Homestead Finance - Homestead Life - Poultry

How to Sell Your Farm Fresh Eggs

How to Sell Your Farm Fresh Eggs - The Self Sufficient HomeAcre
How to Sell Your Farm Fresh Eggs - The Self Sufficient HomeAcre

Can You Sell Your Farm Fresh Eggs?

Selling fresh eggs from your laying hens is a homesteading dream that many people hope will add to their income potential. I’ve been selling eggs from my flock for quite a few years and have found that it isn’t as simple as putting a ‘Farm Fresh Eggs’ sign out in your front yard! Before you invest in extra chickens and a bunch of cartons, let’s get all your ‘ducks’ in a row.

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Before Selling Your Farm Fresh Eggs

The first step is to research your state regulations regarding home egg sales. Some states require certain conditions for the sale of fresh eggs from your home.

Here are some examples of rules you may need to follow:

  • Cartons must be new
  • Packaging must be marked with the date the eggs were laid
  • Label the carton with your name and address
  • Label as ‘ungraded’
  • Eggs must be washed and candled
  • The product must be refrigerated and sold within a certain period of time
  • Eggs must be sold directly from your home, or…
  • They must be kept in a mobile refrigerated unit when sold off-site
  • There may be limits to the number of eggs you may sell
  • You may need a permit

This is just a sampling of potential regulations. Not all states have strict regulations and you might be lucky enough to live in one of them. On the other hand, if there are regulations, adhere to them to avoid paying a fine. To find out more about selling farm fresh eggs in your state, check out Egg Laws by State.

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Important Note: Make sure you are up to date on the definition of free-range, organic, and pasture-raised, and don’t make false, misleading, or unlawful claims when you sell eggs.

You should also check with the health department to determine if there are additional rules enforced at the local level. The county Extension Office may have helpful information for small farmers and backyard chicken keepers hoping to sell fresh eggs.

How to Sell Your Farm Fresh Eggs

Now I’m Ready to Sell Farm Fresh Eggs, Right?

You checked the regulations and they don’t seem too daunting, so what is the next step? You need to check into the local competition and the going price for farm fresh eggs!

Check local availability and farmers’ markets, ask around, and find the answers to these questions:

  • Is your local market flooded with backyard chicken keepers?
  • What do they charge for their eggs?
  • Are they selling eggs of the same quality as yours?
  • Are their eggs available consistently?
  • Is there a solid customer base and what price will they pay?

If other people in the area are selling farm-fresh eggs, stop and check out their wares. If possible, ask questions about how well their eggs sell, if they sell eggs all year, how long they have been selling, and whether they have ever had a visit from the health department.

Make a few observations…Are they selling white eggs and do you have multi-colored eggs? Are their hens cooped up all day and yours are free-range? (If so, your eggs should have a deeper orange yolk, a definite selling point!) Do you feel that their eggs are well-priced?

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How to Set a Price for Your Farm Fresh Eggs

This is one of the most difficult parts of selling eggs from your flock. There are many points to consider when pricing a perishable product, including:

  • How much did it cost to produce a dozen eggs?
  • What is the going price in your area?
  • Does demand outpace availability?
  • How high does your profit margin need to be?

If you are selling a product that is superior to other farm fresh eggs for sale in your area, you may be able to charge a higher price. This will depend on what your potential customers are looking for. Some people are more concerned with price than quality. Hopefully, you checked into this before raising hundreds of laying hens!

If it costs more to produce a dozen eggs than people in your area are willing to pay, you have a choice…do you scale back on production or do you sell the eggs in a more lucrative market? If you need to transport and sell eggs at a farmers market in a nearby city, add in the cost of gas and renting a space to your price. At this point, you need to also consider how much time it takes to raise and sell the eggs and decide if the final price reflects your total investment.

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Selling Eggs Isn’t Right for Everyone

In my own experience, I’m not able to charge enough to cover the cost of raising the hens and feeding them. There are times when I have so many eggs that I give them away… which is a nice way to help out friends. In the future, I am considering keeping just enough hens to supply my own family with eggs.

If you find yourself in the same situation, perhaps you can sell some hens and reduce the size of your flock.

Ready, Set, Sell!

Now you’ve come up with a realistic and profitable price and you’re ready to put up that Farm Fresh Eggs for Sale sign! If you live on a busy road your eggs may sell like hotcakes. If not, try putting an ad on Craigslist, selling at nearby farmers’ markets, or selling to coworkers.

Can you sell to gourmet restaurants and specialty grocers? If so, you need to start a business and have eggs available consistently, or they may look elsewhere.

If all you really want to do is unload the extra eggs stacking up in your refrigerator, the easiest solution is to check with friends and family. They may be happy to buy or barter goods in return for your fresh eggs. Many backyard chicken keepers give the extra eggs to a food pantry or neighbors.

Maybe selling fresh eggs sounds like more work than you bargained for but, if you sell enough, it may be worth the effort. Just don’t go into the egg business with a get-rich-quick mindset…and, whatever you do, don’t put all your eggs in one basket!

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How to Sell Your Farm Fresh Eggs -  The Self Sufficient HomeAcre

22 Comments on “How to Sell Your Farm Fresh Eggs

  1. Gathering, clean eggs starts in the nest box, the hen house, and the run. Washing eggs from small flocks is usually accomplished INCORRECTLY by using cold water and/or soaking in a bowl of water which is basically fecal soup. Washing eggs removes the natural protective bloom. Thankfully In PA we do not have to wash eggs. People need better coop cleanliness practices OR need to learn and apply the only safe egg washing method. .

  2. Thanks for sharing with us at Simple Homestead Blog Hop! Your article is one of our features at this week’s hop – see you there!

    Melissa | Little Frugal Homestead

  3. We have chickens and I was curious about selling. Thanks for the super helpful information! I saw your link at the “You’re the Star” Blog Hop.

  4. Thank you for hosting! This is what I featured the week of 7-20 to 7-24 on my blog. On Tuesday was a No Bake Coconut Cream pie. Wednesday an old Fashioned Pecan Pie. Thursday was a Nutella Cream Pie. And winding up this week of Pies was my post, Tip Friday The Perfect Crust. Enjoy!

  5. We raise our small flock organically, so you can imagine the cost. I could not sell mine for enough to cover the cost of raising them local to me, however, if we traveled about 45 min to local farmers markets we could double our price and actually make $$$. We chose to reduce our flock and raise just enough to feed our family 🙂 Thanks for hosting as always and have a great week!

  6. I try to keep the maximum of RIR and Production Red hens , 500, allowed by my MS Dept of Ag. and Commerce Commercial Food Permit -Egg. I also hold the required NPIP ( National Poultry Improvement Program) Inspection Permit from the USDA / MS Dept. of Animal Health. I sell at popup Farmers Markets and The State of MS Farmers Market in Jackson, MS. When I started 6 years ago there were seven egg vendors, now only four and I am the biggest seller. The price others charged was $3.50. I started at $4.00 and slowly raised to $5.00 for mixed sizes and $5.75 for Extra Large / Jumbos. Raised to these prices in twenty five cent increments over 18 months. My niche is true chicken, tractor pasture raised hens, outside during daylight and weather permitting year round. Naturally foraging as Omnivores, supplemented with Non GMO, and free of wheat, soy, and corn feed. All other vendors “coop” hens and use conventional GMO feeds with lots of soy. The quality of the eggs sell themselves by word of mouth. Some large families buy 10 to 16 dozen a week! Use lots of visual aids, including a rolling power point of pictures. Have an attractive and changing booth helps a lot also. Buy my cartons super cheap ( ten cents each) at local manufacturer, right off the presses. Print my own labels. We use two “little egg washer” machines ( $269. 00 each) to clean eggs and refrigerate as soon as possible. gather eggs three times daily. Sell out regularly. Locally Whole Foods, Fresh Market, select Kroger’s and Walmart’s sell pastured eggs from 6 plus dollars to near 10 dollars a dozen plus 7% sales tax. No tax when buying from the Farmer!!! See us at Wamego Valley Farm on Facebook.

    1. Thank you very much for this detailed description of your business practices, prices, and experience, JM! I am very glad to hear about a natural, pastured operation that is able to charge a premium for a high quality product! I am sure that many of my readers will appreciate reading about your business model too. 🙂

    2. wish you all the luck, i’m just getting started with only a few selling eggs for only 2 bucks a dozen but stores are about the same price here in Alabama . I would like to know where you get your egg cartons for ten cents I need a deal like that I have found some for 60 cents at tractor supply. would you send me the address to where I can get some for a dime each thank you very much, danny

  7. It is against the law in Florida to sell eggs for human consumption without the proper state permissions and inspections………doesn’t stop anyone though.

  8. Good ideas and I think a lot of people also just sell to friends and family so that you can bypass most of that. I sold eggs on a regular basis to a few of my co-workers at one job and it worked great!

    1. Thank you, Nancy! I’ve done that too…I just didn’t want to go on the record advising people to bypass rules. 🙂

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