Up to 50,000 chickens were killed in a fire which burnt part of a West Auckland poultry farm to the ground.

The fire has prompted the group SAFE to call for an urgent review of farmed animal housing.

Firefighters were called to Stoney Creek farm on Opanaku Rd about 1.30am and arrived to find three hatchery sheds ablaze. The sheds measured about 150m x 50m.

Henderson senior fire station officer Jason Orchard told Stuff up to 50,000 chickens had died in the blaze.


The first firefighters to arrive called for backup, and at its peak there were nine fire trucks battling the blaze.

The three sheds were burned to the ground and two fire trucks remained on site this morning to dampen down hotspots.

None of the chickens in the hatcheries which caught fire survived the blaze, a spokesman said.

The poultry farm had four hatcheries on site but the fourth was away well away from the others and is undamaged.

A witness told the Herald that fire engines were being used as water shuttles to keep the fire at bay as there were no hydrants in the area.

SAFE Head of Campaigns Marianne Macdonald said the poultry fire highlighted the dangerous conditions factory animals are subject to.

"It's vital that factory farms such as these need effective early detection systems and sprinklers, as well as sufficient water supplies, not only for the animals' sake but to prevent harm to firefighters trying to save these animals."

There was no danger to neighbouring properties during the fire, a spokesman said.