Farmers Face Challenges to Afford Costs of Egg Production Farmers Face Challenges to Afford Costs of Egg Production

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News)– In 2022, the price of eggs in the United States rose around 60% for consumers. Large, Grade A eggs had a 138% price increase, going from $1.79 to $4.25. In a country rippled with inflation, eggs aren’t the only thing that is increasing in price, but it is something everyday Americans feel in their wallets.

Farmers, too, are affected. Most farms have chickens, and therefore produce eggs. For many, especially with smaller land to make use of, eggs are where most of their profits come from. Senela Delic Helgerson is the co-owner of Flippity Flap Farms in Manlius, New York. The farm is located in her and her husband’s backyard.

Many farmers have had to get creative to make chicken feed more affordable. Helgerson started sourcing hers from a local mill that she drives an hour to get to. The cost of transportation is something farmers have to think about, too, with gas prices increasing. She buys all of the ingredients there and puts the feed together herself.

“Even that has gone up,” Helgerson said. “So we had to increase our egg prices as well.”

It was not something she wanted to do, especially because she has loyal clients who have been going to her for years. Many consumers get their eggs from local farms because they are free-range and organic.

Avian Influenza, also known as “the bird flu,” is a large part of why eggs and the food to feed chickens has been increasing in price. It is a virus, so when large flocks of chickens and hens are in such close quarters, it spreads quickly. A lot of the time, it is fatal. The affected animals may show no signs of illness before they die. The sickness has not reached Syracuse chickens yet, although Helgerson noted that she has heard of a case in Oswego, New York.

Losing even one hen can potentially be detrimental to a business. They are the ones producing the eggs.

“Hens don’t lay everyday,” Helgerson said. “There are different kinds of breeds and certain breeds lay more than other breeds.”

The process of selling eggs requires thought and care, and when something like bird flu makes it unpredictable, it becomes harder to produce. When less eggs are being sourced, they cost more in grocery stores around the country.

Helgerson, and many others, have begun farming other products to make up for the money lost. Not only is the price of eggs going up, the price of living is too. Flippity Flap Farms now sells California Meat Rabbits. They are working on expanding this part of their business.

Olivia Maniscalco: “What came first, the chicken or the egg… This little guy thinks it’s the chicken… Unbeknownst to them, it is getting harder and harder for farmers to keep these chickens and hens … You probably have noticed an increase in the price of eggs… well, American farmers can feel this too… Co-owner of Flippity Flap Farms Senela Delić Helgerson has noticed it is getting more and more expensive to produce eggs…”

Senela Delić Helgerson: “It’s affecting our business because we have to um like increase our egg prices because we have to like pay more for feed and transportation to get the food. You have to have a significant number of hens so when the feed comes up you really see that in your cost because hens and chickens in general eat a lot of food. “

Olivia: “She says it was about three years ago when she noticed prices for chicken feed going up…Senela and her husband have started selling california meat rabbits to make up for profits lost by what they would usually be earning from eggs…”

Senela: “We did have to um do that because of you know our veggies and our eggs aren’t sufficient enough for us to sustain ourselves.”

Olivia: “Many farmers across America are being impacted by a bird flu that is killing large groups of chickens. This is also playing a part in raising consumer prices for eggs. Luckily, Senela’s chickens are as healthy as can be. Olivia Maniscalco for N-C-C News.”

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