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Selling Chicken Eggs


Beyond a regular supply of nutritious fresh eggs, you may want to sell your eggs to others. Such sales can yield profits for you and a quality, locally produced product for your customers.

The laying hens

A mother and son sell fresh eggs laid by their hens.Egg laying abilities vary among breeds. Most hens will start laying eggs when they are five to seven months old. Hens are most productive when they are one to two years old. Pullets, female chicken less than a year old, will initially lay small eggs. The eggs get larger as the hen ages. Generally, younger hens lay one egg every three to four days. At 30 weeks, two eggs every three days is common. Some hens are known to lay an egg a day.

Because eggs are produced in response to daylight patterns, a hen does not need a rooster to lay an egg. Hens can require 14 to 16 hours of light to lay regularly. Daylight and artificial lighting, if needed, affect egg production. Gather eggs at least twice daily, and more often during extremely hot or cold temperatures. The longer they remain in the nest, the dirtier they get. The chance of breakage increases, too. Wash and dry the eggs after gathering, and place them in clean cartons. Refrigerate them as quickly as possible.

Candling is a process that allows the seller to see inside the egg. Hold the egg up to a light in a darkened room, so the light can shine through the egg shell. Candling determines the condition of the air cell, white and yolk. It also detects bloody whites, blood spots or meat spots. Candle incubated eggs to determine if they are fertile, as well as to see the growth and development of the embryo.

To market

On-farm stands and farmers markets offer profitable direct selling outlets. Selling eggs directly can be time consuming, so do not overlook the time that is necessary to make it a successful endeavor. When developing your sales plan, consider your individual abilities, the time commitment and the additional responsibilities of your household or farm.

Find wholesale opportunities at grocery stores, restaurants and hotels. If the quantity is large enough, consider using a broker to market and sell your eggs wholesale. Any compensation paid to the broker reduces your net profits, but it also reduces the time you spend marketing and selling.

Producer cooperatives allow sellers to combine their skills and time, so they can distribute and sell more eggs than they might individually. This may be a good option for you.

In addition to traditional white and brown eggs, markets may be available for specialty, organic or free-range products.

Research local market prices for eggs and set your prices accordingly. Also investigate local laws and regulations that govern farm products like eggs. Different rules usually apply to on-farm, farmers markets and wholesale outlets. The laws may address inspection, licensing, safety, insurance, labels and record keeping.

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