About 100,000 chickens killed in Bozrah egg farm fire, official says

BOZRAH — About 100,000 chickens died in a large weekend egg farm fire, according the state’s farming agency.

Officials are still trying to confirm the exact number of egg-laying hens that died at Hillandale Farm Saturday, said Rebecca E. Murphy, spokesperson for the Connecticut Department of Agriculture. Damage at the farm at 17 Schwartz Road in Bozrah was limited to a single structure, Murphy said.

“The Connecticut Department of Agriculture commends the swift actions of both employees and the many first responder units to contain the fire at Hillandale Farms in Bozrah to a single structure, preventing any additional losses,” she said.

The Norwich Firefighters Local 892 said 20 fire departments helped local firefighters with the blaze, which produced massive clouds of billowing smoke.

The deaths of so many chickens is not expected to impact egg prices, Murphy said. She pointed to a USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service report from September, noting there are more than 372 million egg-laying hens in the United States.

No workers were injured, Hillandale Farms officials said in a statement posted Saturday on the Gettysburg, Pa.-based company's website.

"Our leadership team is proactively working with fire officials to support a thorough investigation of the cause of the fire," the company said.

Christine Dempsey may be reached at Christine.Dempsey@hearstmediact.com.