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Cypress family getting eggs from backyard chickens as prices surge

AJ Mitchell got rid of her chickens a few years ago but brought them back to her backyard when she saw egg prices rise.

HOUSTON — With the rising prices of eggs, some shoppers are taking matters into their own hands and bringing the grocery store to their backyard.

Take, for example, Cypress resident AJ Mitchell.

“I usually get called the chicken mama," Mitchell said. 

She’s had chickens for the better part of a decade, but in the last few years, she’d sent them to a friend’s farm. That was until about six months ago.

“Once we started hearing a little bit about the bird flu and wiping out a lot of commercial flocks, you know, we kind of saw the writing on the wall," Mitchell said.

She scrambled and got her flock back together. Now, rather than buying eggs from the store, her family picks them for themselves.

“They're no longer freeloaders. They're now paying their rent," Mitchell said about her flock of chickens." And now apparently, their rent is going up with all of the prices going up as well."

According to the U.S. Consumer Price Index, eggs went up 60% in the last year.

“Egg farmers in Texas and egg farmers across the United States are working as hard as we can to keep our pricing down," says JC Essler the Executive Vice President of the Texas Poultry Federation.

He says while bird flu is a major factor, there are a number of things contributing to the price of eggs.

“We also are seeing an increase in costs because of input from our feed or labor or fuel packaging," Essler said.

But Essler believes prices are trending down.

“Wholesale pricings are decreasing in recent weeks," he says.

This is good news for families who might not have their own chickens but rely on the same nutritional value.

“Having three kids, it's really hard to make sure that they're getting a lot of protein," Mitchell said. 

If you want your own flock, AJ recommends you do lots of research, but she said the eggs speak for themselves.

“Honestly, it doesn't get much better than that," says Mitchell.

For more information on owning your own chickens or starting a flock of your own, AJ encourages people to join the Houston Area Backyard Chickens group on Facebook and visit TheHappyChickenCoop.com.

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