Today I woke up at 6:55am, laced up my running shoes, and walked to the supermarket because it was 6:55am and I was definitely not jogging at that hour.
Why? Because New Zealand has run out of eggs. We are officially in a national egg shortage. It’s an ovo-crisis!
I mean, New Zealand has some eggs. Personally, we’ve got about 23. But there are not enough eggs. Few enough eggs that it has become common over the past month to visit the grocery store to see an entire bank of egg shelves picked entirely clean, which didn’t even occur during the height of our lockdowns.
Yes, people are even buying that one last carton in the corner with the cracked egg in it.
Apparently one measures these things not in terms of eggs but in terms of laying hens. Literally, the chicken came first, in this scenario. I have learned from the prestigiously-titled Stuff that we currently have 3.5 million egg laying hens (a 68% hen-to-people ratio), but we ought to have 3.8m egg laying hens (a 74% hen-to-people ratio). Those hens (and their predecessors, I suppose) laid about 92 million eggs in the year ending in June 2022, down an apparently staggering amount from 101.2m in the prior egg-laying calendar year.
Long story short, today I learned you need three hens for every four people.
The thing is: it’s not like New Zealand just found a whole lot more people. Even if we count tourism, we don’t have as many people in our borders as we did back in 2019, and there hasn’t been any chicken-specific diseases (that I’ve heard about, anyhow – and, we do have a line into the chicken community).
How did New Zealand run out of eggs?
To the best of my understanding, we actually ran out of eggs 10 years ago and just didn’t realize it until last week. [Read more…] about the early bird gets the eggs