If you want to sell your surplus eggs by any other method than farm gate egg sales, such as selling your surplus eggs at markets, there are more rules and regulations you will need to follow. This article is aimed at the backyard chicken keeper rather than the commercial egg producer
The basic legal rules as for farm gate sales apply.
Quality of the Eggs
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. These should be used as quickly as possible, preferably within a day or two of laying.
Ungraded (Not Sized) Eggs.
The eggs cannot be split into sizes or quality grades. Although 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.
All eggs sold on markets whether graded or ungraded have to be stamped with their appropriate producer code. This applies to all producers regardless of the number of hens they have. They need to apply to DEFRA Egg Marketing Inspectorate to obtain their flock identification number
Freshness & Best Before Dates of Eggs
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. Assuming your eggs are fresh a Best Before of three weeks from the date of purchase will keep you legal.
Additional rules for Selling Eggs are:
You must have a producer number. These are available from the Egg Marketing Inspectorate for free. This number also indicates your production type:
- organic (0),
- free range (1),
- barn (2)
- cage (3)
Eggs must be individually marked with your producer code number. You can buy cheap hand stamps and you can even write the number on if your egg sales are low and it’s not worth the cost of the stamp. The ink you use must be food safe.
New Egg Boxes Only
The eggs must be sold in new boxes. You cannot re-use old boxes, no matter how environmentally unsound this is. If you have your eggs on a large tray, the customer can bring their own old egg box along to pack them in. You must not keep a stock of old boxes and offer them to customers.
You are not allowed to sell to catering establishments. Even if your eggs are wonderful, it’s against the law.
This article is aimed at the backyard chicken keeper with a small surplus from a few hens. In the season, 10 hens will be giving a family of 4 around four and a half dozen eggs surplus a week, assuming the family eat an average amount of eggs.
Further Articles All About Eggs
- Araucana Egg Shell Colour & Genetics
- Build Your Own Artificial Lighting System for Winter Egg Production
- Changing Egg Yolk Colour with Feeding
- Double Yolk Eggs – What Causes Double Yolk Eggs?
- Egg Shell Colour Chart by Breed of Hen
- Egg Structure – The Structure of an Egg
- Eggs from Different Species
- Know Your Eggs? – Egg Descriptions Explained
- Marketing Your Surplus Eggs – How to Sell Your Eggs
- Nutritional Value of Eggs – Are Free Range Eggs Better for You?
- Pale Eggs – Egg Shell Colour
- Problems With Eggs – Yolks & Whites
- Saving Money – Economics of Home Produced Eggs
- Selling Your Surplus Eggs at Markets
- Selling Your Surplus Eggs from Home – Farm Gate Egg Sales
- Thin Eggshells – Causes & Cures
- What to do with Surplus Eggs? How to Store Eggs