With fresh eggs in short supply at supermarkets, Americans are hatching their own plans.
Chicken hatcheries across the nation report a spike in orders not only for egg-laying hens but also for broilers — chickens that have been bred and raised for meat — according to The Washington Post.
“This has to do with the perceived hoarding that is going on,” said Bud Wood, president and owner of McMurray’s Hatchery, a century-old establishment in Iowa. “People are afraid they won’t be able to buy eggs and chickens in the grocery store, and they don’t want to have to go to the store and possibly be infected.”
According to the Post, egg prices have skyrocketed with wholesale eggs prices tripling since the pandemic panic began three weeks ago. Grocery stores are imposing limits on eggs and other popular items, such as milk.
The New York Times reports that for chicken hatcheries, the weeks before Easter are always the busiest, but this year, baby chickens are almost impossible to find.
Folks are flocking to hatcheries not only to find a food source, but also to find companionship.
“It’s just very hopeful watching them grow,” said Amy Annelle, a musician from Texas, who had no plans to get chickens until an upcoming tour was canceled. Suddenly, she found herself with plenty of time at home to raise birds, just as eggs and chickens became scare at her local grocer, according to the Times.
And those who have been raising chickens for a while, are feeling more secure.
“We are so happy we have chickens now,” Jill Watt, who lives outside of Charlottesville with 11 birds of her own and three on the way, told the Post. “I have seen the aisles in the grocery with no eggs and whatnot. We never have to worry about that.”
Experts warn that not every community allows backyard animals, however, and there are often limits on the number of chickens per household. The laws vary from state to state and depend on country and town regulations, says the Post.
For those who are legally able, Watt encourages the investment in backyard chickens and has given her neighbors eggs to tide them over during this crisis.
“I think everyone should have chickens,” she told the Post. “Chickens are way better than dogs.”
© 2021 NewsmaxHealth. All rights reserved.