Interested in selling your backyard chicken eggs, but not sure where to start? We’ll walk you through everything you need from start to finish so you can get your eggs to market!
Common Reasons to Sell Backyard Chicken Eggs
There are many reasons to sell backyard chicken eggs – here are a few of the most common:
Covering the Cost of Feed
Chickens make lovely pets, but feeding them can get pricey! To offset the cost of feed, many chicken keepers opt to sell their extra eggs.
Selling your backyard chicken eggs is a great way to dip your toes into the world of entrepreneurship! It is incredibly satisfying to see your business go from an idea to a reality that brings in consistent income.
Providing fresh food to your community
Providing fresh, local eggs from well-loved chickens is a great thing to do for your community. It may be more affordable for some folks, and more nutritional, too!
Just for fun!
The entire process of designing a package, meeting customers at the markets and farm stores, and collecting eggs every day is extremely fulfilling. Nobody sets out to sell their eggs to become a millionaire – it’s all about the community and doing something wonderful for your neighbors.
Keep in mind, every state/city/municipality has varying rules and requirements. Check out our guide to selling backyard chicken eggs by state for a more comprehensive look at rules that may apply to you. Always check with local government sources to verify you are compliant.
Generally, you will need to obtain a regular business license as well as the proper licensing for egg handling.
From there, research the labeling requirements in your area. Typically, you will need to include your name, contact information, business address, nutrition info, safe handling info, and refrigeration info.
Depending on your local laws, you may or may not have to clean your eggs. Even if it is not necessary according to your local laws, taking the extra time to wash the poop and dirt from your eggs can make a huge difference to customers.
Preparing Your Eggs
Preparing your eggs in a compliant way may feel overwhelming, but once you streamline your process, it’ll be easy-peasy!
Firstly, as mentioned above, you’ll need to decide how you are going to clean your eggs. This will largely depend on how many eggs your chickens are producing. Your local regulations may also outline specific requirements for how to wash your eggs and with which materials. The simplest method, of course, is hand washing. If you don’t have many eggs, egg wipes are a convenient way to wash small quantities of eggs. Lastly, for those willing to splurge, automatic egg washing machines can wash large batches of eggs in less than an hour.
Next, you’ll need to make sure that you are recording what days the eggs were laid/gathered (depending on local laws). This information will need to go on your packaging – there are a few ways to go about this:
- Hand writing
Lastly, depending on local laws, you may be required to grade your eggs and include this info on your packaging.
Packaging Your Eggs
Packaging – the fun part! While it may seem frivolous to some, packaging really can impact your sales, as well as the longevity of your business. Developing a memorable package can go a long way in helping customers remember your brand, and once they remember you, they can come back to purchase again and again!
First, you’ll need to decide what kind of egg carton you’d like to use. Not many people know just how much variety exists in the wonderful world of egg cartons. Here are a few things to consider:
- Flat top vs View Style
- Paper vs Plastic vs Foam
- Colorful or Neutral
Once you have a basic idea of how you’d like your cartons to look, you can decide if you’d like to stamp or label your egg package.
Stamping is a more cost effective way to package your eggs, as you will only ever need to purchase more ink. With labels, you’ll have to buy new ones every time you run out. Although they’re more expensive, labels do tend to look more professional.
Where to Get Started Selling Your Backyard Chicken Eggs
When you’re first starting out, finding customers may sound like a daunting task. Luckily, there are a few key places to start to grow your customer base before you expand to more niche subcategories.
Personal Farm Store
If you’re comfortable getting folks coming to your home to purchase eggs, this is an easy and affordable way to start out. Get a yard sign or two to advertise, place them out front in an area that is visible to passerby, and wait for customers to start knocking!
For a small fee, you can get in front of exactly the kind of people who want to buy your product – farmers market visitors! While you may have to tweak your pricing to reflect the table fee, it is often well worth it. While there, let people know that you can offer them a discount if they buy direct instead – you may just get a few regulars!
Friends & Neighbors
Last, but certainly not least, are friends & neighbors. Not only will they likely be happy to support you in your business venture, but they can tell their network about your business, too! Once word of mouth spreads, your loved ones may just be able to net you a few loyal customers.
Other Ideas for Where to Market Your Business & Find Customers
In addition to friends & family, personal farm stores, and farmers markets, there are a plethora of places to find customers for your eggs.
Consider listing your farm on a free directory website like Local Hens. Sites like these get tons of people searching for where to find Local Food, and they will likely come across your listing in their search.
Many local restaurants would be happy to announce that their ingredients are locally sourced. If you can work out a partnership with restaurants that seem like a good fit, it’s a great way to go. You’ll get a new customer and free advertising from being mentioned on their menu, and they’ll get to say that their food is locally sourced (a major plus for many restaurant-goers).
Local Grocers & Co-Ops
Similar to farmers markets, you may have to pay a small fee to be accepted into a local grocer or co-op. However, many times it is well worth it as these places tend to get more foot traffic than a home-based farm store. Try it out and see what works for you!
Pricing can be tricky, but it is absolutely vital to a fruitful egg business.
When determining pricing, don’t just take into account your local farm competitors. It would also be beneficial to look at grocery store egg pricing. Ultimately, most consumers still shop at grocery stores, at least some of the time. By remaining competitive with big-box brands, you diminish the risk of being left behind for the convenience of a grocery store.
Now, you’re ready to get out there and build out your egg business! Be sure to stay legally compliant, create a knock-your-socks-off package, and remain competitively priced. Good luck and happy chicken keeping!