Published: Feb 1, 2023
by Gabrielle Pickard-Whitehead
In Small Business News
Egg prices in the United States could be about to rise even higher as a massive fire destroyed a large coop at one of the country’s biggest egg producing farms.
Massive Hillandale Farms Fire Could Have Impact on High Egg Prices
Hillandale Farms in Bozrah, Connecticut, lost one of its chicken houses in the fire, with an estimated 100,000 chickens perishing in the blaze. The cause of the fire remains unknown as of writing, but the loss of such a significant source of egg production seems likely to impact the already high price of eggs.
Egg Prices to Rise Even Higher?
The price of eggs was already through the roof thanks to the avian flu which affected 57.82 million birds in 2022, and 3.8 million in December alone. The Consumer Price Index information released this January by the Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed the price of a dozen eggs to have reached $4.25, which represented a 18.4% spike in just one month.
To put that in perspective, the price of a dozen eggs just one year ago was $1.78. That’s a jump of 137.7% in just 12 months.
The United Egg Producers (aka Egg Farmers of America) had been hopeful and predicted the number of avian flu cases to decrease over the coming months, with a potential spike in spring. Prices would then likely begin to fall as production and supply chain issues eased-up.
This new devastation at Hillandale Farms could throw another spanner in the works.
Cause of Fire Investigation Continues
Reports says over 100 firefighters from multiple departments battled the blaze for around eight hours.
A statement from the farm’s executive leadership team said: “Our team continues to work closely with the local fire departments and state officials to thoroughly investigate the fire that occurred on Saturday, January 28. We can confirm that one chicken house was lost and that no other buildings were compromised. We are deeply grateful that no employees were hurt in the fire.”
Restaurants and food makers remain understandably concerned as we wait to see what impact the fire has on egg prices.
Get the latest headlines from Small Business Trends. Follow us on Google News.
Image: Envato Elements
On Wednesday, a massive fire broke out in a Hillandale Farms hen house in LeMars, Iowa, leaving more than one million chickens dead. The fire, reported to have started at 8:30 am, was quickly extinguished by fire crews in the area, but not before significant damage was done to the facility.
The impact of the fire is expected to ripple through the egg industry, with experts projecting an increase in the cost of eggs across the United States as a result of the reduced supply from Hillandale Farms.
The chickens kept at the hen house were used for egg production and export. As a result of the extensive damage to the hen house, Hillandale Farms is now unable to meet its production goals and will have to rely on other egg suppliers to replace the supply.
This disruption in the egg industry could lead to a spike in egg prices nationally, as demand continues to outstrip supply. Egg price increases have already been reported in the Midwest, as customers scramble to find eggs at their local supermarkets.
Egg industry experts suggest that the impact of the Hillandale fire could cause egg prices to rise as much as 10 percent, depending on the extent of the supply disruption.
For consumers, the solution may be to search for alternative egg suppliers that can meet their needs. Grocery stores can also adjust their prices to reflect the cost of eggs from other suppliers.
While the impact of the Hillandale Farms fire is expected to be short-term, its effects could be felt by consumers for weeks to come. For now, it is important to keep an eye out for rising egg prices at the store, and choose alternative egg suppliers if necessary to avoid a potential price hike.