How much do you pay for eggs? Do you purchase them at the grocery store or from local hens cared for by our Wyoming farmers and ranchers? In Fremont County, along with across Wyoming and the nation, eggs are in short supply. The current nationwide outbreak of avian influenza has killed over 60 million poultry. Of these, it is estimated 44 million were egg-laying hens. It’s the main reason that eggs are scarce on grocery shelves.
Did You Know?
A single laying hen can eat up to six ounces of feed per day; more in cold weather. That’s 2.6 pounds of feed per hen per week. Here in Fremont County, a bag of chicken feed can cost $0.47 per pound. Let’s do the math. It costs $1.23 per week to feed a single hen that produces, on average, four eggs per week. That means the cost just to feed hens to lay a dozen eggs can be $3.70.
We want to respect our farmers and ranchers by paying them a living wage for their work. Data shows that a living wage for Fremont County is $19.44 per hour. The minimum wage in Wyoming is $7.25 per hour. For our math here, let’s say it takes a poultry keeper an hour per day to tote feed and water to their hens, clean the coop bedding, collect eggs and package them into cartons, and then deliver the eggs to Riverton’s Fremont Local Market for its customers.
That poultry keeper tends a flock of 20 hens that produce, on average, eight dozen eggs per week. With an hour per day in a 7-day week, the cost of labor is seven multiplied by $19.44 per hour. That figures to labor, paid at living wage, costing $17.01 per dozen eggs. If we paid our farmers and ranchers minimum wage instead of a living wage, the labor cost per dozen eggs is $6.34.
The value of a dozen eggs, then, just for feed and labor costs can be: living wage $20.71 or minimum wage $7.04. That doesn’t include the needed vitamins and minerals, nor the cost of electricity, chicken coop and equipment, egg cartons, and replacement hens.
How much do you think eggs are worth?
Where can you buy local eggs?
Main Street Shopping
Fremont Local Market, located at 524 E Main St, Riverton (old Flea Market). Hours of operation are 10 am – 6 pm on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday; 10 am – 5 pm on Wednesday; and 11 am – 6 pm on Saturday. Follow them on Facebook.
Mr. D’s Food Center in Lander offers many Wyoming food products. Look for the “I’m Local” signage as you shop. Follow Mr. D’s on Facebook to see the hot tips on local food.
Convenient Online Ordering
The www.eatwyoming.com website is shared by farmers and ranchers across the Cowboy State. When you order your local eggs, sign up for the every-other-week VeggieBox subscription – a bag brimming with seasonal produce.
Home delivery is available. Free shipping when you pick up your order at a customer pick-up location. For County 10ers, at checkout select from these customer pick-up locations: Fremont Local Market (Riverton), The Kinnear Store (Kinnear), CWC Dubois Cyber Center (Dubois), and CWC Lander Center (Lander).
Dubois – November to May, 1st and 3rd Thursdays, 3:30-4:30 pm, 202 E. Ramshorn St.
Lander – October to May, Saturday 1-3 pm, VFW 11 Tweed Lane Facebook
Riverton – October to April, Saturday 9-11 am, Little Wind Center 1010 Fairground Rd. Facebook