With Egg Prices Skyrocketing, Can You Raise Your Own Chickens in San Diego?
Eggs are wildly expensive and in short supply throughout San Diego, causing many residents to ask themselves whether or not they can raise egg-laying chickens themselves.
The answer to that question is yes, but there are a few caveats. According to the San Diego Municipal Code, residents of single-family homes may raise up to five chickens — but only in a chicken coop in the backyard.
Note that this will vary depending on whether you’re in the city limits of San Diego. For those living in Encinitas or Escondido, the rules may be different.
A single hen can generally lay up to 300 eggs a year. Backyard eggs are also healthier than store-bought eggs. A backyard egg will typically have 33% more vitamin A, 25% more vitamin E, and 75% more beta carotene.
Before you rush out to the nearest chicken store, call ahead. According to NBC7 San Diego, chickens are — like eggs — in fairly short supply currently.
Many animal and farm stores are completely sold out of chickens because San Diego residents are rushing to buy them in the face of skyrocketing egg prices. Many stores only have baby chicks available, but even those are starting to sell out quickly.
If you do manage to find chickens or you plan to raise chicks, you’ll have to factor in the cost of food and a coop. NBC7 reports that it costs about $25 to get a couple of months worth of chicken food. A coop might run you about $200 or so.
Think of raising chickens as a long-term investment. While the upfront costs might be higher than a carton of eggs, you’ll stand to save money in the long run.
If you’re asking why eggs are so expensive in the first place, many farmers are blaming the shortage and price hikes on a particularly deadly outbreak of avian flu in 2022. However, at least one farm group is accusing the industry of collectively price-gouging in order to boost profits.
Want to just eat eggs without the work of raising a chicken? Head to the 8 Must-Try Spots in La Jolla for Breakfast & Brunch in January 2023.