Egg Prices on the Rise: Avian Flu and Inflation to Blame
Egg prices have skyrocketed across the nation in the last year, with the average price of a dozen large white Grade A chicken eggs increasing from $1.79 in December 2021 to $4.25 in December 2022, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Center. The cause of this dramatic increase is mainly due to the avian flu outbreak, which has killed more than 58 million birds in commercial and backyard flocks since last February. This strain of avian flu is difficult to contain, as it can spread through wild bird populations as well as poultry birds, and has drastically disrupted egg supplies.
In addition to the avian flu, the record inflation rates our society is dealing with, as well as supermarkets themselves, have contributed to the rise in egg prices. Break’n Eggs manager Annie Thistlethwaite also noted the increased costs for milk and butter, takeout containers, and labor as another factor driving up the cost of eggs.
However, the price of eggs has started to come down, with the January data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture showing an average price of a dozen eggs of just over $3. Rebecca Thistlethwaite, Oregon State University Extension Service livestock specialist and director of the Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network in the OSU College of Agricultural Sciences, noted that while raising chickens in the backyard isn't necessarily cheaper than buying eggs at the market, it may prove to be a good idea in the long run. Thus, it is important to do some research before buying those cute little chicks.
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1. “Backyard Chickens Won't Save You From High Egg Prices” The Takeout, 2 Feb. 2023, https://thetakeout.com/inflation-egg-prices-vs-raising-backyard-chickens-info-1850061731
2. “Egg prices are declining, but experts say it's still not a bad idea to get your own hens” WBRZ, 3 Feb. 2023, https://www.wbrz.com/news/egg-prices-are-declining-but-experts-say-it-s-still-not-a-bad-idea-to-get-your-own-hens/
3. “High egg prices have you thinking about raising chickens? Here’s what you need to consider” OregonLive, 4 Feb. 2023, https://www.oregonlive.com/hg/2023/02/high-egg-prices-have-you-thinking-about-raising-chickens-heres-what-you-need-to-consider.html