If you see fewer Easter egg hunts this year, it might be due to prices nearing record highs. Today we roll out some recent egg news and a few egg-centric facts.

The American Farm Bureau Federation found that average egg prices are 37 percent higher than this time last year.

The price increase is due to an increase in American and foreign demand for eggs while U.S. production stayed level.

Flu in Korea

The hike in foreign demand was exacerbated by a 2017 bird flu in South Korea, leading to a 663 percent increase in American egg exports there from 2016 to 2017.

U.S. of Egg

In 2017, the United States saw a 20-year record in egg consumption at 275.2 eggs per year, per person — an increase of half an egg from the year before. That includes store-bought eggs and those used in other products.

Weekly average prices

National average price for a dozen large eggs.

Egg type and percentage

Americans are laying down more money for cage-free eggs in major retail supermarkets than any other type of egg, according to the USDA Nation Retail Report.

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Coop scoop

California law requires a 5-by-12-foot coop to have no more than 60 chickens. That is equal to 1 square foot per chicken.

California and Massachusetts have the toughest animal welfare standards in the country, but California might soon have the toughest. A measure banning the sale of all eggs, pork or veal from any animal that has spent its life in a cage could be on the ballot if enough signatures are gathered by May 1. The measure, sponsored by the Humane Society, is called the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Hen high

Here are the top 10 states with the most hens in 2017 (in millions):

  • 1. Iowa 54.1
  • 2. Ohio 30.6
  • 3. Indiana 31.2
  • 4. Pennsylvania 26.1
  • 5. Texas 17.7
  • 6. Michigan 14.5
  • 7. California 13.7
  • 8. Minnesota 10.5
  • 9. Georgia 9.3
  • 10. Nebraska 7.2

Backyard birds

If you have chickens in your yard, you might want to consider signing up for the California Backyard Poultry Census from the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and Cooperative Extension. Those who sign up for the survey can get email alerts for avian influenza outbreaks and other health-related matters.

Just about every county and municipality in California has different regulations for backyard chickens regarding the amount, size of their coop and manure disposal.

Good sources of information are local animal control agencies and

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