BOZRAH, Conn. (WTNH) — Authorities in Connecticut are still investigating the cause of a massive fire at a chicken farm fire that killed approximately 100,000 egg-laying hens.
The fire started in a large chicken coop at Hillandale Farms on Schwartz Road in Bozrah around 1 p.m. Saturday, prompting a response from dozens of firefighters from the area. Officials said the blaze was extinguished Saturday night.
The Connecticut Department of Agriculture confirmed that approximately 100,000 egg-laying hens died in the blaze. According to the USDA, as of September 2022, there are more than 372 million egg-laying hens in the United States, so the expected impact on egg prices because of this is minimal to zero.
“Compared to the number of chickens nationally, and the number of egg-laying hens nationally, it’s not a lot,” said Alyssa McDonnell, a research assistant at the Zwick Center at UConn. “It’s a lot smaller than the number that was affected by the avian flu outbreak this past year.”
Still, the loss for this farm may be significant.
“When I heard about the chickens, I was really upset,” Crystal Kyllo said. “That’s a lot of chickens.”
Hillandale Farms posted the following statement on its website:
“Our leadership team is proactively working with fire officials to support a thorough investigation of the cause of the fire. All employees are safe. There will be no further comment at this time.”
According to its website, Hillandale Farms is one of the country’s top 5 egg producers, raising over 20 million chickens for eggs.
There are 13 other chicken coops on the property, and tractor-trailer trucks were seen coming in and out all day Monday, so the farm otherwise appears to be operating business as usual.
No firefighters were injured while battling the three-alarm blaze.