As COVID restrictions decrease, chicken prices soar

We are learning more about the high cost of chicken at the grocery store.

Wing prices are three times higher than they were last year, and whole bird prices are up 75 percent.

A USDA livestock analyst says that retailers may try to absorb some of those costs, but supplies are tight and demand is going up as the economy reopens.

According to Shayle Shagam, “You’re seeing a reduction in some of the COVID-related restrictions on gatherings on the number of people that can be in restaurants. We’ve been looking at warmer weather which would encourage people who normally may not have gone to restaurants indoors to be able to dine out.”

This shift does prompt broiler producers to expand output, but worker shortages could slow that effort. It takes two to three months to raise a chicken. USDA says that it might be a little longer than that before prices start to come down.