Big Bend poultry farmers scramble to fight back Egg-flation
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.