Thinking of starting an egg business? There’s a few things you’ll need to consider.
Who are you planning to sell your eggs to? Are you going to sell directly to consumers or to businesses such as restaurants or grocery stores? How many eggs can you realistically expect to sell at a given time? If your planning on selling to businesses what do they expect and what kind of eggs do they want to buy.
How Many Eggs
Once you determine how many eggs you expect to sell and where, you’ll need to determine how many chickens you’ll need to raise to produce that many eggs. If you figure an average hen lays 200-300 eggs per year depending on the breed, you can determine how many you might require. For example, lets say you expect to sell 50 dozen eggs per week, or 600 eggs. That’s 600 eggs x 52 weeks/year or 31,200 eggs/yr or 2600 dozen. If you figure a hen will lay on average 250 eggs/year then you’ll need 125 hens. You’ll need to determine if your planning to sell year round and realize not all birds will lay at the same rate year round.
Doing research on chickens breeds will help you decide what breed you want to buy to allow you to get the production you want.
Raising Your Birds
After you determine how many eggs you need and how many birds you want, you’ll need to actually raise them. Some hatcheries will sell partly grown pullets for additional costs to get you started quicker, or you can purchase locally, or at auctions. We wouldn’t recommend the auctions do to not know anything about the birds. Disease, age etc. Finding a reputable licensed hatchery to purchase either day old chicks or hatching eggs is preferable.
Once you have your birds you’ll need to have the correct setup and supplies to raise them to laying age and beyond. You can find more on that here!
Collecting and Packaging Your Eggs
When your birds begin laying you’ll need to clean your and package your eggs for sale. Here’s a good Fact Sheet on Washing Your Eggs from the University of Nebraska.
Your eggs should be refrigerated and packaged for sale in cartons to protect them and keep them clean.
We found a cool article that talks about the history of washing and refrigerating eggs around the world from NPR.
Know Your Local Laws
Rules regarding raising chickens for selling eggs differ depending on where your located. Most states if you have under 3000 birds the rules differ than larger producers, but you should always check before you start to be sure you get what licensees or other requirements you may need.
Raising eggs to sell can be a great way to earn extra money. As with any business always do your research prior to starting a new venture.