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California eggs prices increase due to new laws around chicken farming

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The new law requires farmers to house hens in cages with enough space to stretch their wings.

Another staple going up in price: eggs. California's chicken-cage size law goes into effect on Januray 1, 2015.

When it comes to prioritizing, is it the chicken or the egg? California lawmakers say it has to be the chicken.

The new law requires farmers to house hens in cages with enough space to stretch their wings.

As such, farmers around the country have had to reduce their livestock or build additional accommodations to avoid conditions that were previously acceptable.

The farmers additional expenses are showing up on cartons here in the Bay Area.

"It's definitely disappointing, but I would say, we'll keep buying as many eggs," Alex Valdezisan said.

For the Valdez family, from San Bruno, that's about three dozen eggs a week.

They are not alone.

"I typically scramble them in a cast iron pan, nothing special add paprika, hot sauce," said Kyle Wojnar of San Jose.

Wojnar says if the new law means hens are happier then he doesn't mind paying more. "That makes sense to me, at least on a conscious level," he said.

On the other hand Karla Isaak wants the better price. "No, I really don't care about the chickens. I just love my eggs," she said.

Some shoppers are already seeing an increase in egg prices.

Sandre Bay just paid $5.29 for a dozen and a half regular eggs. Her son's brown organic eggs cost $5.49.
She like California's cage size law. She just doesn't like the consequences.

"I think chickens should have more room, but I think we shouldn't have our prices raised," said Bay of San Bruno.

Chickens by law must have more space to move around. A poultry technician at Cal Poly says each chicken will receive 116 square inches of space, up from 69.

Experts worry there could be an egg shortage.

"If you look at the numbers, if we're producing 60 percent before, we're going to be producing about 35 percent of our eggs, that means the other 65 will have to come from out of state producers," egg producer Steven Soderstrom said.

California's out of state egg producers must also meet the new rule.

Industry analysts say egg prices could go up anywhere from 20 cents per dozen to $3.

Related Topics:
businessbusinessanimalu.s. & worldfarminglawsstate politicscaliforniaconsumerenvironmentanimal newscalifornia legislation
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