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As egg prices soar, some are considering grocery store alternatives

Eggs that used to be $2 a carton are now up to $4, and some are now considering grocery store alternatives.

KERSHAW COUNTY, S.C. — High egg prices might have you second-guessing the purchase. 

"I'm very surprised that the eggs have gone up significantly," says Earl McClora. 

So, what's causing it?

“When you look at the numbers that have been impacted by avian influenza, we’re above the numbers from the last major outbreak of 15-16," said Nathan Smith, Economist of Agribusiness for Clemson Extension. "That’s pushed prices up 60% over the previous year, but more than double the retail market.” 

He says there a triple effect leading to sky-high prices. 

“The main impact is avian influenza outbreaks that’s affected all flocks in terms of poultry," Smith said. "So, that combined with the seasonal increase in demand, we usually see two major time periods in the season or the year for eggs, one being the holidays at the end of the year and the other being in April during Easter.  

Smith said inflation is the third and final cause for high prices.

Some shoppers we spoke with were shocked by the prices. 

"They're outrageous," said Lydia Ruiz. Ruiz typically buys eggs from the grocery store but the high prices, have left her scrambled and looking for new options. 

“I'm considering getting chickens, and I’ll get them here at Tractor Supply," Ruiz said. Tractor Supply is one of the most well-known places for chickens.

Others are getting eggs from friends and family, who already have them in their backyards.

“Normally, I'll buy them or I'll get them from a family friend who has a lot of chickens,” said Mandy Kelly. 

B&P Farm Fresh Eggs has been selling eggs in the Elgin community for three years. With 300 chickens, they say they've seen an increase in business since store prices have soared. 

“It kinda varies throughout the week, but we’ve been having to put them on a waiting list, it’s usually from 1-2 weeks," Boyd and Paul Pace said.

They take orders for eggs through their Facebook page, which they say has grown 300 people just in the last week alone, forcing them to now limit people to ordering 2 dozen max, until they finish expanding. 

Many municipalities and counties have different rules per location on having hens or roosters. 

The City of Columbia allows 4 hens, no roosters, and residents must have a permit from the city and pay annual inspection fees of $5 per bird. 

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