A fire has killed 20,000 hens on a poultry farm in Italy, according to its local fire service.

Firefighters in the Italian province of Treviso in northeastern Italy were called to a fire in a poultry farm shed this week in the municipality of Volpago del Montello.

In a statement, the fire department said that the flames potentially broke out from the solar PV system on the roof of the 1,500 square metre poultry house, burning its insulating sheeting.

20,000 hens were killed in the blaze. \ Ramona Farrelly

It said that the flames “produced a considerable amount of smoke that asphyxiated the tens of thousands of laying hens present in the shed”.

Firefighters from three towns nearby - Montebelluna, Castelfranco and Treviso - all assisted at the scene of the incident.

The exact cause of the blaze has yet to be determined.