SOUTH BRUNSWICK - As the avian bird flu drives up the cost of eggs, the idea of raising chickens is gaining traction in New Jersey.

George Spearnock, of South Brunswick, owns several red-headed hens. He says they started out as pets, but now he is able to get eggs every day. He also says they are much better than store-bought eggs.

"When you break open an eggs that's from the store and you break open an egg that's freshly laid, the yolk is so yellow and the egg is so perfect. You can taste the difference," Spearnock says.

Spearnock says the fact that he is also saving money makes it all worth it.

Professor Bill Hlubik at the Rutgers Cooperative Extension says more people want to have control over where their food comes from. He also says most owners spend the time and resources to give them the best care.

"Many of these people are growing chickens or raising chickens organically," he explains. "They're trying to raise a healthy bird and because they're isolated in most cases, you don't have a lot of chickens, then there's less chance of diseases."

According to the Department of Labor, the price of wholesale chicken eggs jumped by more than 84 percent from May to June. That's the largest single month jump since they first started keeping track.