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Economy

San Diegans struggle with egg-stremely high egg prices

The price of a dozen jumbo eggs at Windmill Farms in Del Cerro today is $11.79.

According to the Food Market Data company Urner Barry, as of Tuesday, Jan 10. the average price for eggs was $4.33 per dozen.

Josh Aftreth is the dairy manager at Windmill Farms.

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“Eggs right now are hard to get,” Aftreth said. “A lot of the companies I order from, they’re not coming in and the companies I am getting them from, the prices have gone way up compared to what they used to be.”

Just a few weeks ago, Aftreth spoke with veterinarians at the Eben-Haezer Egg Ranch in Ramona, and they told him the avian influenza, or bird flu, has really impacted the egg supply.

“They said 38 million egg laying chickens have died and then there’s a bunch of other birds too. It’s hard to contain because migratory birds are transmitting it, so it’s really hard to contain,” Aftreth said.

According to the USDA, about 60 million birds have died so far.

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For some types of eggs, the price has more than doubled.

“It’s hard to balance and have eggs on the shelf. The other thing too, with the price of the eggs, they’re slowing a lot down in sales,” Aftreth said. “So you can’t order too much on those because then you’re going to be having them code out on you. Throwing away eggs, nobody wants that.”

Another factor that is impacting egg prices are big businesses not being able to use their normal egg distributors.

“Eben-Haezer, who are a local company, they’re getting phone calls from companies that don’t normally order eggs from them because they can’t get eggs from their normal distributors. So that’s impacted the egg prices,” Aftreth said.

Locals like Del Cerro resident Rodney Duff have had a hard time finding eggs.

“I just can’t find them. I went to Costco, they don’t have them anymore. So, I don’t know what’s going on,” Duff said.

And when Duff finally found eggs, the price of them became a concern.

“It’s absolutely ridiculous the price of eggs,” Duff said. “It’s made us tighten up and watch our budget. Absolutely, we have to be aware, every dime, every nickel.”

So, he’s taking matters into his own hands, saying, “I’m going to get some chickens. When my kids were little we used to have chickens. We used to have fresh eggs every morning. So, I’m like, ‘I’m going to go back to that, why not?'’”

Nissa Naviello bought some locally produced eggs for a little more than $7, but had this suggestion.

“Give the public some alternatives. That would be helpful,” Naviello said, “so we don’t have the mad rush to the grocery store and somebody buys out all the eggs.”

Overall, shoppers seemed to be accepting the high egg prices. According to data from IRI, a marketing research firm, the sales of eggs have only dropped about 2% by unit in retail as of the beginning of December 2022.