Las Vegas egg producer talks about sky-high egg prices
LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - The owner and founder of the Las Vegas Farm takes a lot of pride in her chickens and the eggs they lay. Sharon Linsenbardt showed FOX5 her hen house recently as she pulled out a couple of freshly laid eggs from a hen.
“They’re still warm and beautiful eggs,” said Linsenbardt.
Linsenbardt says her egg business began more than 50 years ago when people would look at her chickens over a fence.
“And I’d sell them a little bag of eggs. And the next thing you know they’d be back at my gate, and they’d have their neighbor and their mother, their cousins,” she said.
But a lot has changed over the years, specifically when it comes to the price of eggs. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says egg prices jumped more than 18 percent from November to December of 2022. It says eggs in 2019 stood at around $1.40 a dozen but are now up to $4.25.
Linsenbardt says you must go back a few years to understand what’s been happening.
She says new government regulations were put in place that changed how large egg producers housed their chickens.
“At the end of the day all the farmers had a huge cost to make new facilities for their birds,” said Linsenbardt.
She says a big Avian Flu outbreak in chickens in 2015 hit supply.
“Anytime you have that kind of a problem, you might not lose every bird in the nation, but you lose 50 to 60 million, that’s a big deal.” Said Linsenbardt.
There are more Avian Flu outbreaks that are happening during inflation, pushing up the price of eggs even more.
Linsenbardt says she pays around $9000 for feed a month for all of her farm animals. But paid only three or four thousand dollars just a few years ago. She says her power bill is up too. All of that has forced her to raise the price of eggs.
“I had to bring mine up $2 a dozen. I’ve been at $6 a dozen for years. I’ve had to kick it up to 8,” she said.
Linsenbart says she knows people are finding it difficult to deal with higher egg prices. FOX5 asked her about her price increases. She says when it comes to cost, she can’t compete with large egg producers. She says things that add to her costs include eggs that are non-GMO produced. She does not rinse them with petroleum products. And says she spends a lot of money on measures to keep her chickens enclosed, to keep them from mixing with wild geese, ducks and other birds that can carry Avian Flu.
She also says some local sellers are not permitted and licensed to sell eggs like she is.
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