No one expects to have more eggs than they can consume. But once your flock gets so large, it gets harder and harder to use up all the eggs yourself. Before you know it, you have entire cartons full of eggs that you can’t use yourself. You might be thinking, “Should I donate or sell my extra chicken eggs?” These might seem like easy tasks, but each can pose an obstacle.
Where Can I Sell Extra Eggs?
When most people think about buying eggs, they think of supermarkets. But there are tons of places you could sell your eggs. If you want to keep it on a smaller operation, friends and family are great places to start. You could even take it a step further and sell it to your neighborhood.
Other great options would be farmers’ markets or a market stand. If you have a large flock, selling at a farmers market a couple of weekends a month could be profitable. You could even set up a roadside stand to sell your eggs. But you might need a few dozen to start within any of these situations.
And lastly, selling eggs on Facebook is another option. Facebook terms of service are always changing, and currently, eggs seem to be one of those iffy things. Some sellers seem to get flagged wrongly for selling animals, but they get it corrected by filing a report.
Other people have great luck selling eggs on fitness groups, homemade pet food, and homesteading groups. But you should always make sure that your group allows marketing and sale through the group. If you can’t find a local one, you could always start your own page.
Where Can I Donate Eggs?
If you have a few neighbors that aren’t wild about your birds, donate eggs to them first. They can be a peace offering to soften them up. They might even love the fresh taste so much that they will offer to pay for more eggs. The eggs will soon transform your strained relationship into something beautiful. And donating to immediate neighbors is the easiest way to get rid of extra eggs.
Can you donate eggs to a food bank? Yes! Most food banks love to have fresh eggs. But before you head up there to donate, call ahead first. Some donation centers don’t take perishable foods, and some don’t take homegrown food. Calling ahead will also let you know of any requirements for donating eggs that the pantry might have. Each facility is different since there aren’t many laws regulating donated food.
Soup kitchens are another fantastic idea. Since the kitchens don’t have to keep the eggs refrigerated for long, there is no risk factor. And all eggs are cooked fully before being served, which reduces the chance of illness. Again, you should always call ahead to be sure that these are acceptable donations. Most soup kitchens don’t have any issues with taking your contributions, but some might be wary.
Some of these facilities even provide you with receipts if you donate regularly. Getting a receipt is like getting paid to donate eggs. You can take these receipts and write them off as a donation on your federal income taxes. You won’t get rich when you donate eggs for money. But it could be enough of a write-off to cover chicken feed at the least.
Laws And Licensing About Both
Should I donate or sell my extra chicken eggs? The first thing you should consider is the laws and regulations of selling food and donating food. Most states have different rules about selling chicken egg requirements. And even further than that, your city or county might have other laws about any permits and regulations you have to follow for this. Figuring out the rules for both will help you decide which option is the easiest for you.
Do you need a license to sell chicken eggs? In most states, if you sell over a certain amount of eggs per year, you have to file for a business license. To do this, you will need to file with your state and have a USDA inspection. But most backyard owners don’t come close to the number of eggs sold to qualify for all this.
In some cases, you will need a license for selling at specific locations, no matter the number of eggs you sell per year. Looking into your state’s laws will help you decide if your small farm falls into this category.
There aren’t many laws on the donate egg process. But individual places might have rules about what they feel comfortable accepting. The biggest concern is always food safety. While there may not be laws about what you can and can not donate, there are laws to protect you.
According to the Good Samaritan Food Donation Act, as long as there was no malicious intent or knowledge of contamination, the donor is protected. So you should never have to worry about being sued if someone were to turn up sick.
Should I donate or sell my extra chicken eggs? No matter what state, there are specific regulations that should be followed. Take a look at a few things below that will be required, no matter which route you take.
Washing Your Eggs
One universal law/rule is washing your eggs. Most of us don’t wash our eggs right after collecting them. We prefer to keep the cuticle intact until we are ready to cook them. Then we wash and dry the egg thoroughly. But you might reconsider if you plan to donate or sell your eggs.
You can not sell unwashed eggs according to the USDA. Unwashed eggs run the risk of spreading salmonella. So you will need to take precautions when donating or selling eggs. As soon as you collect your eggs, you should inspect them for cracks. Selling or donating eggs with cracks increases the risk of spreading illnesses. So you will need to discard these or keep them for yourself if the cracks aren’t bad.
Once you have your perfect batch, you will need to wash the eggs carefully. Many sellers use a special egg wash called Manna Pro-Farm to get the cleanest eggs possible. When they are clean and dried, you need to put them in the fridge immediately. Without the cuticle, the eggs dry out, and bacteria can enter the porous shells.
If you are giving the eggs to friends and family, they might not care about washing. In fact, many European countries prefer their eggs unwashed because you won’t have to refrigerate the eggs after. Many knowledgeable Americans have adopted this process, as well. Just remind your friends and family to wash the eggs before opening them. You might even put a sticker on the carton as a reminder to wash before eating.
No matter if you are donating or selling eggs, you need an expiration date on them. Most people label the egg carton with the date collected and the best by date. On average, your sell-by date should be no more than 30 days after the collection date. You can’t sell eggs without having the expiration date, according to the USDA. And most donation facilities won’t accept them without it either.
Some states even go as far as to require any fresh eggs labeled directly with the date collected. You can use a pencil after you wash the eggs to write the date you collected them on the shell. That way, anyone who gets your eggs knows which ones are the oldest and use them first.
What Do You Put Them In?
If you are selling eggs on a small scale, you could get cute baskets for presentation. Another option is to use egg cartons. Now, if you are only selling to family and friends, a recycled carton is fine. But selling or donating to anyone else, you will need an unbranded carton with no logos unless you are a licensed business.
You should use non-branded cartons because you don’t want your eggs associated with another brand. Technically under copyright laws, using a branded carton is an offense. But more than that, you want your customers to know exactly where your eggs come from. You don’t want your fresh eggs to be mistaken for name brands that frequently get recalled.
What Should I Charge?
How much you charge for your eggs depends on the local market. If you like in areas where everyone seems to have chickens, your rates will be lower than most. But it’s not uncommon in urban areas to see fresh eggs sold for $5 or more.
The average cost is currently $2.50-$4 a dozen for beautiful fresh eggs. However, you should scope out your local market and see what others are charging. Finding a happy medium ensures that you aren’t overcharging your customers or asking too little.
Should I Donate Or Sell My Extra Chicken Eggs?
That depends on what is easiest for you. If you have an easier time selling to family and neighbors, nothing will hold you back. But if you want to sell on a larger scale, going by the law can pose an issue.
It might be easier to donate to the shelter, food bank, or soup kitchen directly. You would be doing a great deed, and the recipients will appreciate your thoughtfulness. It all comes down to what is more convenient for you and how far you are willing to take it.
Below is a Pinterest friendly photo…. so you can pin it to your Backyard Chicken Board!!