You might already have noticed the eggs at the grocery store cost a lot more these days than ever before, which hits the budget so hard! The egg price increased by 8.5% in January compared to the previous month and by about 70% from January of last year, according to the most recent consumer price index.
There are many different causes for this price increase, including more expensive chicken feed, inflation, transportation costs, and the avian flu. The unprecedented spread of highly pathogenic bird flu, which can kill nearly 100% of chickens within 48 hours of exposure, is far worse, though. Avian flu is a highly contagious and potentially dangerous illness that has the potential to affect millions of chickens worldwide and significantly reduce poultry flocks. The CDC estimates that 58 million birds nationwide have been infected with avian influenza since early 2022. Health officials have had to slaughter millions of birds in advance due to its virulence. Additionally, 13% of laying flocks were killed in 2022 during the deadliest outbreak of this highly pathogenic flu, which tightened the supply chain and raised the price of eggs.
Should we, therefore, raise our chickens? It depends on several variables, including your lifestyle, your access to resources, and your preferences. If you keep your own chickens, you won't have to worry about market price fluctuations and can enjoy a consistent supply of fresh eggs. If you enjoy being outside and caring for animals, raising chickens can be both enjoyable and rewarding.
However, caring for chickens can take a lot of time and requires effort and dedication. Food, water, shelter, and safety from predators must all be provided. Depending on where you live, keeping chickens may be prohibited or necessitate a permit. There may be a learning curve and upfront setup costs, such as building a coop and buying equipment, if you have never raised chickens before.