Rising Egg Prices Have Some Considering Raising Chickens

Supply chain and labor issues, as well as bird flu, are being blamed for a 50% jump in egg prices reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

NBC Universal, Inc.

As customers continue seeing the prices of eggs go up, some are thinking outside the carton.

For restaurants, like In a Pickle in Waltham, Massachusetts, the question remains how long hefty ingredient price tags can be swallowed without dishing out an up-charge to customers. In other cases, the answer to the rising costs comes down to raising livestock.

Employees at In a Pickle are taking extra care to not crack extra eggs.

"Now, it's like gold back there," said Tim Burke, the restaurant's owner and chef. "We're, like, diving for the eggs as they fall to the ground."

Egg items make up about 50% of the menu at the popular brunch spot, but the rising cost is putting Burke in a new pickle.

"We're trying to work with it as best we can, but at 50 cents an egg, it's getting crazy," said Burke. "A case of eggs, which is 30 dozen, last year was $56. This year, right now, it's $185. It's getting crazy."

Burke has posted about the price jump on social media, hoping to keep his customers informed.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says egg prices have jumped 50% in just the last year. The climbing costs are being attributed to supply chain and labor issues, as well as bird flu.

While Burke struggles not to pass the costs onto customers, customers are coming to nearby Agway Waltham Farm and Home in droves.

"Everybody's calling to see, you know, if we have chickens available for them to buy," said Tammy Rossi, who helps out at the store.

She says people have started to look for ways to have their own egg production at home because they're so expensive, making their poultry a very popular purchase.

"We had probably 300 in August, and now we probably have maybe 50, 60 chickens left," Rossi said.

She says those chickens that are left cost about $25 apiece, and they recommend buying at least two at a time to keep them in a flock. They do require upkeep, but she says even when you factor in putting up a coop and buying food, the value is there.

"Depending on the type you have, some people get a couple dozen a week," said Rossi. "So yeah, totally worth it."

It is important to keep in mind the zoning where you live, because the rules depend on your location. A page on the state website gives information on Massachusetts law regarding backyard chickens.

If you're looking to rescue a chicken, MSPCA-Angell tweeted information Tuesday about some birds available for adoption.

Contact Us