Massive fire burns at Texas egg laying operation

UPDATE: Feather Crest Farms CEO says chickens in one nearby poultry house have perished.

Krissa Welshans, Livestock Editor

January 30, 2024

2 Min Read
Bryan Fire Department

Authorities say it could be days before a massive fire at Feather Crest Farms in Kurten, Texas, is fully extinguished. While it is contained to two buildings, the fire, which broke out Monday around 5 p.m., has been difficult to extinguish due to the structure of the metal buildings. No human injuries or fatalities have been reported at this time.

One report suggested the buildings burning are warehouses, but aerial footage showed poultry houses nearby. Feather Crest Farms Chief Executive Officer Sam Krouse said in a statement to local station FOX 44 News early Tuesday afternoon that the fire had affected two chicken houses on site. Only one of the houses had chickens in it at the time of the fire, all of which perished, he said.

“We are thankful for the swift actions of our entire team and that they are all safe. We also deeply appreciate the first responders who reached the farm quickly and helped to prevent any further damage,” Krouse stated.

During a press conference held Monday night, Jason Ware, deputy emergency management coordinator for Brazos County, said firefighters were able to respond quickly and that multiple departments have been called to assist. Still, he said it would be a “multi-day operation” since “it is too dangerous for our firefighters to get into the building.”

Ware said approximately 100 firefighters were on the scene, including all of Brazos County as well as those from Bryan and College Station. “We have multiple surrounding counties here as well to provide manpower and water,” he added.

The cause of the fire is unknown at this time.

Feather Crest Farms, located in Kurten, and Pineywoods, located in Center, Texas, were purchased from the Barrett family by MPS Egg Farms in April 2020. At the time, the acquisition expanded MPS Egg Farms operations by approximately 1 million hens.

About the Author(s)

Krissa Welshans

Livestock Editor

Krissa Welshans grew up on a crop farm and cow-calf operation in Marlette, Michigan. Welshans earned a bachelor’s degree in animal science from Michigan State University and master’s degree in public policy from New England College. She and her husband Brock run a show cattle operation in Henrietta, Texas, where they reside with their son, Wynn.

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