JACKSON COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — The price of eggs at the supermarket is giving many folks sticker shock.
In some places, the cost of a dozen eggs has more than tripled what it was a year ago.
One Jackson County farmer is increasing his egg production to help out his community.
Sonny Fortunato has been raising chickens with his wife for more than two decades.
His roost produces eggs for his family and some of his neighbors and friends, but with sky-high egg prices that show no signs of dropping, Fortunato decided to ramp up production.
“We amped up our operation because of the need, the local need,” Fortunato said. “We have a lot of hometown folks that don’t necessarily like the big box stores, but now that the big box stores are going up in prices, there’s no reason for us to hurt anybody. So we’re not doing it for the money part. In fact, mostly we give a lot of our product away so we’re trying to help out the local people, our neighbors, my friends, my family.”
Fortunato is purchasing hundreds more chickens to help keep up with demand.
“We have 19 hens right now that are laying and we have about 500 we’ll be getting over the next four or five months so we’re waiting on our delivery and we’re hoping to get a hundred today or tomorrow morning, and then we have another 80 or 100 coming at the end of this month,” Fortunato said.
Right now, the Fortunato’s produce between 12 and 15 eggs a day, but that number will soon be dramatically higher.
“We plan on producing about 300 eggs a day over the next…in 20 weeks they should reach maturity so we’re hoping to have about 300 eggs a day,” Fortunato said.
Fortunato plans to sell the eggs under current market value, at around $4.00 a dozen.