A poultry producer explains why chicken is getting more expensive

Published: May. 19, 2022 at 6:33 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

AMSTERDAM, Mo. (KCTV) - You may have noticed an increase in chicken prices at the grocery store lately.

The USDA Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook for May 2022 noted that poultry production nationwide has steadily increased following supply chain disruptions during the pandemic.

But, so have prices.

Rising production costs, particularly feed and fuel, have driven up grocery store prices for consumers.

Alan Nieder, who runs Heartland Hatchery near Amsterdam, said he will soon have to raise the prices he charges for pullets and chicks if the trend continues.

“My expenses are through the roof,” Nieder said. “We haven’t raised our prices this year, but we will next year if grain prices stay as high as it is.”

Nieder’s hatchery has been steadily growing as backyard growers expand their flocks. This spring, he has hatched hundreds of chicks for families like Lori Cox’s.

They like keeping chickens, ducks, and turkeys around. Cox said it’s mostly a hobby, but the eggs are also nice.

“It’s good to know they’re there if we can’t get to the grocery store for some reason,” she said.

Nieder said another problem the industry faced in the spring was an outbreak of avian flu. The USDA reported that national egg supplies had been impacted by a strain that caused the deaths of millions of birds.

Fortunately for local producers, the strain has not appeared in Missouri or Kansas.

“I’m hoping it’s past us,” Nieder said. “There’s been a lot of laying chickens destroyed. The stores aren’t full of eggs like they used to be.”