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Selling Chicken Eggs for Profit
Many people with a backyard flock often end up with more fresh eggs than their families can eat. Selling chicken eggs for profit becomes not only a benefit of having chickens, but can also help earn some extra money to help with the bills. Anyone who eats eggs in your area could be a potential customer. There is a real difference between home farmed eggs and those from the stores. Backyard eggs often taste fresher and the yolk appears brighter and better formed. It is often easy to find customers, once they have tasted the difference and can appreciate the benefits!
If selling chicken eggs for a profit is your goal, start by choosing hens for your flock that are known to be better egg layers, such as White Leghorns. They produce white eggs in larger quantities, which is great if you want more eggs from fewer birds. If you want to offer something a little different that might help sell more eggs, try raising either Golden Comets or Red Sex Links, both of which lay copious amounts of brown eggs.
To help in planning, consider that most hens will be 5 to 7 months old when they start laying eggs. The most productive egg-laying period is when hens are 1 to 2 years old. Eggs start out smaller when hens first start laying, but will become more normal in size when the layers are about a year old. When they first start laying eggs, chickens average one egg every three to four days. At seven months, you should probably get about 2 eggs every 3 days. The better layers can average 1 egg a day, in their peak, if you’re lucky. For planning purposes, if you are selling chicken eggs for profit, you should plan to get 4 to 5 eggs per hen, per week. If you have 10 hens that are good egg layers, they should produce 40 to 50 high quality, farm fresh eggs per week. If your family needs one dozen a week, you can probably sell the other 2 to 3 dozen eggs.
The daylight is what causes egg production in a chicken, not a rooster. For a steady flow of eggs, chickens require about 14 to 16 hours of light per day. This can be accomplished through natural daylight and adding supplemental lighting. If the lighting decreases, so does egg production. Fewer eggs equals smaller profits!
Ideally, if you want to sell chicken eggs for profit, you should collect them at least twice a day. When the temperature is very hot or cold, you should try to collect them more often. The eggs get dirty and are more likely to break if they sit in the nest box for too long. Once removed, clean the eggs with a natural egg cleaning product, or with egg wipes, or wash and dry them. Once they are dry, place them in the egg carton. Once in the carton, keep the eggs refrigerated until they are ready to sell.
Do some research locally to find out how much others are selling farm fresh eggs. If you have followed all organic practices for raising your chickens, including feeding them only certified organic feed, then selling organic eggs will provide a higher selling price and attract a segment of the buying public that will value and remain loyal to buying organic products for their families. Set your egg prices to be similar to your local market. Special eggs such as multi-colored Araucanas or eggs from free-range chickens can also add value and fetch higher prices.
Neighbors, relatives and co-workers are easy customers, and a great place to start. As you progress and have enough fresh eggs to sell to a wider audience, you could see if a local farm stand would be willing to sell them outright or buy them for resale. A consignment offer gives the farm stand owner a free run to make money and increase their product offering to their customers. Other options could be to see if any local markets, restaurants or hotels might be interested in buying your eggs.
Finally, if you have the ability to produce larger numbers of eggs, there are egg brokers you could turn to for help selling, as well as egg producer cooperatives that will help sell their members’ eggs. With this endeavour, always check and comply with any local laws regarding the sale of farm products such as eggs.
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