My father was not much of a shopper, and he often was known to say, “If I can't get it at Tractor Supply, I don’t need it.”
The apple didn’t fall too far from the tree, but I’m more of an Orscheln Farm & Home man, myself. In fact, I once proclaimed that if Orscheln had a grocery section, there would be little need to shop anywhere else.
But now, with anxieties over the COVID-19 pandemic and worries that certain foods could be in short supply, many people are now looking to farm supply stores such as Tractor Supply and Orscheln for their grocery needs – and I’m not talking about those big bags of licorice sticks, cinnamon bears and salt water taffy near the checkout area.
They are heading there for eggs, albeit not for their immediate needs.
At the Tractor Supply store in Beavercreek, Ohio, shoppers have increasingly been buying chicks since the coronavirus pandemic intensified. So much to the point that the store is in short supply of the chicks.
"We sell live baby chicks and they're blowing out the door. Everybody is coming in and buying baby chicks. I've been sold out of them and it's normally not like this at this time of the year. Egg production is what they're looking for. They're not looking for them as meat chickens," store manager Gary Hendrickson told WHIO.
While it might seem foolish to assume anything is an overreaction during these uncertain times, I can’t help but think that some people are indeed overreacting.
Not everyone who gets these chicks will likely have the fortitude to raise the chicks until they grow to be of egg-bearing age. And some of those chicks are likely to grow to be roosters and therefore be incapable of laying eggs. Hendrickson expressed his worries that people buying these chicks will eventually not want them, and will later have some decisions to make. His worries are not unfounded.
If people are willing to commit to raising backyard chickens and taking good care of the birds for the long run, they have my support. But odds are not all of those people thinking they can raise eggs will have that sustained commitment.
During my most recent trip to the grocery store (sadly, not one where you can also buy tow chains, electric fence chargers and Wrangler jeans), there was still a decent supply of eggs, but admittedly, it was early in the day.
I know others have not had as easy of a time finding eggs at the store, but I will continue to have confidence in the egg industry and the entire supply chain to make sure that eggs will be at supermarkets as the pandemic continues. Those people bringing us eggs may not have jobs that are easy right now, but they certainly have jobs that are appreciated.
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