BERLIN TWP. — A fire at a poultry farm in Ionia County resulted in the death of thousands of hens.
That’s according to a statement Wednesday from Herbruck’s Poultry Ranch Inc., a major egg supplier for McDonald’s restaurants and the largest egg producer in Michigan.
“Herbruck’s is fully operational today following the fire that destroyed a single building on Tuesday, April 30,” the farm’s Herb Herbruck stated. “No Herbruck’s employees or first responders were injured. The building was occupied by approximately 250,000 hens at the time of the fire and sadly none of the birds in this building survived.
“We are deeply saddened by the tragic loss of our hens.”
According to a report from the Ionia Sentinel-Standard, the fire took place about 6 p.m. Tuesday at 478 W. Portland Road. The paper notes this is the farm’s second fire in two years and its fifth in 16 years.
“We have been working closely with the fire department and an investigation of what started the fire is under way and it will likely take several weeks for officials to determine the cause,” Herbruck said. “We plan to rebuild and want to thank our local contractors who have been onsite since last evening.”
Herbruck added that he’s thankful for Ionia County first responders, “who quickly responded to this fire and contained the damage to a single barn.”
“We also appreciate our employees for their quick response in calling first responders which likely minimized further damage,” he said. “We are thankful for the community’s continued support and thoughts during this difficult time. Last night’s fire will not impact our ability to serve our many valued customers.”
Herbruck’s Poultry Ranch is the 13th largest egg producer in the United States, according to its website.
Zeeland Farm Services, a soybean processor with facilities in Zeeland and Ithaca, offered support for Herbruck’s during the recent fire, writing on Facebook that “our thoughts and prayers are with our friends at Herbruck’s Poultry Ranch, Inc.
“Please let us know if we can help in any way.”