Battery Farming
In Connecticut

Go to our photos page to see actual photos from inside a Connecticut battery egg farm.

Connecticut has more chickens per square mile than any state in the nation.  The egg industry is among the top agriculture businesses in Connecticut, with annual receipts of between $60 million and $100 million.  Along with Maine, Connecticut controls the egg market of New England.

Kofkoff Egg Farm controls more than 90 percent of Connecticut's egg market with 4.7 million hens at 4 different farms in the state.  Kofkoff produces 12 million eggs every week.  Though you many not recognize the name Kofkoff, the "farm fresh" eggs you buy in New England, and perhaps beyong, may be from them as they distribute their eggs to other companies.  For instance, Trader Joe's sells eggs from KofKoff.

Smaller commercial farms have almost all gone out of business, unable to compete with Kofkoff's dirty practices.  KofKoff Egg Farm was once ordered to pay 34 workers $80,000 in back wage and hour law violations.  Last year Kofkoff opposed a labor law that would have given agricultural workers more bargaining rights, as well as set up a seven-member committee to hear about labor disputes in the agricultural industry.  Their reasoning was that it would make them less competitive, i.e. they would have to pay their workers more.  The farm has also faced warnings about FDA violations.

Recently, all 4.7 million of Kofkoff's hens were in quarantine as a result of an outbreak of avian influenza:

News articles on KofKoff's avain influenza outbreak:
"4.7 million chickens quarantined" (CNN) March 6, 2003
"State investigating possinle avian influenza outbreak" (News-Times) March 7, 2003
"Chicken farms quarantined as state tests for 'fowl plague'" (Norwich Bulletin)
March 11, 2003
"State to combat avian flu with vaccines" (News-Times) March 15, 2003
"Farmers ponder changes in planned in ag agency" (News-Times) March 17, 2003
"Tests show no signs of avian influenza at 2 farms" (News-Times) March 20, 2003
"Tons of dead chickens dumped in Manchester" (Hartford Courant) March 21, 2003
"Euthanized Chickens End Up In Landfill" (Hartford Courant) March 22, 2003 
"Egg Farm's Shipments To Landfill Cause Concern" (Hartford Courant) March 27, 2003

Articles on avian influenza:
"HK on alert as killer bird flu returns" (CNN) February 20, 2003
"Belgium Reports Two New Suspected Bird Flu Cases" (Reuters) April 20, 2003

University of Connecticut Poultry Pages

Chicken Egg Production Connecticut 860 and 203 Area Codes Business Listing.  USDA's Agricultural Marketing Services's plant listing for Connecticut.

Get involved in Connecticut Animal Rights:
To stay up-to-date with animal rights activism in Connecticut consider joining "VeganWay," a YahooGroups email list that has intent to bring together all individuals and groups from Connecticut (U.S.A) working for the liberation of non-human animals.  However, activists and groups from other areas are welcomed. The VeganWay list is for posting action alerts, news, newsletters, schedules of actions and protests, and discussions about animal rights and animal rights advocacy.

Check out the links page for other Connecticut links.

Elsewhere in New England:
Maine is the other large egg-producing state in New England.  In Maine there are three large battery egg farms.  DeCoster Egg Farms, now Quality Egg of New England, is the largest and has had the most problems, ranging from environmental destruction to immigrant worker exploitation.  They confine approximately 3.5 million hens.  Dorothy Egg Farm and Radlo Bros. are the other two large egg farms.   Information about all of these farms can be found on the internet.  Google is a great place to begin an investigation.