While the cost of chicken eggs has remained “about the same” for five years, the funds needed to feed laying hens have increased by “77%” for farmer Ryan Melbourne, who runs Woodlands Farm in Weston- Super Mare. Mr Melbourne expressed concern that the cost of living crisis was putting chicken farmers out of business.
Speaking to GB News, Mr Melbourne said: ‘Our hens are a laying breed so there’s not a lot of meat on them. Eggs are what they do.
“We are looking to diversify. We have a few different ideas. But everything has a cost, especially the setup costs of exploring different things.
“At the moment, the hens are not making money, so we cannot save money to diversify into other projects.
“Next year we will have at least half the chickens, and that’s if we have any. It all depends on the price of the eggs.
“It needs to increase to make free-range eggs viable. Unless the wholesale price goes up now, by at least 20-30 pence a dozen, then realistically we’re going to have a hard time getting chickens again.
“We’ve been here for five years and during that time our food costs have increased by 77%.
But our egg costs that we get from our buyers have stayed about the same during this time, so that’s a huge problem.
“In the last month alone, the price is up 25%, so that’s a huge problem for us, especially with rising energy prices.”
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Without a simultaneous increase in the wholesale prices of chicken eggs and the chickens themselves, consumers could face a spike in the price of their meat.
Co-op chief executive Steve Murrells warned that chicken could become “as expensive as beef” amid this crisis.
He said: “Chicken could become as expensive as beef. Chicken, which was incredibly cheap and great value, is growing faster than any other protein.”
The current price for chicken is £2.98 per kg, while ground beef is £6.78 per kg, after a similar rise.
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This notice was published: 2022-05-03 17:01:00