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Selling Eggs — The Grow Network Community
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Selling Eggs

I am hoping to start selling eggs this summer/fall and I was wondering if anyone had any tips or ideas? Thank you in advance!

Comments

  • Denise GrantDenise Grant Posts: 1,680 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Hi @COWLOVINGIRL Does your state have regulations on selling eggs? That is the first thing I would check. My state has (too many)

    I keep mine in a styrofoam box if sell outdoors to keep cool.

    Some states make you date the eggs to show freshness

    I sell mine either from home or to friends. Our farmers market has too many regulations for me to take them there.

    I give discounts for egg cartons

  • vickeymvickeym Posts: 691 ✭✭✭✭

    We sell eggs in Alaska, and live in a fairly small community. So things could be different where you are.

    We found one of our best advantages is the fact that we deliver. Some deliveries are to local businesses, but we are selling to the employees, not to stores or someplace where they are reselling.

    We also deliver to customers homes if they are not too far out from the main part of town. We have also arranged to meet folks at our local post office or grocery store parking lots. We do not set up and openly sell from vehicle at grocery store or anything and we do have permission to meet folks there.

    We had a small shop right in the middle of downtown and tried having customers come and get their eggs. 98% of them never showed up. Went back to delivering and have a hard time having enough eggs for everyone. Did I mention we currently have about 170 layers? lol

  • MaryRoweMaryRowe Posts: 412 ✭✭✭✭

    Depending on your state and county, the regulations and paperwork can be a major hurdle. When I first got chickens I planned to sell eggs. Then I checked state regulations....you start the process here by filling out a 28-page form and scheduling an inspection of your farm (there's an inspection fee, of course, and another fee for the license...). Add that to the extra county and farmers market regulations, and I decided the few eggs I would have to sell wouldn't be near enough to make it worth it. The problem here I think is that "egg factory" big business is entrenched in this state, and has lobbied the state legislature for such massive regulation to drive small producers out of business.

    I know of a lady who quietly "gives" a dozen eggs here and there to people she knows well and they in turn "gift" her with a couple dollars in return, and I know of others who quietly barter with their eggs. So far they've never gotten into trouble for it, but I wouldn't want to be in that situation of waiting for something to happen. I hope the situation is better in your state!

  • Denise GrantDenise Grant Posts: 1,680 ✭✭✭✭✭

    What do you charge for your eggs @vickeym .

    Our regulations were passed by our state and were set up for cities but it trickles down. It makes it difficult for the small farms. We also have competition from the amish in our community. They often have eggs for $1 dozen thye sell from home or road side stands.

    But if you get to know your customers you can sell for a better price. I never sell eggs at the farmers market in town. If they set up a market outside the city, (only 10000 people) i can sell there without the rules

    Love the delivery idea and it would stop the no shows or show up two weeks later. Great idea.

    It works better for me to barter eggs than sell them here

  • vickeymvickeym Posts: 691 ✭✭✭✭

    We get $5 a dozen. But most things cost more here anyway. That is the average going rate here. Though I have seen them for more and I know there is a co-op that sells in Anchorage (about 100 miles from us) and gets around $8 or $9 a dozen. We don't really have anything we can label as organic here as we have no certification inspectors in the state. Best we can do is no corn, no soy and they charge extra for those.

    We are allowed to sell eggs here as long as it is straight to consumer, but if they are being resold (through a store or co-op) they have to be washed and graded before they can be sold from the farmer. We wash ours if they need it but also sell unwashed as we have lots of folks who live off grid and do not have refrigeration. Unwashed they can store in a cool location.

  • LaurieLovesLearningLaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 3,760 admin
    edited February 10

    There is good advice above. You need to know your regulations. Have those in writing. Understand them. We can sell direct to customers, but not to restaurants. Farmers markets have their own set of regulations. There is a bit more, but it doesn't affect us at the moment.

    I would add, don't undersell. People here still sell for 1970s prices ($2.50-$3.50/dozen Canadian, tops). It is horrible. They should be 4.50-$5.00. The cost of feed, chicks, and eggs in the store have all gone up a lot. Your eggs are probably better than store eggs, so look for the equivalent of what you have that would be in the store & don't charge less. In fact, depending on your regulations, you can sell for slightly higher because they are not small family farm grown (They don't hug all of their chickens, 😉 & people might pay more for eggs from chickens with names...I know it's silly, but it's true). If you feed organically & treat organically, your value goes up. If it is all natural, it goes up. If you free range, it goes up. There are a lot of factors involved.

    Local market prices (what eggs sell for locally) should be taken into consideration...but only to a point. Don't undersell your product!

    Know your input costs. If you figure that (that includes loss & replacement of birds, feed, housing, housing upkeep, etc.) many people are actually making nothing, or even paying (in a sense) to have people take their eggs. They are happily (and sadly, ignorantly) selling at a loss. Make sure you make a profit.

    I agree with know your customer too. Our kids can sell eggs for more to people we know.

    Also, some people will pay more for brown eggs because they think they are healthier (not true). But, they can take more feed to produce (they either eat more or waste more) because of the hybrid chosen, and so the extra cost comes from that.

    Some people prefer white eggs. I know of some who only eat pale yolks. Some don't like blood spots. Some don't care. In some places it is illegal to sell those eggs with blood spots.

    Real Marans eggs are darker than any other. They are actually considered red. These are an extreme example of more cost/egg for good reason and many factors (it's not because they are feed wasters nor consume more). A good bird will only lay about 3×/week, maybe 4, in order to maintain the signature color. You have to feed them the same amount, but they produce less eggs within that time. They are unique as well as they have a tighter shell matrix and so let in less bacteria and last longer than all other chicken eggs. These also have a marketing ploy of being known as James Bond's favorite egg.

    People will pay more for colored eggs (blue, green, pink) from Easter Eggers or other breeds because they are cool colors and not in stores. But you can only sell for more if your local market isn't flooded with these colored eggs.

    Don't let anyone talk you down in price. Know your price & know why they are worth that price. Be able to articulate why they are better, and clearly. Stand by your superior product.

    Depending on the breed you have, selling hatching eggs can bring in money as they sell for a higher price than eating eggs. But, then you should have purebreds, not hybrids, and there is a bit more you should know about doing so if you wish to go that route.

  • COWLOVINGIRLCOWLOVINGIRL Posts: 671 ✭✭✭✭

    Thank you so much everyone! In my state, the regulations are virtually non-existent as far as I can tell. I will do more searching but this is what I found when I looked up the states egg laws:

    This bill updates Connecticut's statutes regulating eggs. It requires chicken eggs to be labeled, stored, handled, and graded in accordance with federal law. It prohibits the sale of adulterated eggs. By law, egg producers who sell eggs directly to consumers (e.g., from the farm or at a farmers' market) are exempt from Connecticut's egg statutes (CGS § 22-47).

    Current law defines an “egg-grading plant” as a person or entity that receives eggs from Connecticut producers for processing, distribution, or sale. The bill splits egg facilities into two entities, egg-grading plant and egg distributor, and removes the limitation that the eggs be from Connecticut producers.


    And then it went on to state the different regulations for factories and such. Does this mean I can sell eggs? I just want to make sure with you guys first to make sure I'm not missing something. Thank you again!

  • Denise GrantDenise Grant Posts: 1,680 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @COWLOVINGIRL It seems like you are ok. Keep an eye on regulations as they change.

  • lewis.mary.elewis.mary.e Posts: 199 ✭✭✭

    We sell our eggs to local folks. $3.00 a dozen or $2.50 a dozen if they bring us empty egg cartoons.

  • VermontCathyVermontCathy Posts: 522 ✭✭✭✭

    Rules are a huge problem for small business, and not just for eggs. Check out Joel Salatin's book _Everything I Want to Do is Illegal_. After you've read that, you'll understand how heavily the rules favor big business.

    That said, the situation varies tremendously from state to state, and country to country. You'll need to do local research, because the rules one state over may be completely different from the rules that apply to you. Asking a national or international group is not likely to tell you everything you need to know.

  • VermontCathyVermontCathy Posts: 522 ✭✭✭✭

    @LaurieLovesLearning gives a lot of good advice in this thread that applies to any small business, not just egg production. Don't undersell, understand your local market demand, make a personal connection to yourself and your product, and so on.

  • Denise GrantDenise Grant Posts: 1,680 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 23

    Our egg regulations are dependent on how many chickens we have and where we sell. I can sell at my home if the eggs are stored in a cooler.

    I can sell to neighbors or deliver with no issue.

    If I take them to the farmers market I have top have a license unless they are pre-ordered and not on the table

    I check all these regulations each spring to see if they have changed. My extension Office or local zoning board can either answer these or give me a phone number for someone who can

  • COWLOVINGIRLCOWLOVINGIRL Posts: 671 ✭✭✭✭

    Thank you everyone for all the ideas and help! I am so excited!

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