FREDERICK, Md. (DC News Now) — The largest outbreak of avian flu in U.S. history is causing many consumers to see a rise in egg prices and a decline in egg products.
H5N1 Bird Flu, also known as the Avian Flu virus, was detected in U.S. wild aquatic birds, commercial poultry and backyard flocks that originated amongst ducks in Europe and Asia centuries ago.
The USDA says on average the price for white large eggs increased by $0.51 to as much as $2.82 per dozen.
According to the CDC, 58.6 million birds were affected nationwide.
While eggs were destroyed in an effort to stop the spread of the avian flu causing an egg shortage that may now also cause a shortage of chickens as well.
“Those egg layers that had to be depopulated, it can take several months for new layers to come online and they have to get to the point where they can become laying chickens again, ” said Jessica Hackett from the Maryland Department of Agriculture.
In Maryland, four counties reported bird flu outbreaks. The state reported its first case in February of last year.
A Wegman’s grocery store in Frederick County confirmed they are starting to see a chicken shortage.
“Meat chickens, their lifespan of when they hatch, their process is a little bit shorter, so when issues around chicken shortages generally have to deal with processors not being able to keep up with the demand sometimes,” said Hackett.
While it’s still uncertain if a chicken shortage may be on the horizon, experts suggest one shortage could affect another one.