Fire at poultry farm kills nearly 300,000 chickens in Stanislaus County


KEYES, Calif. (KTXL) — Fire officials are still looking into what exactly caused a poultry farm in Stanislaus County to go up in flames, killing nearly 300,000 chickens.

Crews responded to Gemperle Farms off Barnhart Road just after 1 p.m. on April 23.

“Our family is saddened by the tragic loss of all the hens in the damaged structure,” said Gemperle Family Farms in a statement.

According to the Animal Welfare Institute, this barn fire was California’s most devastating this year and the third deadliest in the United States.

The cause of the fire is still being investigated.

The family also says that the current egg supply will not be affected.

The Modesto Bee reported the henhouse was among those recently built by Gemperle as part of an industry trend toward providing more space for birds, spurred in part by a 2008 state ballot measure by groups concerned about hens’ confinement.

The company says it will continue donating its share of 6 million eggs being provided through a partnership to nonprofits dealing with the coronavirus.

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July 23 2021 05:30 pm

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