TOPEKA (KSNT) – Both farmers and egg lovers are facing a new shortage like never before.

Baby chicks are sold out far and wide.

In Topeka, 27 News checked in with 2 brick and mortar chick sellers: Orschelns and Tractor Supply. At the time, both were completely sold out of chicks, expecting restocks within the next three days for Orshelns, and “sometime this week hopefully” for Tractor Supply.

This issue isn’t just taking place in the capital city, or even Kansas. The expert 27 News spoke with says chicks are sold out from coast to coast.

One factor? Inflation. 27 News met up with a local farm business in Topeka that sells chicks once or twice every month. The last event they held over the weekend was their busiest yet by far.

“Inflation is definitely a part of it, a lot of people they want to be able to grow their own food, know where it comes from that’s definitely a big thing,” Tarwater Warehouse Manager Blake Chance said. “Not being able to know if it’s going to be in the grocery stores and knowing it’s going to be in your backyard, it’s definitely changing people’s minds on things.”

The expert 27 News spoke with at K-State says the other large factor in this shortage has to do with sickness. The COVID-19 pandemic created a high demand for eggs and chicks in 2020, as well as a round of avian flu in 2015 and a second round hitting last year.

That high level of demand combined with both rounds of avian flu, created the perfect conditions for this short supply.

“I think that people are saying well we didn’t get chicks last year, we were worried about the flu, worried about feed costs, I think we’re going to replace our flock,” K-State Extension Poultry Specialist Scott Beyer said. “I think that is probably what is driving this early season buyout of chicks.” 

Beyer says the typical store bought chick takes about 18 to 20 weeks to hatch an egg, and nearly half a year for the first set of large eggs.