On Monday 29th January 2024, a massive fire destroyed several buildings at Feather Crest Chicken Farm, a chicken farm in Brazos County, Texas, US, and killed possibly thousands of birds before they were sent to be killed in slaughterhouses. The Brazos County Sheriff’s Office told The National Desk no humans were injured, two buildings were damaged, and one of them was keeping chickens captive, who all died in the fire. Huge plumes of black smoke could be seen from a distance.

The sheriff’s office received a call about the fire Monday around 5 p.m. but on Tuesday morning the fire was still burning. On Wednesday most of the fire was extinguished but authorities were still treating hot spots. The farm, which is located over 100 miles north of Houston, is in a remote area without any nearby fire hydrants, so the fire departments had to rely on a water shuttle system.

The cause of the fire had not been confirmed, but one thing is certain: this was not the chickens’ fault. The death of the chickens had already been decided from the very day they were born in the animal agriculture industry. It is even possible that all things considered, the chickens who died at the fire may have suffered less than if they had lived their entire lives in factory farms and then killed in slaughterhouses (a tragedy that no mainstream media reports, and it happens every day in most countries in the world). 

Sam Krouse, Feather Crest Farms CEO, told Scripps News, “The fire affected two chicken houses on site, and we are very sad to say one house had chickens in it at the time that have been lost.”  What he probably meant is that the profit he would have got for killing the chickens in the way he preferred was lost to him, as the chickens were already condemned so their lives had already been lost to them.

Jordi Casamitjana
“Originally from Catalonia, but resident in the UK for several decades, Jordi is a vegan zoologist and author, who has been involved in different aspects of animal protection for many years. In addition to scientific research, he has worked mostly as an undercover investigator, animal welfare consultant, and animal protection campaigner. He has been an ethical vegan since 2002, and in 2020 he secured the legal protection of all ethical vegans in Great Britain from discrimination in a landmark employment tribunal case that was discussed all over the world. He is also the author of the book, ‘Ethical Vegan: a personal and political journey to change the world’.