to find patterns.  What I found through keeping this chart was that, in almost every instance, animals were dying in preventable fires, and the cost of prevention was very low when compared to economic disruptions. But, economics aside, the emotional toll suffered, not just by owners, but by the firefighters on scene who are subjected to the screams of the dying and the smell of death, can stay with them for the rest of their lives.”

Because of the tremendous density of animals compressed into relatively small spaces on factory farms, one can easily imagine any disaster like a fire, tornado or flood could cause a very large number of animals to perish or suffer.

Considering this very large egg farm did not have enough water close by to help firefighters, one wonders how many other factory farms are also lacking in water resources adequate enough to stop fires from killing huge numbers of animals packed into small spaces. Of course, there are many other issues associated with factory farming as well.

Image Credit: Public Domain


Related Links

Factory Farms: 100 Times More Waste than Sewage Plants

Animal Cruelty Exposed at Factory Farm


Suzie Hughes
Susan Hughes7 years ago

To see those thousands of chickens crammed into those sheds is heartbreaking. And this is what they label their egg cartons as "free range" as they aren't in little cages. Disgusting. Another reason to boycott eating eggs and let the stores know why you won't buy them.

Phyllis Smith
Phyllis Smith7 years ago

Factory farming is just a bad thing anyway you look at it! The animals are treated cruely,given god knows what kind of drugs and cramped living areas! So sad that many had to die like that. I hope things will get better, we have to keep signing petiions and writing letters! without that,thete won't be any change,sadly.

Chad A.
Chad A7 years ago

When a small accident can lead to mass slaughter, there is something deeply wrong with the system.

Lynne Brittany
Lynne B7 years ago

Free range, there was enough space on the land the factory was sitting on. Do not buy factory farmed eggs please, it is a cruel and barbaric way of egg production. Also those stressed and antibiotic/chemically filled chickens can end up in your chicken pie after just one year.

Alicia Coker
Alicia Coker7 years ago

horrible.why were there 500,000 birds in that factory in the first place?!?!?!

Mary Mattarelli
Mary Mattarelli7 years ago

A very sad story

Anne P.
Anne P7 years ago

Heartbreaking - poor birds. Yet another reason why I am vegan.

Christine C.
Chandra C7 years ago

So sad

Julie D.
Julie D7 years ago

500,000 is such a huge number of poor creatures who died this horrible way. That is so sad especially as this could have been prevented. Yet another testimony to the evils of factory farming and why the entire meat producing industry needs to be investigated, inspected, newly regulated and forced to comply with new regulations to change the abomination it has become.

Sri Vani