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Kentucky Shoppers Continue to Experience Spiked Egg Prices

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The price for a dozen eggs in Kentucky has climbed substantially over the last few months. The demand for eggs is only expected to increase.

There are an estimated 4.2 million egg laying hens in Kentucky.  But, that figure doesn’t even place the state in the top 10 nationally for egg production.  This summer’s avian flu outbreak killed millions of chickens in key egg producing states and created a national shortage.

Still, Poultry Extension Project Manager Jacquie Jacob says this is not the time to get into the egg business.  “This is not going to be long term," said Jacob. "Trying to go into it now and building new facilities is not worth it unless you have a separate market from what is already out there.”

Despite a national shortage of eggs, neighborhood chicken coops are not expected to impact the industry in the short or long term.  Jacob says household egg producers are minor players in a massive industry.  “There’s not enough of them, I mean it is a growing activity,” said Jacob.  “But, it’s so small that it will never have a major impact on how many eggs McDonald’s buys.  It’s a very small percentage.”

This summer’s avian flu outbreak also killed millions of turkeys across the country.  Jacob doesn’t expect Thanksgiving turkeys to be excessively expensive.  “So the impact will be spread over several industries, sub industries," Jacobs explained.  "So, there will be a shortage, but I don’t think it’s gonna drive the price up that high."

Jacob says the shortage could impact the by product markets of turkey bologna and turkey sausage.

Stu Johnson is a reporter/producer at WEKU in Lexington, Kentucky.
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