Why egg prices are so high, and some shelves are so bare
Egg prices have been on the rise in recent weeks, with a dozen costing some people nearly $10. But chicken egg farmers say they are not to blame for the woes surrounding their eggs, from price increases to supply shortages.
“We are seeing some very temporary, hyper-local isolated shortages, in some areas," said Emily Metz, president and CEO of the American Egg Board. "We’re not seeing any panic buying. I think it’s become kind of trendy, quite honestly, to post a pictures of an egg shelf being a little bit emptier.”
Instead, Metz says the bird flu has wiped out approximately 6% of chickens in the United States. On top of that, demand for eggs was high during the holidays. Then you have the inflation issue.
Metz says that shortages might appear worse as the industry works to shore up supplies.
The bird flu has struck particularly hard over the past year, and has been called the deadliest such outbreak in U.S. history. The virus is being carried far and wide by wild bird populations, which transmit it to domestic and commercial operations, such as chicken and egg farms.
In the Northwest, one such egg operation was hit hard in December. More than a million chickens were destroyed after coming down with the bird flu at a farm in Franklin County, Washington. Oakdell Farms has operations in Utah, Idaho, and Washington. It provides eggs to 11 states. When its Washington farm was hit with bird flu, it was a tough blow to farmers and egg customers.
Dyer Oxley contributed to this report.