Chicken prices are increasing due to a genetic issue in a breed of rooster.
Have you noticed lately you’ve been paying a little extra for your chicken? We’ve seen an upsurge in beef and pork prices but now if you want chicken, you have to hand over a little more. The increase seems to be due to one breed of rooster whose fertility level has been comprised due to a genetic issue.
The standard Ross male is a key rooster breed responsible for 25 percent of the chickens raised for slaughter in the U.S., and their fertility level has reduced due to a change in its genetics.
According to sources, chicken prices are up 50 cents a pound, along with the already high prices of pork and beef. The Aviagen Group is the world’s largest chicken breeder and after they noticed a roughly 2 percent increase in hatch failure of eggs, they noted the problem.
The genetic twitch caused them to be overly sensitive to overfeeding so when they become fat, their fertility levels dropped.
There is already a short supply of breeder birds. Normally, the annual average increase of chicken production is 4 percent but the U.S. Agriculture Department reduced its U.S. chicken production forecast for 2014, foreseeing only a 1 percent increase in poundage from 2013. So, next time you hit the market, be prepared to hand over some more “buck bucks.”