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More people raise backyard chickens as egg prices continue to soar

Colorado Chickens
Posted at 8:55 AM, Feb 16, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-16 10:55:08-05

Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show eggs are 70% more expensive than they were a year ago.

Economists believe there are lots of factors driving up the costs.

“With eggs specifically, you know there’s not necessarily one specific thing that you can point to say that this is definitely the reason why eggs are more expensive,” said Michael Snipes, Associate Professor of Instructor in Economics at USF.

“It is tied in with this bigger picture of animal products really becoming more expensive,” he added.

Snipes said it’s hard to predict when prices will drop, with no guaranteed end in sight.

“With eggs, that’s just kind one of those random things in the economy that we don’t exactly know exactly what’s going to happen and when,” said Snipes.

As egg prices continue to soar, the cost of a carton has caused more people to consider raising chickens themselves.

“We haven’t purchased eggs in almost two years now,” said chicken owner Lauren Rozyla.

“I’ll be honest with you, I didn’t even really understand how much the price of eggs had gone up because we haven’t purchased them. I just pass it at the grocery store aisle,” said added.

For fellow chicken owner Michelle Taylor, worrying about the price of eggs is a thing of the past too.

“Interestingly enough, I didn’t really know what egg prices were because we were eating our chickens’ eggs,” said Taylor.

Amber Jordan has more than a dozen chickens that lay anywhere from 24-40 eggs a day.

“I wound up putting eggs online for free for people to come pick up and had such an abundance of people calling. Come to find out that very next morning, eggs were like five, six bucks a dozen. I had no clue,” said Jordan.

For anyone apprehensive about keeping backyard chickens, owners said that getting chickens just for the eggs isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

“Owning chickens is not for everyone. I’ll say that upfront,” said Rozyla.

If you’re considering it, experts recommend making preparations beforehand.

“One thing I would really recommend for anybody considering investing in chickens is do the work ahead of time to get a very secure coop,” said Rozyla.

A secure coop is necessary, so the chickens don’t become prey.

“Owls, hawks, coyotes, we do have foxes… they’ll find the ladies and they’ll eat them," Rozyla said.

After the initial setup, many chicken owners said their care is pretty basic.

“You do have to keep the cage clean and you have to get special food for them,” said Taylor.

“I would say we spend probably an average of $30 a month on their care between feed and hay and general maintenance,” said Rozyla.

While keeping chickens isn’t for everyone, the people who do it sure do love their flocks.

“I always wanted to own chickens. I’ve always been fascinated with them in an urban setting,” said Rozyla.

This article was written by Larissa Scott for WFTS.