As egg prices skyrocket, some Michigan residents decide to raise their own chickens

IONIA – Alex Courts noticed the price of eggs started to rise last fall.

Courts, the general manager of Ken’s Farm Market in Ionia, was not alarmed at the time, but that has changed.

“Once (prices) get to a certain point, which is really the highest we’ve ever seen – mid to late fall (2022) – that’s when I I’m like, ‘OK, that’s a little out of the ordinary,'” Courts said.

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According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index, the average price of a dozen Grade A eggs in the United States was $4.25 in December 2022, down from $1.79 $ in December 2021. This represents an increase of approximately 237%.

Why are the prices so high? It’s a mix between higher production costs and an outbreak of bird flu. The US Department of Agriculture reports that more than 43 million laying hens have died since the outbreak began in February 2022.

The US Department of Agriculture reports that more than 43 million laying hens have died since the outbreak began in February 2022, affecting egg supply.

Nancy Barr, executive director of Michigan Allied Poultry Industries, said there are “many variables” affecting the price of eggs in Michigan. She said farmers don’t set the price – they sell their eggs in a market free, prices changing daily.

“(Market impacts) include inflation, supply chain and employment costs, which impact everyone,” she said, adding that egg farmers Michigan are also very cost sensitive to fuel prices, which directly impacts the cost of feed and packaging. .

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