Twenty thousand chickens were killed in a fire at a barn on a factory farm in Overijssel province at the weekend.
Firemen were able to prevent the blaze spreading to a nearby barn with a similar number of chickens, Nos television reported.
The fire led to the release of asbestos which blew into nearby fields and rendered the farmhouse uninhabitable. The farmer and his family have been moved to emergency accommodation.
Fires on poultry farms are not uncommon. Just over a week ago, some 48,000 chickens were killed in a fire at a factory farm in the Utrecht village of Hekendorp . In January, at least 18,000 chickens were killed in a fire in the province of Brabant when one of the four sheds burst into flames.
In July 2011, 170,000 died in a similar fire in Drenthe. In May last year, 20,000 perished in a fire near Utrecht, while 45,000 died in a fire in October 2010.