If you're in a region where egg prices have soared, you may have considered becoming a chicken farmer and raising your own laying hens.
You're not alone. Tractor Supply Co. expects to sell 11 million chicks this year, up from 10 million in 2022, PN's sister paper Crain's Chicago Business writes.
"We've seen a lot of people do this as kind of like a new hobby that they kind of do together," Tractor Supply Chief Merchandising Office Seth Estep told Crain's Chicago. "But what I would say is with the uptick in egg prices, we have seen very strong demand this year already, similar to the last couple years."
The current interest comes on top of surging sales that began when the COVID-19 pandemic saw people moving to more rural locations thanks to work-from-home business practices.
All that chicken farming also is leading to more business for the makers of chicken coops and accessories.
One study estimates that the demand for chicken coops will see an annual growth rate of 8.1 percent between 2021 and 2028. That includes all-plastic coops, which can be easier to set up and are lighter to move. United Kingdom-based company Omlet won a top Plastics Industry Award in 2017 for its plastic Eglu coop. New Age Pet, based in California, sells a range of coops made with recycled plastic.
But don't go into backyard chicken farming thinking you'll immediately save money on groceries. Urban farming group Star Farm Chicago told Crain's that families invest between $1,000 and $3,000 to establish their chicken operation.