How to start an egg business?

 Maybe you raised laying hens for your family and wanted to expand, or maybe you're starting anew with a new flock and already know you want to start selling eggs. Either way, raising chickens that produce farm-fresh eggs can be a fun and profitable business. 

When starting your own egg business, there are a few things to consider to ensure your success.

How to start an egg business?

Know your market

You will need to make sure there is a market for home grown eggs in your area and you'll want to see what prices others are ordering per dozen. 

When looking at other local egg offerings, consider: Are the chickens fed organic feed? Are they "on pasture", where they spend all day on grass, eating insects and plant growth tips as well as chicken feed ?

You will want to determine where you will sell your eggs. 

Many states have exceptions for farmers selling eggs on a small scale. But if you want to take it a step further, you may need to set up a USDA inspected egg washing facility.

 If you are looking locally, what is the turnover of your local food co-op or grocery store for eggs? Many places cannot keep good local eggs, but in some cities or rural areas there may be an oversupply.

Know the Laws

As mentioned above, depending on your state and local laws, you may need to set up special facilities to clean your eggs. You may or may not be allowed to recycle egg cartons from other companies to package your eggs. 

If you put the word "organic" on your eggs, you'll likely have to meet organic standards, which can be time-consuming and expensive.

Your country extension officer is a good place to start finding out what local and federal laws may apply to your egg-selling business.

Write a business plan

The second step after knowing your market is to formalize your marketing plan by writing a business plan . 

A small farm business plan will not only identify your target market, but it will also look at how you might grow your business in the future, at what price to set your eggs, what costs contribute to egg production and what profit you can make. . hopes to generate.

Decide how many chicks you want

With your business plan in place, you can move from the number of eggs you expect to sell each week to the number of chicks you need to achieve that goal. Imagine that during prime, a laying hen will produce an average of three to five eggs per week. 

If you plan to sell 10 dozen eggs a week, or 120 eggs, you can do the math to determine that 25 or 30 chicks will be a good number to start with.

Make sure you've done the hard work and have a market that can support the number of chicks you get for your flock.

Determine the prices

What are your monthly expenses for food and other costs? Divide that by the number of dozen eggs you expect to sell and be sure to charge well above your break-even point.

 You may need to spread the investment of building a chicken coop or fencing over several years to make a profit, so don't calculate the initial investment when setting your price.

Raise your chicks

Make sure that when choosing your chicks, you choose a breed that is highly productive in the egg-laying department and is also hardy enough to survive in your climate.

 If you are up north, you may want to consider supplementing with light in the winter , so your hens will produce eggs all year round.

Raising laying hens on pasture can yield better eggs, and savvy customers now know the difference. 

Many yolks now expect deep, rich orange yolks and bursting with flavor - and what you should easily get from hens with access to worms, herbs and the ability to roam several acres to find the cheapest meals. tastier. In addition to grazing, you will want to provide high quality feed and possibly some extra calcium for strong shells. You can also supplement with food and garden scraps.

Collect and clean eggs

How you collect and clean the eggs is very important when selling them to others.

 Make sure you know how to properly clean your eggs to minimize the risk of salmonella poisoning.

Pack and sell eggs

Once collected, it's time to package and sell your eggs . 

Consider your business plan when considering how to package your eggs, a nice label with a graphic logo can help you sell your eggs on another local brand. 

Be sure to follow all requirements of your local and state laws when packaging and selling eggs.

Re-evaluate and re-evaluate

For any business, continuous evaluation and evaluation of the success of the business is essential. 

If things aren't going well with your egg business, it may be time to reassess - the markets, your infrastructure (coop and fences) and even if continuing to sell eggs is the right choice for you. 

Don't be afraid to reassess your egg business from time to time to make sure it's working well for your small farm .


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