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Avian flu, inflation behind rising egg prices

Inflation Consumer Goods
Posted at 10:54 PM, Apr 11, 2022

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — With just days to go before Passover and Easter, a pre-holiday grocery shop might cost you more this year--especially if it includes eggs.

The price of eggs in February 2022 was up 11 percent from February 2021, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

A highly-infectious avian flu has forced farmers to kill millions of egg-laying birds. More than 24 million birds have been affected, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC has said the virus presents a "low risk" to the public, but the virus has affected farms in at least 25 states.

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture is monitoring two flocks that have been affected by the H5N1 bird flu.

Leslie Abbey, the owner of Sticky Wicket Farms in Lancaster, said five egg-laying hens have died in the last two weeks, but that the virus has not spread rampantly on her farm.

Abbey explained that unlike in factories, the birds on her farm have a lot of space.

"If you're raising your animals in very close proximity, like COVID, you're going to have a transference of disease," Abbey said.

Abbey said although the avian flu has not hit her farm hard, she has other concerns, like inflation.

"I don't see it stopping, unfortunately," Abbey said.

She told LEX 18 that feed and poultry netting have become much more expensive.

"For the last year, [feed] has gone up from $12 for a 50 pound bag to $19 for a 50 pound bag," Abbey said.

*The USDA has not confirmed any cases of the avian flu on Abbey’s farm or any other location in Garrard County.