Nearly Half a Million Chickens Die in Massive Egg-Farm Fire

Last month, hundreds of thousands of hens died in a raging fire at a Michael Foods-operated egg factory farm in Nebraska. Burning down one of the 20 barns, the fire killed 400,000 of the farm’s 4 million chickens. Packed in the massive barn, the chickens were helpless to escape the blaze.

Smoke and flames were visible for miles, and the fire was “so intense,” a National Weather Service satellite detected its heat.


With so many animals packed in generally filthy conditions at factory farms, tragedies like this are all too common. Chickens raised for eggs and meat are crammed by the thousands into windowless sheds, breathing air acrid with ammonia.

On Thanksgiving last year, 19,000 chickens died after an electrical fire started in a chicken house at Watts Auman Farm in North Carolina. The facility had a total of about 40,000 chickens and works with giant chicken company Perdue Farms.

And last August, when a heatwave hit the United Kingdom, thousands of chickens died at a farm supplying Tesco and Sainsbury’s. As temperatures soared to more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit, chickens crowded in sheds at a Moy Park farm succumbed to the heat. A reporter even witnessed farm staff piling the birds’ lifeless bodies outside the sheds.


Chickens deserve to breathe fresh air, feel the grass beneath their feet, and live their lives in peace. We can all make a difference for animals suffering at factory farms by adding more plant-based meals to our daily routine. Download our FREE Vegetarian Starter Guide for tips, and check out our Pinterest page for countless vegan recipes.

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