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Wisconsin farmers scramble to keep up with demand for eggs

"We just can't keep our eggs on the shelf."
Posted at 9:26 AM, Jan 07, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-07 10:26:29-05

OCONOMOWOC, Wis. — A combo of inflation, bird flu, and high demand is pushing the price of eggs past $5 a dozen at some grocery stores.

In Milwaukee, a carton of eggs can cost you anywhere from $4.60 to $5.49.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics says eggs have jumped in price by nearly 50% since this time last year.

Owner of Three Brothers Farm, Michael Gutschenritter, said he's having a hard time keeping up with the demand from grocery stores they sell to.

"We just can't keep our eggs on the shelf," he said. "We usually deliver every Wednesday, definitely sold out by the weekend."

Gutschenritter said the increase in prices is due to the Avian Flu that impacted millions of birds nationwide and inflation.

But, that hasn't stopped customers from trying to bypass the prices at the grocery store by going straight to the farm.

"I get phone calls on a daily basis," Gutschenritter said.

He says the reality is his prices are identical to what you see in stores because the demand is high, and supply is low.

To add to the problem, he said it's hard to get chickens from hatchers. As of now, he won't be able to get new hens until the Fall.

"I can't produce more eggs," Gutschenritter said.

His hens produce 1,000 dozen eggs a week, as he says.

With farmers struggling, that leaves many customers walking on eggshells for now.