- Yeah, we're just north of Charlotte in Huntersville at a 100-year-old, fourth generation family farm where they raise goats and grow melons and produce and fresh flowers too.
They even produce their own honey here.
But what customers really want right now are those eggs.
('50s-style music) ♪ How do you like eggs in the morning?
♪ - [Farmer] Let's bring him out.
♪ I'm satisfied - Hey girl.
Look at here.
- We're here in the hen house with Danny Austin owner of Austin Kidd Farm where every morning his chickens go from rusting to nesting.
(chickens cluck) - We got what, 6, 7, 8, 10 boxes.
You got about one nest for every five or six chickens and most of 'em lay a egg a day.
Average about five eggs a week per chicken ♪ How do you like the eggs in the morning?
♪ - So they roll 'em around and keep the chick moving inside.
- I'm getting about 80 eggs a day.
(chickens clucking) Yeah, still warm.
Fresh as you can get.
(laughs) Here chick, chick, chick, chick.
- [Narrator] Later on, Austin's hens moved from their cooped up early morning lay time to their rest of the day time crowding through the coops sliding door for a little free ranging outside instead.
(upbeat piano music) - I don't gather the eggs until afternoon 'cause we have some late layers.
There's a couple fresh eggs.
I guess I got happier chickens.
(laughs) - [Host] Happier says Austin because there's no cages for the chickens on his farm.
Just more room to roam.
Compared to these high output commercial egg farms that are more like egg factories with thousands of eggs laying on sort of an egg assembly line.
- Commercial chicken, that's a lot different than this.
They're not outside all, you know, all afternoon.
Eating grass and bugs which makes the egg a lot tastier.
You know you got a deep yellow, deep, almost orange yolk.
It's just got better flavor.
- [Host] Austin also has the answer to that question supermarket shoppers have been asking for more than a year now.
Every time we wheel our carts over to the egg aisle.
Why are grocery store eggs so expensive all of a sudden?
- Well the short, the bird flu.
So we've got 58 million been euthanized since the bird flu started.
It's going on two years now.
The prices keep going up, the feed went up.
So now they're even more popular.
You know, everybody wants eggs.
- [Narrator] But the bird flu that's killing off so many commercial farm chickens hasn't reached Austin's farm, so they've still got eggs to sell.
Austin Kidd Farm.
Just look for the sign and the customers in line every Saturday here at Charlotte's Regional Farmers Market.
- Sir, your chicken's doing good?
Yeah, they did pretty good for this winter.
- It'd be in line at 7:30 and you sell outta eggs in an hour.
- [Seller] You like a dozen?
- I'm gonna get 'em next week.
- I still have a dozen.
- Either they were short supply or they went through the roof in price.
- How y'all doing today?
- And now they realize the eggs taste so much better so they keep coming back and get the fresh eggs.
- I need eggs.
- Okay, you do?
- Couple dozen.
- Okay great.
- [Host] In fact, Austin Kidd Farm's entire egg inventory for sale on this Saturday morning.
30 dozen eggs were gone in less than 90 minutes.
And some customers who aren't buying eggs are buying chickens instead.
(chicks chirping) For do it yourself eggs at home.
(chicks chirping) - Got four more to pick up in April.
- [Host] Here at LL Goodnight in Sons in China Grove, they've been in the farm supply business since 1948.
- Every year from about the 1st of March through June we'll have chickens.
We'll get 'em every week.
- [Host] But fourth generation family owner Ben Watts says this year, chicken buyers started calling in January to place their orders months in advance.
Yeah, if you would like seven white ones, I can definitely write your name down.
- People calling in, they'll be like, "We want a dozen chickens."
I'm like, "Are you sure you want a dozen chickens?"
Like, "Yeah, we really like eggs," but we recommend for a family, three to four, three to five chickens.
'Cause I mean three or four eggs a day you will suit most families pretty good.
(chicks chirping) Some they lay blue and green eggs.
We've got some to lay a black egg, some lay brown.
- But Watts warns before they lay any eggs, these chicks will need eight to 10 weeks of care both inside your house and outside in the yard.
- So chickens need feed, water, place to keep warm.
You have to worry about hawks, dogs, possums at night.
I mean everything gets a chicken.
So a good strong, sturdy cage helps a lot.
- [Host] What also helps a lot is understanding that raising chickens is less like having a pet and more like having a backyard garden.
Even if you wind up paying more than the store for your own eggs.
- You will.
But the best thing about it is people can, they can educate.
They know where their food's coming from.
They know they have a constant supply.
- [Host] And when that egg supply finally runs out?
When they're done laying, is it Sunday dinner?
- Chicken noodle soup.
(laughter) - One more thing about those farm fresh eggs, Not only do they taste better but they might actually last longer.
All eggs are usually good in the fridge for five or six weeks, but those grocery store eggs by the time they're on the shelf, they're already about two weeks old.
The farm fresh eggs, well they're straight from the chicken.