WEST, Texas (FOX 44) – Avian flu and inflation have combined to increase egg prices over 70 percent from last year at this time. Leading many Central Texans to look for alternatives.

Families are thinking “outside of the egg crate” and turning to businesses like Mother Clucker’s Henhouse to buy their own chickens.

Mother Clucker’s Henhouse owner Ken Smotherman shares the value a hen brings to the home:

“It’s an educational experience for your kids. I mean, it’s having, you know, farm animals. You know, people today don’t realize what food comes from, and food comes from farmers and gives you that that experience. And this is where your eggs come from. They don’t come in a plastic carton to the grocery store.” – Smotherman.

Since January, Mother Clucker’s Henhouse has received five times the orders as last year.

The breeding process is critical to a chicken’s health, which is why it takes up to six to twelve to purchase a hen. This time period ensures that chickens are healthy with the nutrients and heat they need.

Hens start laying eggs at twenty weeks and lay about one egg every other day. If a family raises five to six chickens they will have more than enough.

Initial costs may serve as a deterrent to buying your own hens. The cost of a chicken coop ranges from $300 – $1,000 depending on the size and quality. Chicken feed ranges from $14 – $20 for twenty pounds.