Poultry prices are rising

Bird flu outbreak in the Midwest is claiming millions of turkeys and chickens


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – If eggs or turkey are a staple in your household, you may want to stock up because prices are on the rise. An outbreak of bird flu in the Midwest is claiming millions of turkeys and chickens. As a result, grocery prices are rising nationwide.

News4Jax spoke to some parents who buy eggs and turkey for their families every week. They said it's unfortunate that prices are rising but, they say they feel worse for the farmers and businesses that are losing money.

"You don't think of all the ripple effects of all the different companies you do business with. Now, all of a sudden, it's six months of not having any business with you while you're empty," said Bruce Dooyema the CEO of Center Fresh Group.

People in Iowa are praying for families who have been affected by a bird flu outbreak in the Midwest. Just in Sioux City's county alone, 7 million chickens have been affected by the Avian flu, plus millions more in the Midwest.

"It's sad because that's their income but, it also affects us and my household--definitely big chicken eaters. So it's sad for them but also sad for us," said Dedra Jacobs.

The cost of a carton of large eggs in the Midwest has jumped nearly 17 percent to $1.39 a dozen from $1.19 since mid-April when the virus began appearing in Iowa's chicken flocks. A much bigger increase is happening in the eggs used as ingredients in processed products such as cake mix and mayonnaise. Those eggs have jumped 63 percent to $1.03 a dozen from 63 cents in the last three weeks. Turkey prices were expected to fall this year but are up slightly as the bird flu has claimed about 5.6 million turkeys nationwide so far.

Jacobs hopes prices go back down soon. She says with two teenagers in her household, there's no way she can stop buying eggs or turkey. "I would look for ways to cut back definitely, but I don't know if I can stop one hundred percent. I'm not a veggie eater really either- being a vegan is definitely not a choice."

This bird flu mostly affects birds and state and federal governments have already stepped in to try to contain the outbreak. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention says someone has to be exposed to infected birds for a long time to get the virus and the risk to general public is low.