As the average price for a dozen eggs has more than doubled since last year, many Americans have turned to backyard chicken coops to recoup the costs and forgo the high grocery store prices.
Experts say the highly pathogenic avian influenza is primarily to blame for the price increase. Nearly 58 million birds and counting have died across 47 states in the past year, which is more than 5% of the national chicken flock. Farmers have been working hard to replace their flocks as soon as possible following the outbreak.
According to USDA data, the outbreak had affected more than 300 flocks of farm-raised poultry as of last Friday.
Inflation also has a significant impact on egg prices. When inflation rises, so do the prices of all goods and services. With annual inflation exceeding 7%, it's unsurprising that the price of eggs has risen noticeably.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Americans are now paying, on average, $4.25 for a dozen eggs. Last month, egg prices were up nearly 59.9% compared to the year before, and some reports show that eggs are flying off the shelves in stores across the country.
The high demand for eggs during the holiday season, when many people bake cookies and cakes, is partly because eggs are an essential ingredient in baked goods and not just for breakfast.
In response, many people have decided to take matters into their own hands and start running chicken coops in their backyards.
Starting a backyard chicken coop can be a fun and rewarding hobby for the whole family. It provides a way to save money on eggs and allows people to control the quality of their food and ensure that the chickens are treated humanely.
However, it is essential to note that starting a backyard chicken coop comes with its own set of challenges. It requires time and effort to care for the chickens, and local laws and regulations regarding backyard chickens vary from place to place.
Before starting a backyard chicken coop, it is essential to research the laws and regulations in your area. This may include obtaining permits, adhering to specific housing and fencing requirements, and ensuring your coop is far from neighbors.
Additionally, you will need to invest in a coop, feeders, waterers, and other equipment. Be prepared to spend time daily caring for your chickens, including feeding, watering, and cleaning their coop.
Despite the challenges, many people find that the rewards of raising chickens in their backyard are well worth the effort. Some benefits are fresh eggs, the opportunity to teach children about where food comes from, and the satisfaction of raising your own animals.
If you're considering starting a backyard chicken coop, take the time to research the requirements and responsibilities and make sure it's the right fit for you and your family.
The USDA has reported a decrease in egg prices by 15 cents, thanks to the increase in egg production and the drop in demand post-holidays, which is a positive sign of egg prices continuing to decrease in the coming months.
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