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More opting to coop their own chickens amid spiking egg prices

Egg prices got you down? Why not raise your own chickens?
Egg prices got you down? Why not raise your own chickens? 02:08

MINNEAPOLIS -- Recent trips to the grocery store to pick up eggs may have given you sticker shock. The bird flu impacted production last year, and high demand led to prices peaking in late December.

Some grocery stores are seeing a carton of a dozen eggs sell for over $5 right now.

"They have gone up a lot," said Maggie Serson, of Brooklyn Center.

That statement could apply to just about anything right now, but for people who frequently buy eggs the price spike is hard to miss. Almsted's in Crystal has even eaten some of the costs to help consumers out.

"Eggs are high. We have eggs every morning for breakfast," said Holly Radtke, of Crystal.

Nationally, egg prices have jumped more than any other item at the supermarket. Prices jumped 11% from November to December.

But not everyone is feeling the pain. Four years ago, Michael Folliard-Olson and his family bought chickens to raise in Minneapolis.

"It's a $30 permit. You have to take a chicken-raising class," he said.

He built a chicken coop and now has six hens. Their production lags in the winter, but as the days get longer they'll lay more eggs, even enough to give away.

"If the neighbors are out I'll ask them if they want today's eggs. And there's nothing better, fresher, than eggs laid within the last 12 hours," Folliard-Olson said.

He spends about $50 a month on feed, but he says the production makes it worth that cost. His 5-year-old son Declan helps out, which is why they emphasize the three E's -- education, entertainment, and eggs.

"I collect the eggs," Declan said. "In winter, it's hard. But in spring, it's not hard."

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Folliard-Olson said he has seen more of his neighbors buy chickens. They're not looking to crack any kind of price code; they're just trying to make a staple product more affordable.

"The chickens are just really fun -- low maintenance and low work and worth having," Folliard-Olson said.

Folliard-Olson and his family will also feed their chickens blueberries and grapes, which are good for their diet and production.

Almsted's Fresh Market in Crystal said that egg prices should start to drop pretty soon.

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