Backyard Farms Soaring As Egg Crisis Deepens

What some have dubbed “eggflation” is spurring a renewed interest in backyard farms across the U.S. And a class of Americans who were once criticized as “extremists” suddenly seem like wise citizens who took control of their lives.

It was not that long ago — think just before the COVID-19 pandemic — that the concept of “prepping” was subjected to ridicule. Of course, that was before knots in the supply chain showed the population just how fragile its sources of essential goods really were.

The latest shortage to grip the American public is eggs.

An outbreak of avian influenza, commonly known as bird flu, removed over 44 million egg-laying birds from the supply chain. Then, of course, there’s the ripple effect of the current inflationary period that has increased prices on everything from chicken feed to transportation and packaging costs.

Supermarkets are experiencing runs on eggs as prices soar to levels never previously seen. There are even reports of egg smuggling from Mexico encountered by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents.

The average price of a dozen eggs has soared past the average for a gallon of gas in these inflationary times.

What this led to is a notable increase in Americans searching for egg-laying hens for backyard production. Google internet search trends show the heightened interest as prices continue to skyrocket. Trending now is “where to buy chickens near me,” which has reached a multi-decade high.

Previous generations who survived the Great Depression and World War II thought nothing of backyard farming as a way to increase food security. But as time passed, these traditions faded away as dependence on an unbroken supply filling grocery store shelves increased.

We have now come decades away from the concept of “living off the land,” but many now see the wisdom in producing essential foodstuffs at home. Dependence on corporate farming or even government supplies does not seem as wise as it may have just a few years ago.

Distrust led to a wave of “preppers,” but many mocked the movement and considered it a sign of “extremism” that deserved only ridicule. COVID-19 and empty store shelves changed that perception in a hurry, and a new generation of people who want to be prepared for the next crisis emerged.