AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) – In mid-2022, egg prices saw a dramatic increase due to an avian influenza or bird flu outbreak. Along with, the bird flu outbreak, trade groups, according to the Associated Press are attributing raise in cost to an increase in fuel, feed, labor, and packaging and continued strong demand for eggs.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, egg prices in December of 2022 reached an all-time high at $4.25.

The United States Department of Agriculture shows the average price of a dozen eggs is dropping, but the price of eggs is still a dollar more than they were at this time last year.

“I think, y’know short term in the next six months or so, or even shorter than that, there certainly exceptions that prices will go up some more. We have wholesale spot markets on eggs that have actually been higher than the average retail prices. So, it’s suggested there are more price increases to go,” said Dr. David P. Anderson, extension specialist in livestock and food product marketing with Texas A&M AgriLife.

Dr. Anderson said long-term it comes down to two things. The chicken and the egg.

“We have to produce more eggs to produce more chickens to lay more eggs to increase our egg supply. It’s a longer-term process, we have biology working here,” said Dr. Anderson.

For some feeling the crunch in their wallet, they are turning to other sources to get their eggs, like going to Joshua Davis, owner of JC Acre.

“Right now, we get eight dozen eggs per week, so we have far more than that we could service. We have to disappoint some customers weekly, but we kind of keep it on a waiting list and we kind of rotate through that waiting list as we have eggs available,” said Davis.

Davis said there are many benefits of getting eggs that our raised locally.

“When you have chickens that are free to be chickens and are not caged or overly crammed into a faculty, you do get healthier eggs… you can literally crack a white, beautiful grocery store egg next to one of our pasteurized eggs and you can see the difference in the yolk color,” said Davis.

Currently, Davis said that a dozen eggs from JC Acres are $6.

“We try to keep it at $5 a dozen and they are more expensive because feed costs are up and we have heard from customers going to the grocery store and seeing eggs for $9 a dozen, so we are still, we still try to keep it as low as possible for our customers. But when you are paying eggs from farmers or smaller operations, like us they are going to be a little more expensive,” said Davis.

Dr. Anderson said in a year’s time, egg prices should be settled down.

“A year from now, we’ve actually got time for the companies that produce eggs to ramp up production in response to these prices and our hopes also that this avian influenza is going to wane and go away as it did in 2015 when we had our last big outbreak,” said Dr. Anderson.

Dr. Anderson added as Easter draws near, the demand for eggs will go up due to the holiday demand and keep prices high.

And according to IBISWorld, since 2015, the United States has been consuming more eggs recently than in past decades, such as in 2022, consuming over 37 pounds of eggs in the year.