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Selling Chicken Eggs for Profit
Many people with a backyard flock often end up with more fresh eggs than their family can eat. Selling chicken eggs for profit is not only a benefit to having chickens, but can also help make a little 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 grown eggs and store bought eggs. Free range 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 advantages!
If selling chicken eggs for profit is your goal, start by choosing chickens for your flock that are known to be the best 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, which 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 with planning, consider that most chickens 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 the hens start laying, but will become more normal in size when the layers are about a year old. When they first start laying eggs, hens average one egg every three to four days. At seven months, you should probably be getting about 2 eggs every 3 days. The best layers can average 1 egg per day, at first, if you are lucky. For planning purposes, if you are selling chicken eggs for profit, you should plan to get 4 to 5 eggs per chicken, 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 a dozen a week, you can probably sell the other 2 to 3 dozen eggs.
Daylight is what causes egg production in a hen, not a rooster. For a steady stream of eggs, chickens need about 14 to 16 hours of light per day. This can be accomplished by natural daylight and adding supplemental lighting. If the lighting decreases, so does egg production. Less eggs equals less profit!
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. Eggs get dirtier and more likely to break if they sit in the nesting box too long. Once the eggs are removed, clean the eggs with a natural egg cleaner, or with egg wipes, or wash and dry them. Once they are dry, put them in the egg carton. Once in the carton, keep the eggs refrigerated until ready to sell.
Do a little research locally to find out how much other people are selling farm fresh eggs for. If you have observed all organic practices for raising your chickens, including feeding them only certified organic food, then selling organic eggs will give a higher selling price and appeal to a segment of the buying public that will appreciate and be loyal to buy organic products for their family. Set your egg prices to match your local market. Specialty eggs such as the multicolored ones from Araucanas or eggs from free-range chickens can also add value and fetch higher prices.
Neighbors, family and co-workers are easy customers, and a good place to start. As you progress and have enough fresh eggs to sell to a wider audience, you might see if a local farm stand would be willing to sell them on consignment or buy them for resale. A referral offer gives the farm owner a risk-free way to make money and increase their product offering to customers. Another option would 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 quantities of eggs, there are egg brokers that you could go to for help selling, as well as cooperative egg producers that will help in selling the eggs to their members. With any endeavor like this, always check and comply with any local laws regarding the sale of farm products such as eggs.
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