Selling Your Surplus Eggs from Home – Farm Gate Egg Sales

By John Harrison

If, like many ‘backyard chicken keepers’ you get hooked and decide to have a few more hens. The the surplus eggs can start to become a real problem! 5 hens could easily donate 1,250 or more eggs a year. Since they lay less in the winter, this means some weeks you’ll be looking at nearly 3 dozen eggs.

Eggs in a BasketThere are ways to store the surplus eggs for your own consumption later, but an average family of 4 may still have a couple of dozen eggs over. So what to do?

Sell them, of course. You’re not going to make a fortune, but you will make a contribution to your feed costs.

To be clear, we’re talking about selling surplus eggs here, not commercial production. As your production goes up to business levels, the regulatory burden grows but for a few home produced eggs, you rely on an exception technically known as Farm Gate Sales.

Farm Gate Sales of Eggs

With farm gate sales of eggs (for sake of argument, your house is the farm here) there are still some rules that you need to follow.

Ungraded (Not Sized) Eggs.

The eggs cannot be split into sizes or quality grades. You might choose to keep the largest and smallest for yourself and just offer the rest. Do remember that people buying eggs from the farm gate may well like different sizes in one box. It can be very useful when cooking to be able to use a small egg or a large one, depending on the recipe.

Quality

The eggs you offer should be clean, but not washed. Most buyers of farm eggs will not be too bothered by a spot of poo on the egg shell but technically you should reserve those for your own use.

The egg shells should not be damaged or cracked. A cracked egg has its protection against microbes damaged and should be reserved for your own use and used as quickly as possible, preferably within a day or two of laying.

Freshness & Best Before Dates

You need to display a “Best Before Date” to comply with the law. Usually eggs are expected to last up to four weeks from the date of laying and you should (hopefully) be selling them within a day or two of lay. If you keep your excess eggs in boxes, use some system to date order them so you never accidentally sell old eggs,

To comply with the law a sign saying “Best Before Three Weeks from Date of Purchase” will keep you legal.

Other Methods of Selling Eggs

If you sell your eggs by any other method, even as a backyard hen keeper, other legal rules apply. See Small Scale Egg Sales

Marketing – Getting Customers for Your Eggs

One thing many backyard chicken keepers are not good at is marketing their product. For some help on selling your eggs see Marketing Your Eggs.

There’s more information on the DEFRA web site

Further Articles All About Eggs

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