California laws giving chickens more room to roost expected to lead to higher US egg prices

Associated Press

The new year is expected to bring rising chicken egg prices across the U.S. as California starts requiring farmers to house hens in cages with enough space to move around and stretch their wings.

The new laws give hens more room and require any farmer in the country selling eggs in California to abide by California's standards.

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Iowa farmer Jim Dean says he'll have to revamp henhouses, costing millions.

University of California, Davis, agricultural economist Daniel Sumner said egg prices could go up dramatically at first. He expects prices to eventually settle at 10 and 40 percent higher in California and return to normal throughout the country.

Wayne Pacelle of the Humane Society of the United States says that by paying a little more, consumers will help end the inhumane treatment of chickens.