The spring egg flood got off to a late start this year. I’m not sure, but maybe it’s because we used electric lights this winter in order to keep up supply. We didn’t keep them on all night, every night, but for a few hours most nights and it did keep us from having to buy in eggs for home use.
But then, instead of the huge rush that usually begins in late March, we had a slow and steady increase until now, when we’re getting about a dozen a day from about twenty-five hens. This is our threshold for being able to use the eggs in creative home cooking, so we sell our surplus.
I tried putting out a sign and selling from the front of the house, but it was not all that successful. We don’t have enough to put out dozens every day, so I couldn’t really be consistent. Also, we live in a rural community, many people keep chickens, the Amish selling eggs up the road have a steady supply as well as the cute factor with the tourists driving through, and everyone else buys cheap eggs from Walmart.
Fortunately, we have a relative who lives in an upper middle class suburb of the nearest city, whose friends like fresh, quality eggs, and who is willing to be our distributor. It’s nice to have that relationship so that we get a visit as well as business when we make the trip every few days.
An egg is laid with a “bloom” – a protective coating. It’s best not to wash it off, however my state requires that eggs be washed and refrigerated as soon as possible after laying, so that’s what we do.
The law also requires that we cover/obscure/remove identifying marks from the original user of the cartons. We could buy blanks, but they cost between twenty and thirty cents apiece and doesn’t seem worth it at this point.
I try to make sure to evenly distribute the blue and green eggs among all the cartons. They taste the same and look the same once you crack them open, but people seem to like them. I like them too, actually. 🙂
I keep odd sizes, strangely marked, and cracked eggs for home use. We have plenty.
In case you think you might be interested in selling eggs as a profitable stay-at-home venture you should know that we are not making money. Keeping chickens costs more than buying cheap eggs and labor counts for something as well. It’s about even with buying fancy eggs. When we have a surplus, we are able to cover the cost of feed for those months, but there is no profit. There are things we could do to improve the money-earning potential, but I’m not really looking to go into the egg business full-time.
This is another thing we do because it’s interesting and “fun” and because the easiest and cheapest way isn’t always the best way.