Why are egg prices rising across the South Plains?

Lubbock residents are feeling the effects of rising egg prices
Published: Jan. 13, 2023 at 10:26 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 13, 2023 at 10:28 PM CST
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Whether you’re buying off store shelves or farm fresh, chances are you’re paying more for a breakfast and cooking staple.

The average cost of a dozen eggs across the country is hitting $3.59. Right off the farm at Paisley Peach Farms, Titus and Tina Weston have raised the price of eggs by one dollar every year; today they’re selling eggs for $5 a dozen.

“The local farmers, we can’t do it as cheaply because we don’t have our chickens in barns, we don’t have lights running 18 hours a day to force more production - we view it more as a natural source,” Titus said.

For organic eggs like the Westons sell, Titus says he’s seen prices in the stores around $7.50.

One reason eggs are costing more is the Avian Flu. Through the end of last year, the flu wiped out 44 million laying hens in the United States. The USDA reports egg inventories were down 29% by the end of December.

Titus says costs are going up because of how much they’re having to spend to buy chickens.

“The cost of the chickens themselves, so the chickens you used to be able to buy, baby chicks, day-old chicks for a dollar or two,” Titus said. “I think the last one we ran was close to $4 a chick.”

It’s also costing more to feed those chickens. Titus says he and his wife are paying 25% more this year for a bag of feed that’s actually 10 pounds lighter.

“We have to raise our prices a little bit to be able to sell the eggs and just break even, just to try to pay for the feed,” Titus said.

The Westons aren’t making a profit on eggs, despite those rising prices. If input costs keep rising, they will have to raise their own prices again.

“Looking at what it’s going to be over the next six months, and talking about raising it again possibly,” Titus said.

The Westons still see a high demand for eggs. They even have a waiting list. Their flock has doubled over the last six months, but it takes time before those baby chicks can be laying hens.

“We just don’t have the means to produce as much, so we’re having to tell people come Spring hit us up, but we just don’t have it right now and it’s hard to turn people away,” Tina said.