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How to Sell Backyard Chicken Eggs

Sell backyard chicken eggs

It’s unlikely you will become a millionaire when you sell backyard chicken eggs.

However, you should be able to generate a small income that can at least cover feed costs.

A basic primer on how to sell chicken eggs, whether you have a small amount every week or if you have a more significant amount for a Farmer’s Market.

Sell Backyard Chicken Eggs
Remember, all countries and municipalities usually have laws concerning what you can sell and where.

Although we will briefly touch on this, it’s up to you to find out what you need to do in your area.

And if you play your cards right, you can make a profit. Profiting from poultry eggs (food or hatching eggs) requires the right marketing plan. So let’s dive into how to sell eggs…

Prepare for Selling Eggs

Firstly and most importantly, your eggs must be clean.
Cleaning Eggs
Poop and dirt on eggshells are not acceptable to the general public or the USDA – although your Aunt Maud may turn a blind eye and declare it’s natural!

Friends and neighbors will probably turn a blind eye to those slightly misshapen eggs, too, knowing they are fresh and healthy.

Some folks won’t and will dismiss these ‘oddities’ as not for consumption.

As far as I can tell, there is no law against selling ‘visually unappealing’ eggs if your customer doesn’t mind.

Depending on where you live, you may or may not have to clean your eggs before the sale.
In the UK, eggs do not have to be cleaned unless dirty and can be sold un-refrigerated. In the US, eggs have to be cleaned before the sale and refrigerated.

Both of these approaches mitigate the possibility of salmonella in the eggs. The UK/EU vaccinate hens against salmonella. The USDA prefers to rely on clean eggs and careful handling to reduce the chance of contamination.

The UK started vaccinating chickens in 1997 and saw the cases of human salmonella drop a whopping 96% over succeeding years! The FDA has been considering this idea for several years but believes the data is inconclusive.

Sell Eggs Clean

The easiest way to keep the eggs clean is to keep the nesting boxes clean.
Check them every morning, replace nesting material as needed, and remove dirt and poop balls.

Collect eggs frequently to prevent soiling and damage.

If you have a couple of hens that like to sleep in the nest boxes at night, it’s time for them to graduate to the roosts – shut off the boxes at night if needs be and park them on the perch.

According to the USDA Farm to Table website, “It’s not necessary or recommended for consumers to wash eggs and may increase the risk of contamination because the wash water can be “sucked” into the egg through the pores in the shell.

When the chicken lays the egg, a protective coating is put on the outside by the hen.

Government regulations require that USDA-graded eggs be carefully washed and sanitized using only compounds meeting FDA regulations for processing foods.”

Depending on your local laws, you may prefer not to wash the eggs you will be selling. Some chicken farmers have begun advertising their eggs as “dirty eggs” to educate consumers who understand the benefits of keeping the bloom intact.

Some consumers prefer to wash their eggs because they can do it before eating (having left the protective bloom intact) and pass it based on their preferred cleaning method.

With that being said, you probably don’t want to sell extremely dirty or poopy eggs to your customers. Those should be washed and kept separately or discarded.

Egg Grading and Size Before Selling Eggs

The egg industry has defined what is ‘acceptable to the public in the size and shape of eggs, and many consumers believe that all eggs are precisely the same.

Anything different is frowned upon and considered ‘inferior’ – we know differently, though!
Industry eggs are graded, and for the most part, only ‘grade AA’ eggs make it to the supermarket for general consumption.

Grade ‘A’ is considered ‘acceptable’ but of lower quality.

Grade ‘B’ are eggs that may have stains, irregular shape, or shell quality.

These are sent to foodstuff manufacturers. ‘B’ eggs are not sold to the general public because they don’t measure up to the industry standard.
Egg Selling at Markets
The size and weight of eggs are generally divided into six categories:

  • Peewee – 1.25 oz
  • Small   – 1.5 oz
  • Medium – 1.75oz
  • Large – 2oz
  • Extra-large – 2.25oz
  • Jumbo – 2.5oz

You do not have to grade or size your eggs unless you intend to sell them commercially.

Farmgate sales are exempt from grading.

Also, you do not have to fill the carton with eggs of the same size. For instance, you can vary the size with two large, two medium, and two small.

Selling Eggs in Egg Cartons

You cannot use ‘brand name’ egg cartons since you are not selling the ‘brand’ eggs.
However, you can purchase new egg cartons inexpensively from your local farm or garden store.

I will re-use clean cartons, not broken or damaged, and non-soiled, erring on the side of caution.

If you plan on making this a regular occurrence, you might consider putting a label on the carton with your name, address, and phone number.

This way, people remember where they bought those delicious eggs!

Also, don’t forget to put a ‘best before date on the carton, so folks know the eggs are fresh.

Where Can You Sell Chicken Eggs?

You need to know who your potential customers are.

If you have a small number of eggs to sell weekly, the customer base may be friends and family.
Presenting Eggs Nicely
If you have a neighbor who is a bit ‘iffy’ about having hens next door, bribery usually works, so ‘donate’ them some eggs once every couple of weeks.

They may decide that the eggs and hens aren’t so rotten and start buying from you!

But, if you have more eggs to sell, you will need to start looking further afield.
Check around your area to see where you may be able to sell.

Campgrounds, local farm stores, and farmer’s markets are good places to start your sales pitch. If you sell beyond the ‘farm gate,’ you will generally need a license. However, if the campground owner comes to you – you will not need a permit!

In my experience, though, the best advertising is, of course, word of mouth.

If your eggs are tasty, reasonably priced, and local, you will probably have more customers than eggs, especially in the winter months.

Setting up a Roadside Stand to Sell Chicken Eggs

Before you start, think about other roadside stands you have seen.

Would you have bought from them? Why did you buy from them – more importantly, why didn’t you buy from them?

A tatty makeshift stand that’s held together with a couple of nails and duct tape will not attract customers! People will notice you can’t be bothered with a ‘good appearance,’ so what else can’t you be concerned with?

You can either build your stand or use a small garden shed for the task. Unless you have many other things for sale, a small homemade frame will probably be sufficient. Make it simple and fit your needs.

A freshly painted frame, a good presentation of your products, and even some whimsical decorations all help to attract folks. You need to put some time and effort into production – even if it’s just a sign saying “eggs for sale.”
Honesty Box Egg Selling
If you are in a position to have folks come to the door and ask for eggs, you need to ensure you are available at all reasonable hours.

If you want customers to come to your door, make sure you say something like ‘knock on the back door’ – it gives the idea that they are welcome and gives direction! No one wants to be poking around looking for someone to buy the eggs from!

A poster showing your hens and the pasture will let people know your hens are free rangers. A couple of close-ups of your girls will likely bring a smile to faces, and they will remember you for the future.

Ensure your products and prices are displayed so there is no room for confusion. Always check your spelling.

If you rely on people’s honesty and use an honesty box, do it cautiously. Ensure your money box cannot be broken into and bolt into the stand. Sadly, people can and will take your product and your cash.

How Much Should I Sell Chicken Eggs For?

Many consumers these days are aware of the terrible conditions in which hens are kept in the commercial world and will buy local, free-range eggs whenever possible.

Pricing your eggs to sell can be tricky. Suppose you consider all your expenses (feed, housing, water, electricity, etc.). In that case, the eggs may be too expensive for many folks, especially when they can buy a dozen much cheaper at the supermarket.

I generally sell mine to cover the cost of their feed.

Pricing will also have to consider the local availability of your product. Folks may pay more for freshly laid eggs if you live in town. In some rural areas where almost everyone has chickens, you may have to sell them cheaper.

Markets fluctuate, so keep your eyes open!

If your customers live a short distance away from you, they may appreciate ‘free delivery’ of their eggs, personalizing the service.

Eggs for Sale at Specialty Farmer’s Markets

If you raise bantams, quail, or ducks, there are specialty markets for you. Bakers love duck eggs – if you have never baked with duck eggs, I highly recommend it!!

You will have to do your homework to find these places, but it can be well worth it in the long run.

If you can get a small local restaurant or bakery to buy all your eggs, that is a bonus and a good start for your small business.

How T Sell Eggs Legally from Home to Farmer’s Markets

Finally, we need to touch on the legalities of selling eggs to the public. In a nutshell, small private sales from your home are typically exempt from licensing.

You need to be licensed if you wish to sell at farm markets, CSAs, or local stores. It would help if you also were inspected by the USDA and have your facilities inspected yearly.

Each state in the US is different, and the UK and Canada also have licensing systems in place, which you will need to comply with (if you sell there).

It can be frustrating to plow through the rules and regulations, but it is well worth the effort to avoid problems.

If you plan to become a business, you will also need a business license(s). These are usually available from the municipal building; the cost varies from State to State but is generally quite reasonable.

For example, you will only need a business license in NY state if you have over 1000 dozen eggs to sell per year!

Links to your local state requirements can be found here: www.nerous.org.

In general, the rules are not too onerous for the backyard seller. It only gets complicated once you decide you want to make it a business.

How To Sell Chicken Eggs Conclusion

Selling backyard chicken eggs can be a great way to cover the cost of your feed. You now know how to sell chicken eggs from farmers’ markets to roadside stands.

An average fifty-pound feed bag costs $15 here and will last thirty hens for around two weeks. If you can sell your eggs at $3/dozen, you’ll need three dozen eggs/week to cover the cost of the feed.

Every penny helps, and if you stash the cash in a separate container, you will be pleasantly surprised at how quickly it adds up!

Hopefully, this guide on how to sell eggs inspires you to start your side business or help your kids learn how to start a business!

Do your research, enjoy making your farm stand and enjoy the pocket money generated by your ladies. Who knows? You might make enough to buy some more chickens!

Let us know in the comments below if you sell your eggs and how much.

Read Next:  Organic Chicken Feed: What to Know Before Buying

Sell Backyard Chicken Eggs

31 thoughts on “How to Sell Backyard Chicken Eggs

  1. I sell my eggs for 4.25 a dozen.
    I encourage people to visit and tour our little farm where we have 4 goats, several bunnies, quail, hens, roosters, kitties. I give an average of 1 tour a day throughout the year or around 350 tours in a year!. This is how I promote the eggs. People, particularly people with kids, love to visit!
    I also sell quail eggs, baby bunnies, rabbit manure. Also, I take in animals to board (goats, chickens, rabbits, and whatever else someone wants). I plan to rent out my goats this summer for 15 dollars a day. People all around want them.
    I encourage people to bring food for the goats and chickens, which I always inspect before feeding.
    I barely break even on my costs for the farm, but by using other ways to give the hens nutrition they need (food brought in and raising mealy worms, and other strategies), I predict making a small profit this year.

  2. wow…. i never expected to make a profit from my 10 hens, all i wanted is the unconditional love they give me every day…. when they cooo in happiness i feel proud to be their keeper.. i love my chickens eggs or not!

  3. Am I overfeeding my hens? A 50 lb bag of feed for 16 hens and one roo lasts me about 10 days! Thank you for any information!

    1. That sure does sound like a lot of feed Sherry! It can depend though on the type of feed you are using…
      Claire

    2. be sure to inspect for “rodents” helping themselves! lol, I’ve recently discovered that I have attracted others for a free meal. that might be what is eating your food

  4. $3/dozen. I’ve sold a few dozen to co-workers who don’t request more. It’s the price they object to paying, but I don’t care. People just want something for nothing.

  5. Has anyone succeeded in resolving pendulous crop in a hen? I’ve tried a few methods, but to date, the condition persists. I am isolating her within the enclosure and restricting her intake, but don’t want to starve her…how much layer mash should she consume in one day to maintain a healthy weight? At night, before putting her in the coop with the other hens, I remove all food and grit or she will tgorge herself on anything she finds. When I brought her inside the house to fast her she ate her own droppings and the liner paper.
    She’s only a year old. I’m not interested in culling her. Even my chicken vet who at no small cost removed a fist sized grass/corn/grit/feather impaction last winter told me I can replace her for a few dollars. If she can live with this condition without suffering by our implementing a few modifications, then we want to do so.
    Any life saving suggestions, anyone?

  6. The grocery store sells “organic cage-free eggs” (not sure exactly what that means) for $5.39/doz +tax. I sell mine for $5 to coworkers, so I bring them right to them, Everyone has been very happy & I have considered getting ducks, but I free range and worry about them flying away. I live in Phoenix, AZ

    1. Most Domesticated ducks can’t fly. We have Pekin, Cayuga and Khaki Campbell, and they cannot fly.

      1. my Khaki Campbells kept flying right out of the tall fenced in area we have so unfortunately I had to clip their wings last year so the fox wouldn’t keep on getting them. He got 2 before that. I didn’t have to clip them this year since they got used to not flying out

    2. I’ve had several ducks over the years which I really loved. Their eggs are very good but before planning to sell them, I would ask around for potential customers. I never found anyone who wanted them, but maybe didn’t ask the right person. I loved their personalities though, as I spent lots of time with them from the time they hatched. So much fun. It was predators that killed them, one at a time, at night. You must get them secured by dark in a predator safe cage.

    1. Tough question to answer. Are they organically fed? Free range? Color of egg? I would check your local craigslist to see what the average price is. Are you selling with a little for sale sign or on craigslist. If its a for sale sign and drive-bys you can sell at a premium.

  7. Hello,
    So I want to get about five quails but I am not sure if people will buy there eggs? And if they do how much should I sell each dozen for?

  8. Curious. I new to chickens. And I have an abundance of eggs and would like to sell some. Do you refrigerate them before you sell them ? Or are they ok to stay on the counter for a week before having enough to sell? Thanks

  9. I have an overabundance of eggs because the friends and family who say they’ll buy them always forget and then end up picking them up at the store with the rest of their groceries. I wanted to give some to the Hope Fridge that just started up in my area but they won’t take them if I can’t put a “use by” date on the cartons. We’ve safely eaten refrigerated eggs that were 10 months old, so I have no clue what date to put on them to avoid people thinking they need to throw them out if they haven’t been eaten within a week or two of being laid.

    1. 10 Month’s old i would never have thought those eggs would still be good! For those that don’t now how to tell if eggs are still good, Put them in a bowl of water if they sink its good, If they float its bad, If turns one end up its going bad!!!

  10. Aw, this was a very good post. Finding the time and actual effort to produce a really good articleÖ but what can I sayÖ I procrastinate a lot and never manage to get nearly anything done.

  11. Not really arguing with you about salmonella, I know it can be a problem, but I’ve never washed my eggs, and I give the raw yolks to the dogs sometimes, and not ever had an issue. Maybe I’m just lucky, I don’t know. But I have a very small flock, their yard is always dry, and we keep the nesting boxes clean.

    I store my clean (as opposed to dirty, not talking about washed, I never wash eggs, the cuticle is necessary for slaked lime/water storage) eggs in water mixed with slaked lime. They last about a year that way, although the yolks do get a bit delicate after about 6 months. Dirty eggs we eat within a week, but we just keep them on the kitchen counter in a basket. If an egg floats when I put in in the lime water, I cook it for the dogs.

    I’ve been storing the eggs like this for a couple of years now, it’s one of the ways they used to keep eggs before refrigeration.

  12. We get two to three dozen eggs a day. We have lots of pretty colors too. We sell to some regulars but we always have extra. We’ve put signs on local, busy roads. The words are very large, easy to see, as the phone number is. It makes it easy for drivers to see our number. Egg sales pay for their food and extra needs. I made business cards and am going to hang them on mail boxes. We’re hoping this will help with sales.

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