It's Happening: The Price of Eggs

By Julie Perine on January 22, 2023 from It’s Happening via Connect-Bridgeport.com

 
I remember the saying of long ago, “What’s that have to do with the price of eggs in China?” The phrase was often used when someone said something totally irrelevant to the conversation.
 
These days, the conversation is about eggs – and their price – everywhere.
 
As you all know, the cost of a dozen eggs has skyrocketed in a year.  The average price in December 2021 was $1.78 and in December 2022 that jumped to $4.25 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). And if you live in California, that price could be as high as $7 because the state requires layers to be cage-free.
 
So, why have eggs become such hot commodities? Well, it seems chickens have had a health pandemic of their own. Since early-2022, an avian influenza virus AKA bird flu has wiped out plenty of hens, more than a 2015 outbreak (Centers for Disease Control.) To put it in perspective, the virus has killed 4 million cage-free hens alone. Add in the chicken farmers’ rising cost of feed, fuel, and other things and those prices just keep going up.
 
That leaves us scrambling to purchase eggs at decent price or seeking out a local raiser. And that leads me to the reason for today’s blog.
There has also been a rise in interest in raising chickens. That started before the chicken flu outbreak. It actually started during the early months of the COVID pandemic. People need a hobby, an educational one at that. Kids learned about the life cycle, the responsibility of farming, and the silver lining was that these folks didn’t have to go to the store to purchase their eggs.
 
That trend, of course, continues, especially since egg prices are so high. A handful of my family members and friends raise chickens. They say it’s work, but also rewarding. Some raise different breeds, so they have various color eggs.
 
At their “What the Cluck” homestead, Christa and Chris Parker have six chickens: ISA browns, cinnamon queens and Ameraucanas.
 
“This is our first time having chickens. It’s been an experience raising them – from making sure they are safe from predators to learning about their personalities to making sure their coop door opens and closes on time,” Christa said.
 
But there are perks. They are smart and teachable. And fun to have around.
 
“Our granddaughters love hanging in the chicken run with them, giving them treats and petting them,” Christa said. “And the most rewarding is going out every day and collecting a rainbow of colored eggs.”
 
Justin and Sarah Elliott also raise chickens - among other animals. During a 2022 interview, they said they love that their kids are growing up in an environment which provides plenty of outdoor activity, responsibility, accountability and the reward of hard work. The kids have chores and their daughter Isla, they said, is a "chicken wrangler." 
 
"She goes out there in her muck boots and a stick, puts the hickens in at night and collects eggs," Justin said. "She's all about it."
 
Community Development Director Andrea Kerr said the city has heard from residents interested in raising chickens.
 
“We receive minimal calls, but we tell them they are prohibited. I always tell them they can come and approach City Council,” she said.
 
The reason it is prohibited is because it would be difficult to monitor and could potentially get out of control.  The city does take great care to make sure our community is a quality place to live. 
 
What are your throughts on the matter? Please comment on this blog or email julie@connect-bridgeport.com. 
 
 



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