Some 7,000 baby turkeys perished in a barn fire in Lancaster, Massachusetts, according to the family.
A state fire marshal spokeswoman said no one was injured in the Thursday night fire at at Bob's Turkey Farm on Old Common Road.
The owners said a passerby alerted them to the flames just before 6 p.m.
"Someone drove in the yard really fast," said Susan Miner. "They said, 'You have a barn on fire.' I told my daughter to call 911 and come running down, but it was too late."
The birds were being raised to reach maturity in time for Thanksgiving. They ranged in age from a day to three weeks old.
"We lost 7,000 turkeys tonight in the fire," the farm announced on Facebook. "These numbers are devastating to all that we are and we will update you as we know more as far as our future in the community."
A later post explained the turkeys typically live outdoors "but small birds such as the ones we lost have specific needs."
"We spend day in and day out feeding, watering, nurturing and growing these animals and to say we are jolted by the loss of so many lives is not enough. Our heart, soul and 3 generations are in this farm and how we are currently feeling is not able to be conveyed through texts," the family wrote.
The state fire marshal's office is investigating the cause of the fire but said it does not appear to be suspicious.
The farm said on its Facebook page that it is open on Friday, and the owners are working to clean up the debris and assess the extent of the damage. The barn was destroyed in the fire but the owners said they do plan to rebuild.
U.S. & World
Bob's Turkey Farm was started back in 1954 by Robert Van Hoof with just 125 turkeys and now raises about 10,000 turkeys at the Lancaster farm and another 3,000 at its Ashburnham location. His children have since taken over his business.