SHOREHAM, Vt. (AP) -- The future of a pheasant preserve in Vermont is in question after a New Year's Eve fire burned a barn that housed a hatchery and more than 100 adult pheasants.
Peaceable Hill game farm and preserve in Shoreham offers pheasant hunting and also sells pheasant eggs, chicks and mature birds raised at its hatchery.
In the past, the farm has produced 160,000 eggs a year. More than 20,000 have been sold annually, as well as about 90,000 pheasants from eggs that hatched, since 1993.
Roughly 1,000 pheasants have remained at the preserve, where customers have paid to hunt from September to April, the Rutland Herald reported (http://bit.ly/1cop4TC ).
Tuesday's fire destroyed the barn, hatchery, a tractor, other equipment, hay as well as the 100 birds. No people were injured.
The loss of pheasants could limit hunting this year, but the destruction of the hatchery could have a greater impact on customers.
Near the end of February each year the preserve begins incubating eggs that hatch at a rate of more than 3,000 a week to meet orders submitted by customers months in advance. Owner Glenn Symon says he needs to decide soon whether to replace the facility or advise his customers to look elsewhere.