One of the Top Egg Producers Just Suffered a Devastating Fire—What Does That Mean for Egg Prices?

Even more bad news for egg farmers.

Cropped image of man collecting egg at poultry farm
Photo: Halfdark/Getty Images

This week, about 100,000 hen-laying eggs were killed in a fire at a Hillandale Farms farm in Connecticut. Hillandale Farms, a family-owned company out of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, raises over 20 million chickens and is one of the top five producers of eggs in the country.

The fire took place at the Bozrah farm, about 30 minutes outside of Hartford, on January 28, according to Hillandale Farms. One chicken house was lost in the fire, but no other buildings were impacted and no employees suffered injuries, the company says.

The biggest loss in the fire was the approximately 100,000 hens that contribute to Hillandale Farms' egg production. However, the good news is Hillandale Farms has multiple egg farms nationwide that are continuing to produce eggs.

How Will the Fire Impact Egg Prices?

Obviously, as we're facing an egg shortage and seeing egg prices skyrocket, this news might worry some consumers. But, rest assured, the Department of Agriculture isn't overly concerned with the recent loss.

"According to a USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) report from January 2023, there are more than 373 million egg laying hens in the United States. The anticipated potential impact on egg prices due to this incident is minimal to none at this time," says a Department of Agriculture spokesperson.

It appears that we likely won't see any direct impact of this fire on grocery store prices. The increase in egg prices that we're seeing today is largely attributed to the 2022 avian flu, which has affected more than 58 million birds. Those 58 million affected birds make up a large portion of the egg-laying population, explaining why we saw egg shortages, and thus with higher prices. In the grand scheme of things, 100,000 hens isn't likely to have as big of an impact on nationwide egg supplies as that of the avian flu.

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