Chicken suppliers seeing continuing rise in demand for laying hens in the Panhandle

VIDEO: Chicken suppliers seeing continuing rise in demand for laying hens in the Panhandle
Published: Mar. 21, 2023 at 6:05 PM CDT
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Average egg prices in the panhandle are $3.43, leaving many searching for alternatives.

“We get anywhere from three to 600 every week and usually they’re sold out before they get here. About 90% or more is for people wanting their own laying hens,” said Kurt Cash, store manager at Rancher’s Supply.

Chicken suppliers, like Rancher’s Supply, selling laying hens, say they are seeing a significant rise in demand for those wanting alternatives to buying eggs from the store.

“It just varies, I mean we’ve got it all the way up through the middle of may take the reservations for different breeds of chickens,” said Cash.

Cash says if you are considering raising hens for eggs, do research and know raising chickens is not an inexpensive alternative.

“It’s not cheap to raise a chicken. When you figure in what it’s costing you to feed the chicken for six months to get them up to laying size or laying eggs,” said Cash. “It’s gonna take about six months for them to start laying on eggs, so we get them now they won’t lay until fall. I don’t think a lot of people know it takes that long. So there’s a lot of care to keep, freshwater out, for feed up, putting the bedding out.”

Rancher’s Supply adds laying hens may not be a good fit for everyone, as they only lay between 180 to 250 eggs a year.

“So I mean if you use a lot of eggs probably, but if you don’t use a whole lot I don’t know if it’d be any cheaper chicken than it would be to just to go buy eggs,” said Cash.

Other hen supplies say they are also having issues keeping laying hens in stores, some saying shoppers are buying every hen they have in stock.

For more information on raising hens, click here.