JAMESTOWN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — The rising prices of eggs continue to impact people across West Michigan. Rather than purchasing them at the store, some customers are now turning to local farms or neighbors for fresh eggs.  

Jamestown Township resident Patricia Kraus started raising her own chickens last year and mainly sells her eggs to friends and family. More recently her inbox has been exploding with requests from other people. 

“I definitely have to turn people away and tell them I can let them know if I do get a surplus,” Kraus said. 

There might be a misconception that buying eggs from an individual rather than at the store would be cheaper, but Kraus explained that oftentimes people prefer to barter or trade for eggs, so she makes out better than she would by just selling them. Because of this, homesteaders like herself often have to price their eggs higher than grocery stores.

“People will bring me $7 to $8 worth of food or supplies for my chickens, so I have a hard time selling them for any less than $7 to eight $8 for a dozen,” she explained.

Higher costs also typically mean a higher quality product. 

“Farm fresh eggs are… they’re better and they honestly should be more expensive than the ones you find in the store because we know what we feed our chickens; we know that they’re taken care of,” said Kraus.

Kraus said caring for chickens is a lot of work. They are often subject to predators and can be dirty and disease prone, so they require keeping a close eye. She encourages people to continue supporting their neighbors even if some of those local prices are a bit more than big market stores.

“Here in Jamestown, I’ve definitely noticed that support in the local and things are tough right now and they’re tough for everybody so if you can support your neighbor versus the big market store you definitely want to and with bartering, you can get rid of stuff that you’re not using anyhow.”

Another thing to keep in mind if you purchase ‘farm fresh’ eggs is that although they might appear dirty, it’s because they usually still have the protective coating on them from the chickens, which allows the eggs to be stored on your countertop for around two weeks before they need to be refrigerated.