Achicken barn on Hillside Colony was destroyed by fire March 23, with the loss of about 7,000 layer hens and another 9,000 pullets.
“The boys were doing chores, then they came home for lunch. We were barely sitting down for lunch and we saw there was smoke coming out of the roof,” said Aaron Waldner, manager of the colony just northeast of Brandon.
“I don’t know if it was electric or whatever. It wasn’t that cold. It was gone in no time.”
A police report from Blue Hills Area RCMP stated that the Brandon fire department responded to the fire, which left the structure completely destroyed.
No one was injured. Estimates of the damages, including lost poultry, were more than $500,000.
Blue Hills Area RCMP in conjunction with the Office of the Fire Commissioner, continue to investigate the cause of the blaze.
Waldner said that the barn, built in the mid-1960s, was in “good shape,” with a new metal roof put on about 10 years ago, and the cages had been recently replaced.
The barn and contents were insured. The colony, which farms 8,000 acres and raises 100 head of cattle along with turkeys and pigs, plans to rebuild the barn as soon as possible.
“It’s our bread and butter. You’ve got to have eggs for breakfast,” said Waldner. daniel. [email protected]
– AARON WALDNER