WEST MONROE, La. (KTVE/KARD) – A dramatic increase in the cost of eggs is impacting nearly every budget, but especially local businesses

The Louisiana Department of Agriculture said this is due to the outbreak of the bird flu. Two local bakeries told KTVE they are both feeling the effect.

“The egg prices have increased over the last year. It’s been an impact trying to keep our prices affordable while being able to stay open. It’s been a struggle,” said owner of Bake 318, Monica Smith.

The brutal Avian flu, or bird flu outbreak, has killed over 43 million egg-laying hens across the country, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“You have to get them from retail or wholesale. You can’t just go and get them from somebody and their farm fresh,” explained Smith.

The Cupcake Shop is another bakery impacted by the surging prices of eggs. But, the co-owner of the shop, Kevin Wayne Bauthman, says they can’t afford to cut back on some of the popular items.

“We don’t overproduce because we can’t afford to waste, so we kind of take more about order. Certain recipes do require more eggs. For example, Red Velvet costs more eggs for us, but we can’t afford to get rid of that because it is so popular.”

But regardless of the soaring egg prices, these local shops say they will keep their prices stable for their customers.

“You have to be able to still afford things, but not gauge your customers’ prices because you want people to come back, and keep trusting you and as a local business and not someone who is charging ridiculous prices,” said baker at Baker 318, Morgan Miller.

The United States Department of Agriculture predicts that egg prices will start to fall now that the holiday baking season is over, and as farmers begin to rebuild their egg-laying stock.