Egg Prices Hold Steady after Hen House Fire04 May 2012
US - Colorado lost about one-eighth of its egg production in a Weld County fire Monday that claimed the lives of nearly 500,000 hens.
However, the extensive loss from the blaze at the Boulder Valley Poultry farm near Roggen is not expected to increase egg prices at grocery stores in the region, industry experts said Tuesday.
Jerry Wilkins, president of the Colorado Egg Producers Association, said that because egg demand is typically low this time of the year, and because many other local producers have agreed to step up in response to Boulder Valley’s losses, the effects of this week’s fire are expected to be minimal.
“That’s about the only good news to come out of this,” Mr Wilkins said. “It was a terrible event otherwise.
“We’re very sorry for their loss.”
Prior to the fire, the Boulder Valley Poultry egg farm, located just south of Interstate 76, had about one million hens and produced about 25 percent of the eggs sold in the state, Wilkins said. Wilkins said many of those eggs go to large retail grocers, but he couldn’t provide the names of those stores.
The chickens that died Monday collectively produced about 250,000 eggs per day, he added.
Details of the financial impact for the Boulder Valley Poultry farm and the cause of the fire were not available Tuesday.
Employees at Boulder Valley Poultry were referring inquiries to a corporate spokesperson in Connecticut, who could not be reached Tuesday.
Cmdr. Margie Martinez, spokeswoman for the Weld County Sheriff’s Office, told The Greeley Tribune that damages from the fire are estimated to be in the millions, although she didn’t have more specific details. She said the cause of the fire was still under investigation.
Ms Martinez said three of the farm’s 10 buildings were destroyed in the blaze. Those buildings were 80 feet wide, 430 feet long and 20 feet tall, she said.
Two buildings were filled with chickens, while one was empty.
Monday’s fire started in the second to last building on the south end of the farm, which spans the length of Weld County Road 73 between Weld 18 and 22, then spread north.
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