Urban chickens grow in popularity as egg prices increase

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – As a result of the bird flu in the Midwest, egg prices are continuing to rise. Now, many people are taking the scrambled situation into their own hands and farming at home. This is not the only thing motivating people to host their own hens.

“Everybody wants to know whether their chickens and eggs have steroids in them,” says Parrott’s General Store owner Tommy Jones.

Cutting costs and keeping the birds and families who raise them healthy. Jones says chickens can be educational for kids, too.

“The average person today that goes to the grocery story, especially children, don’t even know where an egg or a chicken comes from,” says Jones. “This way, they see both.”

A chick at Parrott’s costs $3.50, a little less than a dozen free-range, large eggs from the grocery store. But upkeep is a different story. With food and housing for the birds, it could cost more than $50 for just two chickens. Still, many people say it’s about the experience.

“I’m excited because I’m getting a chick,” says Alanah Locklear.

Alanah and her mom Gwen came to Parrott’s to purchase a dozen chicks. They were surprised to learn of the location that chickens may be kept. Within Greenville city limits, a person can have up to four chickens or ducks as long as they do not smell or cause a noise disturbance. In Kinston, a resident cannot raise poultry but the birds can be sold. Gwen Locklear says the benefits of farming are far-reaching.

“We started doing it a while ago,” says Locklear. “We raise ducks and chickens and sell the eggs and she helps take care of them.”

The feathered friends are also a big attraction for people visiting Parrott’s on Heritage Street in Kinston. People say they aren’t used to seeing chickens in the city.

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