With the recent prices of eggs going up to $8 a dozen, consumers all across the nation are left wondering, what is the cause for such a price increase? While many media outlets are blaming the avian flu, other chicken owners with backyard flocks have been reporting that their flocks have not been laying eggs at all since last fall. Some owners are blaming the feed sold by Tractor Supply stores, comparing production to poultry owners who bought local feed, and saw no difference in egg production.
In regard to Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) according the the USDA website, as of January 27, 2023, nationwide there have been only 27 cases of confirmed flocks within the last 30 days, and .38 Million birds affected, as opposed to December at 5.07 Million, or November at 3.75 Million. As of January 19, 2023 the USDA reports that California has had zero commercial flocks affected by the outbreak, and five backyard flocks affected, but somehow total 29,756 birds affected, as if each “backyard flock” would have almost six thousand birds and are considered “backyard?” (However that math adds up.)
If that is the case, with the large amount of egg producers in California, one would look back to the supply and cost of feed. Could the two be linked? Could it be possible that a source of feed that has been distributed throughout the country is somehow linked to both? Is it possible that central locations where people go to buy feed (like Tractor Supply) would be sources of cross contamination from peoples shoes? Why are some states not affected at all?
I would also like to bring forth the question of genetic modification of hatcheries from the sources of poultry breeders. Could it be possible that giant corporations want to control the food supply so much that they would go to the extent of invoking fear into poultry owners and consumers, and then as a ditch-all effort, genetically modify the chicken breeds themselves so they lay less eggs? This would not be the first time we have seen such manipulation with our food supply.
If HPAI can be transmitted to flocks, what are the patterns of the flocks being affected? Are the owners visiting a local lake and wearing the same boots into the backyard/barnyard? What can you do if you have poultry of your own? Here are some extra safety precautions you can take to help prevent any cross contamination into your flock.
- Have a Dedicated Pair of “Muck” Boots
- Wash Shoes Regularly and Wear Protectors
- Keep the Coop Area Clean and Have a Covered Run
While I would like to see more factual evidence of “Avian Flu” causing large companies to process mass amounts of chicken, I will also be further researching the feed and egg production. Backyard flock owners need to take all possible precautions to help themselves be aware, in order to be as self-sufficient as possible, and as new truths become revealed, even more questions rise to the surface.