Egg Prices To Rise As Farmers Required To House Hens In Cages With More Space

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — The new year is expected to bring rising chicken egg prices across the U.S. as California starts requiring farmers to house hens in cages with enough space to move around and stretch their wings.

The new standard backed by animal rights advocates has drawn ire nationwide because farmers in Iowa, Ohio and other states who sell eggs in California have to abide by the same requirements.

To comply, farmers have to put fewer hens into each cage or invest in revamped henhouses, passing along the expense to consumers shopping at grocery stores. California is the nation’s largest consumer of eggs and imports about one-third of its supply.

Jim Dean, president and CEO of Centrum Valley Farms in Iowa and Ohio, said one of his buildings that holds 1.5 million hens is now about half full to meet California’s standards, and another building may have to be completely overhauled.

Farmers like him in cold climates will have to install heaters to replace warmth formerly generated by the chickens living close together. Dean said that’s something people in sunny California didn’t consider.

“You’re talking about millions upon millions of dollars,” he said. “It’s not anything that’s cheap or that can be modified easily, —> Read More Here


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