GASTONIA, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — As the cost of eggs continues to skyrocket across the nation, one North Carolina grocery store chain is putting the brakes on how many cartons you can buy at one time.

Harris Teeter now restricts egg purchases to three cartons per shopping visit in Charlotte.

Egg prices have doubled in the past ten months. Experts say it is due to a perfect storm of circumstances. The cost of feed, which makes up 80% of production costs, has gone up.

On top of that, the Bird Flu has claimed 40 million egg-laying hens across the country. The massive loss has resulted in egg farms taking on extra costs to prevent new flu cases.

In the Carolinas, several chicken farmers have made structural changes to their property to lessen the chance of their hens contracting the disease.

“So far, we have been good,” Hello Darling Farm owner Holly Burrell said.

The driveway is the closest outsiders can get to her hens that roam the Gastonia farm. She’s no beginner when it comes to the deadly bird disease.

“We are small, but we are mighty,” Burrell said. “It’s a lot more than just having a few chickens.”

Burrell runs a tight ship – no visitors, foot traffic, or outside vehicles are allowed on her property. It’s a biosafety protocol she adopted in the early days of one of the worst Bird Flu outbreaks in U.S. history.

“This isn’t really our first rodeo with avian influenza. It seems to come and go every few years. But this past last year, at the beginning of the year, it affected us, and I got really worried about it because there were so many farms that were being affected, even here in the state of North Carolina,” Burrell said.

Up close, her 300 chickens are healthy, laying eggs for hatching and consumption.

“Our biggest customer is that back-yard chicken person, that person that wants to have one or two chickens,” Burrell said.

Burrell has created a safe haven to keep her business and hens alive. Last year, she built several tent coops where chickens could be separated if necessary.

“We don’t want to do that because we want them to be able to live their best life, and that’s the reason why we are letting them semi-free range and my free-range flock just go. Obviously, that is what’s best for the chicken to live their best life and let them go where they want to go,” Burrell said.