Meat and Poultry Shortages Could Surge in November

Chicken and Turkey could be in short supply next month.. Claudio Schwarz on Unsplash/
Chicken and Turkey could be in short supply next month. Claudio Schwarz on Unsplash.

A friend of my daughter has a degree in poultry science (yes, that’s a thing) and works as a USDA inspector at poultry plants in the South. He warned my daughter that once the vaccine mandates go into effect November 1, there will be a drop in employees at poultry plants and meat production will slow down. He said this is likely to happen for beef and pork as well, but he only has first-hand knowledge of the poultry plants.

Let me put this in plain English: Expect meat shortages starting in mid-November and lasting months because of unconstitutional vaccine mandates aggressively implemented by the Biden Administration. Expect prices to rise even further.

Stock your freezer now. Blame Biden later.

If you are counting on a fresh turkey for Thanksgiving, you may be in for a rude awakening. I would suggest buying a frozen turkey in October, just in case. We’ve heard that numerous grocery stores have been stocking up on holiday food items to meet demand, but they can’t do that with fresh foods.

It will be interesting to see if 1) there is a shortage of turkey for Thanksgiving or Christmas and 2) if the stores continue to offer big sales on turkey and fixins to attract shoppers. If they do, consider buying an extra bird or two as it is difficult to get meat at that low a price. You can freeze them and then roast it on a cold day in February when having the oven on for a few hours will help warm the house. Eat a few meals off it and pressure can the rest. Then make turkey soup with the carcass and can it.

Post-Holiday Sales

As a prepper, I like to take advantage of holiday and post-holiday sales at the grocery store. It can be a good time to stock up on things like stuffing and canned vegetables. Seasonal canned goods like pumpkin and yams usually go on sale after Thanksgiving. They may also reduce the prices of baking goods because the stores know people bake for Christmas and want that business. Again, it will be interesting to see if stores can continue this practice. One thing I have read is that companies are cutting back on promotions as rising costs erode their margins.

I’ll be keeping my eyes open for media coverage of consumers who could not buy what they wanted for the Thanksgiving table or for Christmas.

Stocking Up

On Monday, I was in the city and stopped by Sam’s Club. I bought two six-packs of canned chicken, twice my normal purchase amount. I also bought another 8-pack of Spam and a big stack of canned tuna. Then I added 4 pounds of fresh meat for our freezer.

Sam’s was selling large trays of chicken drum sticks for $1.08 per pound, which was cheaper than I expected. Chicken thighs and wings, however, were over $3 per pound. Breast meat was even higher.

While this was not a full shopping trip, just an opportunity to stock up on a few things, I noticed they had more rice than the last time I was at this store, but less pasta. Last month, there were three kinds of pasta for less than $1 a pound. This time, only spaghetti was still in stock. Some pallets of food in cans and jars were low, but this may be because I shopped on Monday, the last day of what for many is a holiday weekend, and they had not yet restocked. There could be full pallets on the racks above.

Based upon my recent experience, it appears that both Sam’s Club and Costco are successfully keeping many foods in stock. Things are in far better shape than what I saw in the spring and summer of 2020 when entire racks of seafood were empty and meats were sparse.

If my poultry industry insider is right, however, we could see a lack of meat again soon.