LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — We've seen high prices and shortages of certain items at grocery stores, but the price of eggs has been going up faster than the rest.
Owner of Rattles Garden, Tara Stainton, spends her weekends at the farmers market selling eggs and produce.
“We keep about 200 laying hens," said Stainton. “We sell out at market every Saturday.”
Stainton explained how she's seen an influx of new customers turning to markets instead of the grocery store.
“For us, we have not raised our egg prices at market our egg prices have held steady for almost 15 years,” said Stainton.
She added that her prices are a bit higher, to begin with.
“They're paying for eggs. They're also paying for how we take care of our birds,” said Stainton. “They are outside. 100% of the time they rotate through our vegetable fields. They rotate on our hay fields.”
Stainton's business hasn’t changed in the same way that grocery stores have.
“Retailers are really having a hard time with the price of eggs right now,” said Steve Goode with the Arkansas Grocery Association. “In some retail supermarkets, it's been a modest increase, because those stores are on contract. But in some retail supermarkets, it's been a pretty staggering increase.”
Goode explained that there are two reasons why.
“You've had one just a seasonal time of year, you know, more people using eggs, baking and whatnot, and to the avian flu problem,” said Goode.
Goode said that the avian flu has greatly impacted the egg-laying population.
“From the USDA, there were 27 million laying hens that perished with the avian flu through the first half of last year,” said Goode. “So, you take 27 million laying hens out of the egg-laying population.”
Goode also said that things could get better and prices could go down— but it all depends on the next few months, and it’s all up to the chickens.
“From hatch to grow to laying, it's about six months, five to six months,” said Goode.