Everyone is seeing a higher cost for chickens and eggs due to the rising price of fuel and increased demand for new fuel alternatives. The average household is now paying more than $2 per dozen for eggs that a year ago averaged 99 cents.
I had contemplated getting rid of my laying hens due to the cost of feed I have to supplement them with through out the winter. Now I'm glad I didnt. My feed has went up very little compared to the amount a dozen of eggs has increased.
The experts predict in the coming months, home cooks who reach for eggs to make their favorite recipes might be surprised to see that eggs will not be offered at lower prices unless grocery stores are willing to absorb the cost.
This Easter there will not be many egg sales in stores. If anyone offers eggs below $1 as in the past, the experts think it will be tied to additional purchases or as a loss by the grocer to get customers into the store.
Development of ethanol as an alternative to oil-based gasoline has driven up the cost of the alternative's basic raw ingredient -- corn. As in any commodity, stable supply and increased demand make prices go higher.
Most consumers don't notice price increases until they reach a certain point. Once a carton of large eggs went over the $2 mark, people started paying more attention.
Before the cost of corn increased, producers had production down to a science that led to a controlled cost.
Large family and corporate farms have not had time to plant more in response to the changes in the demand for corn. According to experts, even with more corn, prices will never come back down to past levels. Although hard to predict exact figures, they predict consumers will never see the 89 cents per dozen of two years ago.
One expert, Bethel, whose company participates in Eggland production says, "By late-2008, organic eggs will see a drastic increase."
With the industry's response to animal rights activists who have promoted better hen care, companies phased in more space and more sanitary conditions which resulted in houses going from 150,000 chickens down to 120,000 with the result of less productivity.
Looking at the overall picture, the consumer needs to keep in mind that although eggs have increased in price they provide 13 essential nutrients and are a good source of protein.
For me, there's nothing better than knowing exactly what has went into the making of my "home grown" eggs.
Just look at those pretty brown eggs. And there is no comparison in taste.