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New law could spike egg costs amid shortage

A new law begins Sunday that will move Colorado towards 100% ‘cage free’ eggs.

DENVER — The executive director of Colorado Egg Producers says customers at the grocery store will likely see some sort of increase in the price of eggs, relating to a new law that begins Sunday, that will move Colorado towards 100% ‘cage free’ eggs.

On January 1, egg producers will be required to give one square foot of space to all egg-laying hens in order to sell eggs in the state.  By 2025, all egg-laying hens in Colorado will be required to be cage free.

“With different confinements – of course there’s a cost to that,” said Bill Scebbi, executive director of Colorado Egg Producers. “And raising hens in these other facilities, other environments it’s more costly to raise the hens and produce the eggs. So that will equate to an increase in price. What that’s going to be we can’t say.”

Scebbi said the change in law comes as the state’s egg producers deal with a difficult outbreak of avian flu, which led to the death of up to 90% of the state’s egg-laying hens.

“Our farmers are now rebuilding their flocks,” Scebbi said, adding that it could be May before the supply of eggs in the state returns to normal.

Scebbi said Colorado’s new law certainly is in line with consumer desire. 245 commercial organizations, retail organizations and restaurants joined in a letter during the process saying they wanted more cage-free egg options.

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