VINTON, Va. (WFXR) — It’s hard to miss the high price of eggs at the grocery store.

Mary Rapaport, consumer affairs and educational director at the Virginia Egg Council, says chicken farmers are facing the same rising supply and operations costs as everyone else, but they were also hit by the avian flu. She says the disease took out 40 million laying hens across the U.S.

“You’ve seen turkey prices go up, you’ve seen any kind of chicken prices go up, and then of course egg prices go up,” said Rapaport. “It’s all because we just don’t have as many laying hens.”

Jamie McCarthy at Dogwood Restaurant in Vinton says they’ve been watching the price grow for months.

“Back in August, they were $48 a case, a case is 30 dozen,” he said. “Then in October, they were $120 a case, and then they went back down to $90 a case in November, and in the last week or so, they’ve gone up to $172.”

McCarthy says they’re having to really watch their inventory so that the rising cost of eggs doesn’t translate to a rising cost for customers.

Rapaport says we shouldn’t expect to see costs go down until avian flu is under control and flocks have a chance to recover, but even so, she says eggs are still one of the most affordable proteins on the market.