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Big Bend poultry farmers scramble to fight back Egg-flation

Dozens of eggs sit on a shelf.
Anna Jones
WFSU Public Media
Organic eggs for sale in a supermarket.

Egg farmers and consumers in the Florida Panhandle are facing an “egg-normous” dilemma. The Consumer Price Index notes that just within the past year egg prices have increased by 60%.

Part of that is driven by the presence of an avian influenza that spreads swiftly among birds. The US Department of Agriculture has been tracking the virus since July of last year, but that’s not the only factor behind the rise in egg costs.

Gigi Carroll owns Whitetail Hollow Farms and regularly sells her eggs at the Havana Farmers Market. She said the cost of chicken feed is also going up.

“To combat the cost of feed we are resurrecting our farm from stationary hoop coops to mobile coops that will be moved daily on pasture to offset the need for supplemental feed,” Carroll said in a text message. “We are also reevaluating the breeds we use for layers and only keeping the ones that produce the most number of eggs per year.”

The cost of transportation and packaging is rising too. Just ask Camryn Barnhart with the company Local Hens.

“We have a lot of contacts within the packaging world, at least for eggs, and we have seen more increases in the last two years than the past ten years combined,” Barnhart said.

Local Hens helps connect consumers with local farmers and works to promote eating local foods.

Corrected: February 7, 2023 at 12:24 PM EST
A previous version of this story left off the S on the name of the company Local Hens. The correct name is Local Hens.
Adrian Andrews is a multimedia journalist with WFSU Public Media. He is a Gadsden County native and a first-generation college graduate from Florida A&M University. Adrian is also a military veteran, ending his career as a Florida Army National Guard Non-Comissioned Officer.

Adrian has experience in print writing, digital content creation, documentary, and film production. He has spent the last four years on the staff of several award-winning publications such as The Famuan, Gadsden County News Corp, and Cumulus Media before joining the WFSU news team.