Chicken or the egg? Shoppers getting picky amid rising egg prices

Data shows the average price for a dozen eggs in U.S. cities is $4.25.
Data shows the average price for a dozen eggs in U.S. cities is $4.25
Published: Feb. 1, 2023 at 7:27 PM EST
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Egg prices keep going up at the grocery store. But, if you don’t want to pay those high prices, there may be another option.

To avoid paying the high prices, some people flocked to buy chickens instead.

The federal bank of St. Louis reports that the average price of a dozen eggs in U.S. cities is $4.25, and some people have seen even higher prices.

“A customer came in here yesterday, they went to the store to get eggs and they were $8 a dozen,” said Tim Bell, store owner for Knox Farmers Co-Op.

It’s a price some people don’t want to pay. The alternative is to buy a chicken, and get free eggs. The demand is high too.

“That’s when they were inquiring about wanting to know when the chicks will be in,” Bell said. “They were going to buy them, about 12 or 15 chickens, so they can produce their own eggs.”

Bell said he has a shipment of 100 chicks coming in on Thursday, but does not expect that to last too long.

“I’ll be surprised if there’s anything left by lunchtime,” Bell said. “Everybody’s been calling saying, ‘Hey I’ll be waiting on you to open so I can get chicks.’”

Bell said a chick costs about $4. Plus, it’s about $15 to $20 for an incubator. Then the cost of feed. The chick will be mature enough to lay its own eggs in about six months.

Bell said he sold 1,000 chicks last year, but could do better than that this year.

“If they do sell out tomorrow, I can call and order another 100 or 125 if I need to,” Bell said.

He said you would eventually save money. How long it takes depends on how many chickens you have, and how many eggs you use every week.

Bell said he also believes it’s healthier to use eggs right from the chicken, since they aren’t processed.