By the author of The Prepper’s Guide to Post-Disaster Communications and The Cartoon Ham Exam Handbook: A Complete Ham Radio Technician License Study Guide
As 2023 shifts into full gear, this is also about the time of year that farm stores begin to put out their order forms for spring chickens. Given everything that is going on in the world at the moment, I wanted to give a few of my thoughts on how this year is likely to impact the American chicken market.
The price of feed will go up.
With this, I think that it is going to be more important than ever that you find ways to feed your chickens that minimize waste and that you put the older hens that aren’t laying well in the pot. This article has some great tips on how people fed chickens before commercial feed was available.
A lot of chicken feed is based predominantly on soybeans. Corn is pretty heavy in many feeds as well. Those two crops are fertilizer-intensive within Big Ag, the Russian fertilizer ban is still in effect, and with the depletion of the National Oil Reserve – something that is supposed to be used for military preparedness – and the strengthening ties we’re seeing between the Middle East and China, should something pop off in Taiwan I can see how it would easily lead to a further fuel crisis in the US.
Hauwei equipment is being installed throughout the Middle East at the moment. Combine that with the idea that the Middle East hates America, not China, and I think you end up with a stronger argument for why they would choose China over us when it comes to remaining neutral in that situation.
An increase in egg prices
At the grocery stores where I live, finding eggs now that are $8/dozen is not uncommon. I’m noticing that the people who sell eggs out of their own homes have drastically raised their prices over the past three years as well.
There are no signs whatsoever that inflation is slowing down. It is getting higher and higher, and the prices of eggs at the grocery store are going to increase as a result.
If you do raise your own chickens and sell the eggs, you are going to need to raise your prices as well if you don’t want to be operating a charity. You really need to get over the sticker shock of what it is that you’re selling your eggs for because it’s going to be higher than you’ve ever sold them for before. Do the math, figure out the profit margin you want, and then stick to those numbers rather than your feelings.
The demand for chickens this year is likely going to be intense.
I would recommend ordering early if you can. I think this is going to be for the exact same reasons that chicken sales went through the roof in 2020. People are going to look at the world around them and once more realize that some degree of self-sufficiency is important.
Thousands of more people were added to the homesteading movement – building the infrastructure they needed to raise chickens – in 2020. They’re still going to need chickens and equipment this year as well.
Keep that in mind when you look at that order form this winter.
Come March or April, you’re likely going to have a hard time finding feeders and waterers.
If you need one of these, I recommend going ahead and picking it up now. Really, this happens every year, but I think that there are some 2023-specific reasons for doing so.
A lot of the chicken gear such as feeders and waterers are made from plastic. Where is the majority of this plastic gear made? China.
Should China invade Taiwan this year – something that we seem to have given the go-ahead for here in America – then there is a chance that there will be some American face-value reaction where we say we’re going to place an embargo on Chinese-made goods.
If this goes into effect, this embargo, combined with what I think is going to be increased demand again this year, will make it difficult to find those products that are made out of plastic. Should that be where you find yourself, being able to make your own could be beneficial.
If you have the infrastructure in place with a brooder, you’ll likely be able to make a lot of money selling baby chicks.
If you can get access to Rhode Island Red, Golden Comet, or Black Australorp eggs – all breeds of chickens that are very proficient layers and found in backyard flocks throughout the nation – I think you will have a very easy time of selling every single bird that you hatch this year.
What do you think is going to happen in the world of backyard chickens this year?
Are you concerned about chicken-related supply chain issues? Do you think we’ll potentially see bird flu issues as well? Perhaps legislation pertaining to that? Are you concerned about the prices of chicken paraphernalia and feed going up? Will you buy chickens this year?
Let us know what you’re thinking in the comment section below.
Aden Tate is a regular contributor to TheOrganicPrepper.com and TheFrugalite.com. Aden runs a micro-farm where he raises dairy goats, a pig, honeybees, meat chickens, laying chickens, tomatoes, mushrooms, and greens. Aden has four published books, What School Should Have Taught You, The Faithful Prepper, An Arm and a Leg, The Prepper’s Guide to Post-Disaster Communications, and Zombie Choices. You can find his podcast The Last American on Preppers’ Broadcasting Network.