Agriculture & Allied Industries

As egg prices soar, some Michiganders decide to raise their own chickens


According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index, the average price for a dozen Grade A eggs in the U.S. was $4.25 in December 2022 compared to $1.79 in December 2021. That's an increase of about 237 percent.

IONIA — Alex Courts noticed the price of eggs starting to rise last fall. 

Courts, the general manager of Ken’s Farm Market in Ionia, wasn’t alarmed at the time — but that changed.

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

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More:Why are egg prices so high? And when will they come down?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index, the average price for a dozen Grade A eggs in the U.S. was $4.25 in December 2022 compared to $1.79 in December 2021. That’s an increase of about 237 percent.

Why are prices so high? It’s a toss-up between higher production costs and an avian flu outbreak. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports more than 43 million egg-laying hens died since the beginning of the outbreak in February 2022.  

The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports more than 43 million egg-laying hens died since the beginning of the outbreak in February 2022, affecting egg supply.

Nancy Barr, executive director of Michigan Allied Poultry Industries, said there are “numerous variables” affecting the price of eggs in Michigan. She said farmers don’t set the price — they sell their eggs on an open market, with prices changing daily.   

“(Impacts on the market) include inflation, supply chain and employment costs, which impact everyone,” she said, adding Michigan egg farmers are highly sensitive to the cost of fuel prices, as well, which directly impacts the cost of feed and packaging.





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