A backyard chicken coop in Jonesboro. Photo by Donnell Suggs/The Atlanta Voice

The price of a dozen eggs has steadily risen and there are a number of reasons for it. One of which is inflation, and a good way to combat inflation is to reduce demand and increase supply. If you want eggs, why not just buy a few chickens and eliminate the middleman?

There has also been a steady uptick in the demand for live chickens as both pets and producers, says Grubbly Farms CEO Sean Warner. The Atlanta-based backyard feed company services both professional outfits and non-commercial entities, alike. The opportunity to sell chicken eggs (the eggs we use in everyday meals during breakfast, for example) can be seen as a way to reduce food cost for families or make money for those looking to sell a popular product, particularly during the past 2-3 months.

The price of eggs were up 138% in December 2022 from a year prior and are at or above $4.25 per dozen, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Nothing has changed as the calendar has made its way to 2023. The latest report on eggs prices from the United States Department of Agriculture has eggs prices up during January.

Common chicken breeds, such as Rhode Island Red, Plymouth Rock and ISA Brown, are what will be most often seen in personal chicken coups. These chickens can lay 5-7 eggs per week on average and are relatively self-sufficient, Warner said. “I would recommend having more than one chicken because they are social creatures,” he said.

ISA Brown chickens, distinguishable with their brown necks, are most commonly purchased as pets because their egg laying capabilities don’t last as long as the other breeds and the bird’s calm nature.

Chicken owners in cities such as Atlanta and Brooklyn, for example, have to find different ways to house their chickens with the lack of private green space more commonly seen in more rural settings.

“There are a lot of interesting ways to get around this,” Warner said. “Once you basically have the initial necessities, chickens are relatively low maintenance.”

Those necessities are as follows: a coop, food, water, bedding and a laying box for the eggs. Other than freshening up the food (chicken feed) and changing the bedding from time to time, there is very little physical labor past collecting the eggs at the end of the day.

Asked about the pros and cons of owning your own chickens for the express purpose of having eggs to eat and/or sell, Warner says it is both positive and negative.

Pros: You get your own eggs and owning chickens can help teach children about where foods come from and the responsibilities involved with owning and caring for animals.

Cons: The upfront cost can be a pain depending on the size of the operation and the proximity and possibility of Avian Influenza (bird flu).

On owning chickens Warner said, “Most animals will come with some risks.” 

Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Donnell began his career covering sports and news in Atlanta nearly two decades ago. Since then he has written for Atlanta Business Chronicle, The Southern Cross...