“Egg inflation”, Americans raise their own chickens in the yard but get a bad ending

“Egg inflation”, Americans raise their own chickens in the yard but get a bad ending

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2023-03-16 01:09:44

“Egg Inflation”

Inflation and outbreaks of bird flu caused egg prices to skyrocket. Since January 2022, more than 58 million birds have died from avian influenza infection or were culled, severely affecting the egg supply. Over the past year, egg prices have increased by more than 70%, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Earlier this year, The New York Times and Insider reported on many Americans turning to chickens at home in response to inflation.

Farmers say they have received countless requests to buy egg-laying chickens to raise at home, a trend that even predates “egg inflation”.

Many people come up with the idea of ​​raising chickens in the backyard. Photo: Insider.

Tractor Supply Co., the leading supplier of chicks, told The Wall Street Journal that its chicken sales have more than doubled since 2018 and expect to sell 11 million chicks in the year alone. 2023.

Raising chickens yourself to save money, but it costs more than buying eggs

But backyard-raised chickens may not be the viable budget-savings some were hoping for.

Breeders have forecast people throwing away their chickens after realizing they can’t keep up with the costs or time involved in looking after the chickens.

Matt Lieurance, co-founder of Farm Animal Refuge in San Diego, California, told Insider: “People mainly raised chickens for eggs, but there was no suitable barn and the chickens were soon attacked by predators.“.

Chickens can turn into prey for wolves, hawks or marsupials. Chicken farmers can buy a chicken coop, but they soon become too small as the chickens grow older or offer insufficient protection from predators. A suitable coop system for backyard chickens can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars.

There are also some costs associated with free-range chickens that newcomers may not be aware of, such as increasingly expensive feed costs and unexpectedly high medical bills due to the chickens needing a veterinarian. specialist medicine.

Besides, many people also don’t know that it can take 4 to 6 months for chicks to start laying eggs or that they will only lay eggs for a few years.

A funny mistake that chicken buyers often make is that they want to buy hens to lay eggs but buy the wrong rooster.

Determining the sex of chicks can be difficult and stores often sell a small group of hens and sometimes a rooster.

When you buy chicks, they tell you it’s a hen, and then in 6 to 8 weeks one of them starts to crow and your neighbor complains,” Lieurance recounts.

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