MARICOPA COUNTY, Ariz. - After a massive fire on Saturday burned down two barns and killed 166,000 hens at Hickman's Family Farms in Tonopah, the family is detailing how they're recuperating and what the bird loss means for Arizona's egg supply.
Sharman Hickman, community outreach and support for the farms, says family and its employees are processing that devastating loss of their birds.
Their other concern is making sure their consumers get the food they need. Hickman says that the supply in the grocery stores will not be impacted.
"It was a massive loss," Hickman said. "We are all leaning on each other."
She says the fire was caused by an equipment malfunction, and that luckily, no one was seriously hurt.
The focus now is on their staff and the hens that survived.
"Our care teams are highly trained individuals that work with our veterinarian and visual inspection, making sure she has access to fresh water, fresh air, shelter for her and fresh feed," Hickman explained.
As far as supply, she says their other egg farms will be picking up the orders and prices will not be impacted.
As the farm moves forward, they are providing counseling services to all of their employees. "We are doing everything we possibly can so we will work through this," she said.
The farm says their frontline staff has been back on the scene as they clean up the debris. They hope to get a new barn rebuilt within a year.
Animal activists are also speaking out and will be holding a vigil on Wednesday for the hens that were killed.