Western New York, the home of spicy "Buffalo wings," is suffering from a chicken wing shortage in the days before Super Bowl XLIII, according to U.S. news reports.

The Lockport Union-Sun & Journal, a daily newspaper that serves communities in Niagara County, reported Jan. 14 that the snack enjoyed by football fans is in short supply at bars and restaurants in parts of New York state.

Feb. 1 is Super Bowl Sunday this year.

The shortage is reportedly due to two unrelated developments: Texas-based Pilgrim's Pride, the largest chicken producer in the U.S., filed for bankruptcy protection in December; and demand is great at this time of year as the U.S. prepares for the NFL championship game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Arizona Cardinals.

Kickoff is set for 6:20 p.m. ET, wings or no wings.

Restaurant owners quoted by the newspaper say they are not happy because the shortage has led to higher prices for chicken wings from food suppliers.

Boycott urged

One is calling for a chicken wing boycott on Monday to protest.

Sam Musolino, owner of Sammy's Pizzeria in Niagara Falls, N.Y., told Buffalo's WIVB-TV on Thursday he is planning not to serve wings on Monday and is urging other pizza shop owners to do the same.

Musolino said the price of an 18-kilogram case of wings has practically doubled, now costing US$85. He told WIVB-TV the chicken wing shortage is bad news for people in the food business.

"I have to raise my prices, and the people who can't afford it won't spend money," he is quoted as saying.

Buffalo is said to be the chicken wing capital of the U.S.