Want to sell your small farm’s chicken eggs, but not sure where to start? Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about backyard chicken egg selling laws.
*Note: If you have over 3,000 laying hens you must comply with US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) Egg Safety Rule.
Label Must-Have Information for Every State
Although some backyard chicken egg selling laws do vary based on location, these are essential pieces of information that every chicken farmer needs to include. Whether you have 1 bird or 500, everyone will need to label their eggs with:
- Contact Information (Seller Name, Phone Number, & Address)
- “Sell By” Dates – 30 Days After Laid
- Safe Consumption Warnings Must be Clearly Visible
Nice Personal Touches to Add
- A short message from you and your family
- A list of your chickens’ names/ages/fun personality facts
- The story of how you started your farm
- Farm hours
- Let them know where to find you (farmer’s markets, local grocers, etc)
Where You Can Sell Your Backyard Chicken Eggs
Generally speaking, farm fresh eggs may be sold on the farm, backyard, homestead, etc; or hand delivered by you with no need for any special licensing/certifications.
Other great ways to generate more egg sales:
Map out popular local flea markets, farmer’s markets, and craft fairs. Rules for licensing will vary for these based on the individual organization, so once you’ve found a few places you’d like to sell your eggs, be sure to contact them about their specific rules.
Be sure to find your state from the list below to double check local laws and regulations – all are linked to official .gov, .org, & .edu websites.
Do I Need to Grade My Backyard Chicken Eggs?
Since this guide is intended for non-commercial farmers, no. Non-commercial farmers are not required to grade their eggs, and should not declare certain grades (AA, A, B, etc.) or sizes (small, medium, large) on their cartons.
You can, however, sort your eggs by size if you would prefer to sell them that way. You can also mix it up and add a few sizes of each per carton – that’s the beauty of selling your own eggs!
Since private farmers are not required to grade their eggs, you should mark your egg cartons as ‘ungraded’ or ‘unsized’.
Certifications – Organic, Free Range, Etc.
Although these statements may very well be true of your eggs, these are regulated classifications that you must obtain certification to label your eggs with:
- Free Range
- Pasture Raised
- Certified Humane
If you do not wish to get certified for any of the phrases listed above, consider using alternate wording to convey a similar quality message for your product:
- Naturally Raised
- Farm Fresh
- Freshly Laid
Should I Wash My Backyard Chicken Eggs Before I Sell Them?
We all know that eggs don’t come out shiny and new – they almost always come in contact with dirt, fecal matter, or both. This should be washed off for general cleanliness and to make the experience nicer for your customers.
Washing your eggs’ protective coating off is a different story. This is a rule that depends heavily on which state you and your flock reside in. Don’t forget to head over to your state’s egg laws link to double check (below).
Refrigerating Your Backyard Chicken Eggs
Eggs intended for sale should be stored at temperatures of 35 – 45 degrees Fahrenheit. This is also an important piece of information to place somewhere on your egg cartons, carton labels, or customizable stamps!
Find Information on Backyard Chicken Egg Selling Laws by State
- Title 2, Chapter 12
- New Hampshire
- New Mexico
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- New York
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia