Skip to main content

The Unique Way One Family Is Using to Solve High Egg Prices

The CPI shows that egg prices are up 59.9% from a year ago.

While overall grocery prices may be stabilizing slightly after months of inflation, one common food item is skewing the numbers and making news for its high prices -- according to the consumer price index, the price for a dozen eggs was up 59.9% in December 2022.

Last week, the Director of Field Operations in San Diego warned about an increase in the number of people smuggling eggs across the Mexico-U.S. border to make a profit as an avian flu continues to wreak havoc on domestic egg production. 

Some estimates show that the outbreak killed over 40 million hens since February 2021.

"The root cause of the price increase is not inflation per se, although it is one reason, but rather a supply reduction caused by the bird flu," Jonathan Heller writes for TheStreet's RealMoney. "Feed prices have been on the upswing, too, but that is a minor player in this meteoric rise."

Should We Just Rent Our Own Chicken?

Amid the high cost of eggs, demand has also been on the rise for a different kind of business. Husband-and-wife team Phil and Jenn Tompkins started a company in which they rent a few chickens and a portable coop to those interested in growing their own eggs.

Recently appearing on the "Fox & Friends" show, the Tompkins are farmers based in Freeport, Pennsylvania but can deliver the supplies for growing eggs to 30 states and three Canadian provinces. Prices start at $600 and would be available for six months from the spring, which is the traditional time for the laying period.

"We provide all of the supplies you need to get started: portable chicken coop, two to four egg laying hens, 100-200 pounds of feed (optional non-GMO or Organic feed available), food & water dishes, a chicken keeping book as well as instructions on how to keep your chickens happy!" the Tompkins write on the Rent The Chicken site. "Within two days of the arrival, your chickens will lay eggs ready to use!"

Those who want a larger number of chickens or live in a more remote location may pay up to $1,200 but the idea is still to get a one-stop kit to quickly start growing eggs oneself.

RentTheChicken said that it started accepting an influx of orders for the coming spring and is currently working to bring the program to some local schools and summer camps.

18 chicken eggs sh

You Can Rent Just About Anything Now

While RentTheChicken caught nationwide attention for its cute name and unusual concept, the last few years have brought with them a rise in different things one can rent.

Rent A Goat is a similar concept both for those who want to fertilize land or need the animals for some kind of movie or photo set while a company called Wedding Forward allows those who do not want to spend up to $1,000 on a wedding cake to rent a fake one as a table decoration.

There are also companies renting out friends, pets and even temporary parents who can listen to one's problems -- the latter few are less of a money-saving operation as much as a way to fill some kind of void or try something new.

"This is great for all people -- empty nesters, people with kids, people without kids, people that are just looking for a change in their life," Phil Tompkins told Fox & Friends of RentTheChicken.