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Florida farm fire kills 250,000 chickens, a ‘rough day’ for Cal-Maine, one of country’s major egg producers

Florida farm fire kills 250,000 chickens, a 'rough day' for Cal-Maine, one of country's major egg producers

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Florida farm fire kills 250,000 chickens, a ‘rough day’ for Cal-Maine, one of country’s major egg producers

Jessica Flores
 
| USA TODAY
Easter traditions: How to make hard-boiled eggs that are easy to peelHere’s how long eggs should be on the stovetop when making hard-boiled eggs.ProblemSolved, USA TODAYA massive fire early Thursday killed as many as 250,000 chickens at a Florida farm operated by the company that sells eggs under brands including Eggland’s Best and Land O’ Lakes.Pasco County Fire Rescue Division Chief Shawn Whited said crews arrived around 1 a.m. at the Dade City farm near Tampa, operated by Cal-Maine, one of the country’s largest egg producers.No injuries were reported, but two of the four barns on the property were destroyed.Cal-Maine Vice President and CFO Max Bowman told USA TODAY it was a “rough day,” but that the company was “very thankful” nobody was hurt in the fire. Because the Dade City farm only contains pullets, which are young female chickens that have not started producing eggs, Bowman said there won’t be an immediate impact on the company’s egg supply.”It’s always a great loss to lose any birds,” Bowman said. “But given the number that we lost and given our overall footprint, it’s something that we’ll be able to manage around.”Based in Mississippi, Cal-Maine is the largest egg producer and distributor of shell eggs in the U.S., according to its website.The Florida State Fire Marshal is investigating the cause of the blaze, which resulted in an estimated $6 million in property damage and the value of the chickens.


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