I opened up my Facebook app, ready to sell the half a dozen eggs that had suddenly begun popping out of my lovely hens as they cheered spring on.
Feast or famine, I tell ya!
“What a brilliant idea! I’ll sell them on Facebook in the local groups! And I’ll earn a little bit extra to help pay for the feed! You girls are going to earn your keep!”
Yes! I have a plan!
Scroll…scroll…scroll… everyone. Everyone! Was selling their eggs!
“Farm Fresh Eggs”
“Fresh Eggs”, “4 Doz Eggs for Sale”, “Too many eggs! Please take some!”
And sometimes, nobody had even responded to the posts.
Hmmm. Why was that? Well, it seems that everyone has a few chickens nowadays. Which is really cool! I love that idea and new trend. Personally, I feel that there needs to be a revolution of backyard farmers, however large or small, growing and raising their own food everywhere!
But what about the extra eggs I have? Obviously, there’s still a need for eggs because our local grocery store stocks shelves and shelves of those white, uniform, pale yoked eggs.
Do you have all those extra eggs too and a desire to have your chickens put in their time card to earn their keep?
I understand! Animals, although wonderful and totally worth it, can add significantly to the bills each month. It’s a desire for many to have their animals be a blessing all the way around.
And with a little creativity, your extra eggs can bless your family and others by filling plates with the rich, orange goodness of fresh farm food.
Before the ideas begin to flow on where and how to sell the extra eggs, there are a few really important items to consider. This information will also be good to have handy to answer the many questions your customers may ask.
You can find a lot of articles here on A Life of Heritage that will teach you a lot about poultry and be sure to check out Chicken Rich: The Profitable Poultry Bundle–It’s FULL of to-do lists, checklists, record keeping sheets, and resource pages that will keep your flock healthy and YOU organized!
→ First Off, Egg Laws By State
This is the first place to start. Take your time knowing the laws of your state: Egg Laws By State.
→ Farm Fresh Egg Facts
Are eggs with brown shells more nutritious than ones with white shells?
Nope! The color has absolutely nothing to do with how nutritious the contents of the egg are. But the quality of food and care a chicken receives will affect the nutritional makeup of an egg. Healthy Chickens=Healthy Eggs!
Do farm-fresh eggs taste better than store-bought eggs?
Many (most?) people will say that farm fresh eggs, with their rich, golden/orange yolk do in fact taste better than store-bought eggs. The proof is in the pudding… isn’t that what they say?
What is the red spot occasionally found in eggs?
This red spot is called a blood spot or “meat” spot. It is in no way harmful to eat and an egg can be used as normal when this is present. The spot can also be taken out with the tip of a knife if desired. It is caused by a rupture in a blood vessel of the hen when the egg is forming.
Is a cracked egg safe to eat?
They can be used with care. Use the cracked egg as quickly as possible but use them in recipes that are cooked fully, never eat them raw in any way. And assure your customers that you do check all eggs carefully for cracks before selling them.
→ Farm Fresh Eggs Nutrition
Nutrition Facts of Fresh, Large Eggs
|Total Fat||5 g||Potassium||70 mg|
|Saturated||2 g||Total Carbs||0 g|
|Polyunsaturated||0 g||Dietary Fiber||0 g|
|Monounsaturated||0 g||Sugars||0 g|
|Trans||0 g||Protein||6 g|
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs. ~Source
→ Farm Fresh Eggs vs Store Bought Eggs
There truly is a big difference in the care a chicken and its egg receive when comparing those that come from a small farm or local residence to those chickens and eggs that come from a commercial egg operation.
These are the main differences. Free-range chickens are:
• Not kept in cages
• Fed more natural, non-processed foods
• Healthier and more resistant to disease
And free-range chicken eggs are:
• More nutrient-dense
• Better tasting (because of all the points above)
And if that doesn’t convince anyone listening or reading that farm fresh eggs are a much better buy, I don’t know what will!
→ How to Clean Farm Fresh Eggs
Cleaning eggs can be a touchy subject. Many people who raise chickens, including ourselves, don’t wash the eggs and also keep them on the counter until used. It’s a common practice but not everyone is privy to this idea.
When selling eggs, what is the best practice?
As a potential egg seller, it is important to know and to educate customers how eggs are “built”. An egg, when it is created and laid by a hen, is covered in a protective coat called the “bloom”. When this coat is removed by washing and especially improper washing, the egg is susceptible to bacteria and spoilage.
If eggs are washed, they must be kept refrigerated. And there is a proper way to clean eggs.
As an egg seller, gather all the information and decide if you will wash your eggs or not. Either way, inform your customers how you care for your eggs. If you wash them, wash them properly, and remind your customers to keep the eggs refrigerated.
Proper Egg Washing:
- Only wash eggs in warm water. Washing in cold water not only removes the bloom but creates a vacuum inside the egg that sucks unwanted bacteria inside. Getting the water at least 20 degrees warmer than the egg will protect the egg and not create a vacuum.
- Try to stay away from chemicals, like bleach and soap products. Remember, eggs are porous. If you have a commercial egg operation you may have to wash your eggs like this.
- Never let an egg just sit in water. Again, remember an egg is porous and this is more detrimental than good.
- Another option is using distilled white vinegar, diluted in half with water. This may also be used as a cleaner and/or sanitizer for eggs. If cleaning, wipe each dirty egg with a new paper towel dipped in the vinegar solution. ~Source
Proper Egg Handling when Not Washing Eggs:
- If possible, use sandpaper to gently rub off the dirt. This keeps the egg from getting wet and removing the protective bloom but also gently removes the dirt. The bloom is removed in the areas the sandpaper is used, however.
- When an extremely dirty egg is found, wash using the method mentioned above.
- Remember to use the washed eggs first.
- Remind your customers that they can wash their eggs right before use to maintain the bloom and freshness of their eggs as long as possible.
There are several good practices to implement in keeping eggs as pristine as possible straight out of the nest box.
• Keep the nest boxes clean and fresh with new straw or shavings on a regular basis. This will help immensely in the battle to keep eggs clean.
• Provide roosts that are higher than the nesting boxes. Chickens love to roost on the highest available spots as possible, so this will help in keeping them from roosting inside the boxes.
To wash or not to wash. Now you are well versed in proper egg washing and can keep your customers informed and safe!
→ Farm Fresh Eggs Shelf Life
The shelf life of unrefrigerated eggs is between 7-10 days and refrigerating eggs increases their shelf life to between 30 and 45 days. As a note of reference, an egg left on the counter for one day has the same freshness as keeping that same egg in the fridge for 7 days. So if there is an abundance of eggs that won’t be used right away, refrigerating them will keep them fresh the longest. It is said that they will keep up to 7 times longer.
→ Farm Fresh Egg Storage
Storing eggs properly is also very important and will also increase the shelf life of eggs. They must be stored with their pointy end down. The air bubble is at the bigger end of the egg and this proper storage will help keep extra moisture from leaving the egg.
And because eggs are porous, they will inherit the smell of anything stored around them. Store them in a covered, closed, or plastic-wrapped container at all times.
Another great way to store eggs is by freezing them. They freeze really well and during the winter months when production is lower, they can be happily used by you and your customers! If you live in the north country where production drops with less light available, remind your customers to buy more now, to freeze them for use in the winter months!
→ Farm Fresh Eggs Pricing
Finding and deciding on a fair price will take a bit of legwork, but it will be worth it to check prices at your local grocery store and others who are selling eggs in the area. Are farm-fresh eggs worth $10 a dozen? Probably, considering all the equipment it takes to raise chicks and the feed and care it takes to keep hens healthy. But will they actually sell at that price? Probably not.
Some areas can sell their eggs for $5.00 or more, while in our area we are lucky to get $2.00 a dozen.
It’s a matter of finding a good price point for your area to get the most for your eggs at a price people will buy at!
Here are a few ideas on how to find your competitors to check for pricing:
- Find local Facebook groups for your specific area or town that are specifically for people finding healthy, organic food or a group that is for items for sale or wanted. Keep an eye out for posts about selling eggs
- If your local grocery store sells organic eggs, check their pricing
- Our area has a lot of Hutterites and Amish. Ask them their pricing
- Watch for roadside stands, stop in and see if they sell eggs and their prices
- If you know your neighbors, and they sell eggs, ask them!
- Local feed stores may have an idea as well
→ Farm Fresh Egg Signs
And before we jump into the egg-cellent ideas to help you jump start your egg sales…you need a cute sign to attract your customers! Here are a few ideas where these signs could be hung:
- Farmer’s market stand
- Corner of your yard
- On your roadside stand
- And above the nest boxes…to remind your hens to lay eggs during the winter months 😉
→ Great Ideas to Help Sell Your Farm Fresh Eggs
After all of the above information is handled successfully and without any problems, this next section will require a lot of creativity and thinking outside of the box. Why? Well, don’t forget…all of your neighbors are selling their farm-fresh eggs too. You need to set yourself apart.
And doing that takes a bit of ingenuity and forethought but together we can get the best ideas out on paper! And with a plan, anyone can move forward!
In all truthfulness, how are Dotty, Piper, and Stripe cared for? Give your chickens the absolute best care, so that if a potential customer were to stop in for a visit to see where their food was made, you can proudly show off your little chicken corner of the world.
Showing off your animals and property is a personal decision. Some view it as a potential hazard because shoes and tires can bring in unwanted diseases. Others view it as a wonderful way to connect with people and minister to their customers.
Providing your chickens with all of the nutritional requirements they need will give you and your customer the satisfaction of a good meal. When you’ve done your part in providing a healthy product, you can move on to the next lesson.
Let’s fall back to grade school and what we had to repeat over and over:
Who, What, When, Where, and How?
When dissecting a story, we had to ask these very short and concise questions.
And in our situation of wanting to sell more eggs, we know that the answer to “WHAT are we selling” is quite simple: Eggs. We desire to sell our eggs at a reasonable price.
We can get more insight into our customers by asking the question: WHO are we selling our eggs to?
Who are the people that are interested in farm fresh eggs and where can they be found? There is a wonderful, new trend of people of all ages, desiring to have control over the food they feed their families. These are the people to target.
WHERE do they hang out and how can their attention be caught to pay attention to your eggs and buy them?
Many times these people are found helping at or utilizing these wonderful options available in most communities:
- CSA Programs
- Farmer’s Markets
- Local, Organic Delis or Coffee Shops
- Church, School Activities, Mom Groups, and Health, Gardening, and Fitness Classes
- Local Grocery Stores
- Gourmet Restaurants
But there are also ways of attracting these health-conscious people to us! With the right setup, people can begin to call you for information about your farm-fresh eggs. Here are a few ideas:
- Corner Stand (or Honor Stand)
- Front Yard Sign
- Word of Mouth
- Client List
- Friends and Family
- Facebook Groups
When you’ve found the place or places you can sell your eggs at or through, the fun begins!
And then we can begin to answer the question: HOW? How can we sell our eggs effectively and for the most profit?
The Poultry World brings up very good points that are often overlooked when thinking about selling eggs.
What usually attracts people to items, objects, or places?
It’s another series of questions learned in grade school:
See, Hear, Touch, Taste, and Smell. Our five senses.
And these can be utilized in helping you sell your eggs!
In any type of schooling, they have found that children (and people of all ages!) learn the best and respond the most when all senses are engaged. And this is also very helpful when attracting customers!
When setting up a stand at a farmer’s market or taking a quick picture of your eggs to post somewhere, what can you do to make it LOOK appetizing, pleasing, or engaging? Would using clear egg cartons show the beauty of your eggs in a better way? How can the background of the picture or product be set up to look more appealing and appetizing?
How can you add some SOUND from a CD or recording of a chicken clucking and a rooster crowing?
Is there a way to allow customers to FEEL the softness of the shell?
What are ways to creatively allow future customers to TASTE the flavor of your eggs in a dish or take home one egg as a sample with a business card attached?
Adding the sense of SMELL may be a little harder to come by because you probably don’t want to carry around a scented bottle of the barnyard smell but if you do have the ability to create a dish of aromatic cooking eggs to waft through a farmer’s market…more power to you!
I’m going to close this chapter, 10 Things You Need to Know to Profit Selling Your Farm Fresh Eggs, with a setup that could be put together at a local farmer’s market using each of the senses.
Also, consider owning a variety of chickens that lay a variety of colors. People love the blues, browns, pinks, and greens and it truly makes a lovely display! People also may pay a premium for quail, duck, or even goose and turkey eggs!
Starting with the sense of sight, display your eggs in a way that is appealing. Instead of only piling up stack after stack of filled cartons on the corner of a table, open up a carton to display the eggs and think of what else you can add to make it more visually appealing, like laying a display of dried herbs over them.
Also, display a basket of eggs with a pretty bow and a lovely cloth cascading out of the basket. Crack open a store-bought egg and one of your eggs into a bowl and allow people to see the difference in color.
Display the nutritional information of eggs from free-range, healthy hens for people to clearly see and ask questions about.
Some states don’t allow old cartons to be reused, so whether you use old or new ones, consider sprucing them up a bit. Add a ribbon with a business card attached to it. Even consider attaching an egg recipe to each carton.
Remember, people love a little “to do” with any purchase they make. Make them feel special and provide a memory that they won’t forget. And when they don’t forget, they will keep coming back to YOU for their eggs.
Bring along a CD player or hook your cell phone to some speakers playing some lovely hen and chicken barnyard sounds to engage and draw customers to your table. Allow them to feel the eggs displayed in the basket, and smell the herbs on the table.
Using a portable burner, cook up some freshly laid farm eggs, season them and give those customers a sizzle to hear and a smell to behold! If possible, hand out a small plate for people to sample.
Now all of these ideas can’t be used in all situations but with creativity and slight changes they can be used for any option you use to sell your eggs.
Remember, times have changed enough that we need to do MORE than our competitors to stand out and be seen in order to sell our products.
But your chickens are laying…and eating! So collect those eggs and let your ladies help pay for their upkeep!
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