PASCO COUNTY, Fla. – A fire early Thursday killed an estimated 250,000 chickens at a Florida farm operated by one of the nation’s largest egg producers.
According to Pasco Fire Rescue, crews were called around 12:30 a.m. Thursday for a two-alarm fire at Cal-Maine Foods at 41040 Simpson Farm Lane.
Fire officials said three barns, each containing up to 80,000 chickens, caught fire at the plant.
The company says on its website that it is the largest producer and distributor of shell eggs in the United States. It sells under brands including Egg-Land’s Best and Land O’ Lakes.
The farm, one of many Cal-Maine operates, is about 40 miles north of Tampa.
The company has more than 50 million chickens nationally and sells over a billion eggs annually, about 20% of the country’s production.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.