Barn fire kills 300,000 hens at Michigan poultry farm


OTSEGO TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — About 300,000 hens died in a barn fire at a southwestern Michigan poultry farm.

The blaze started about 11 a.m. Friday at the farm in Otsego Township, WWMT-TV reported.

The barn was destroyed. About 250,000 hens in a second barn were unharmed.

Otsego Township is about 160 miles (257 kilometers) west of Detroit.

About 50 people who work at the cage-free farm were evacuated, according to Konos Inc. spokesman Brian Burch.

The farm will be at reduced production for the near future, he said.

Fire crews were forced to truck in water to battle the blaze.

“Agriculture fires are always a challenge, especially at a place like this,” Burch said. “We don’t have city water. We don’t have those same kinds of assets that we sometimes take for granted in cities.”

The cause of the fire was under investigation.