Beginning in 2015, a new regulation will require anyone who wants to sell eggs in California to have hen houses with 116 square inches of space for each chicken. The birds will get 70% more space (previously, the requirement was 67 square inches per chicken), but as a result, farmers may have fewer numbers of chickens actually laying eggs. This chicken-and-subsequent-egg shortage could cause a price increase of as much as 20%. One farmer told Civil Eats that a dozen eggs will probably cost about 10-15 cents more.
However, as Modern Farmer explains, the new regulation represents a hard-fought victory for animal rights activists. And, because California's massive economy can often lead the way for industry changes in other states, we might be seeing similar regulations across the country.
All in all, it's a small price to pay for happier, healthier chickens.