Have the chickens left the building in the United States? Things are not looking up for chicken wings enthusiasts in the country. There's a poultry crisis broiling on the horizon with many restaurants reporting severe chicken wings shortage, that has forced them to hike up the price or completely take them off their menu. According to the country's largest poultry producer, the increases in demand has led to wings shortage across the country.

Joe Sanderson, CEO of Sanderson Farms, at the Goldman Sachs Global Staples Forum on Tuesday said, "We cannot supply enough wings to anybody, at retail or at foodservice."

According to FOXBusiness, Wing prices soared to $3.16 per pound for customers picking Sanderson’s dock, while boneless chicken breast prices have climbed 236% since the fall to $2.25 per pound while tenders have spiked 77% to $2.43.

Why the sudden shortage?

The pandemic is the leading cause of the sudden dip in poultry production. The demand for comfort food - fried Chicken, Wings, tenders and what have you's - exponentially increased during the lockdown.

The Chicken Sandwich war - The battle for chicken sandwich dominance- that began on August 12, 2019, to little fanfare took off like wildfire during the pandemic, with major fast-food chains like KFC, Mcdonalds and Burgerking throwing their hat into the coop. The orders soared and farms couldn't keep up with the demand.

The volatile weather also impeded the supply chain as it impacted the chicken flocks. The National Chicken Council blamed the harsh winter as a root cause and indicated that extra time is needed for supply to “catch up” with demand.

The poultry industry is already hard at work controlling the messaging around the growing alarm over a chicken shortage. National Chicken Council spokesman Tom Super said there was a “very tight supply but short of a shortage.”

Last month, a regional fast-food chain, Charlotte-based Bojangles, said that they were short on chicken supremes at some locations. They are still running low on tenders, fox reported.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on May 23, 2021 05:46 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).