OK, now for the fun part!
If you have too many eggs, naturally you’re going to want to sell them to get a return on your outgoings (even if they are pets, why not help cover some of their costs?)
However, the UK law has some strange rules & regs when it comes to selling backyard eggs, and it’s in your interest to know that you are doing things legally.
This is a tricky one, and one only you can answer. It is nigh on impossible to make a profit with less than 6 hens. I currently have a dozen laying hens, and I would say that mine & my parents household eat eggs for free, but there is no actual profit in the eggs I sell. I have been selling my eggs for £1 per half dozen for the last couple of years. With the wet summer the UK has had, no doubt feed prices will be going up soon, so I will put the price up then.
(I don’t feel too bad for the upcoming price rise, as free range eggs in the shops have been around £1.50 – £2 for half a dozen for some months now.)
This one is so easy, it’s untrue! Next time you get a glut of eggs, give boxes of them away to people you see regularly (preferably daily, but at least weekly). Whether it’s at the school gates, a co-worker or a drinking buddy down the pub, it doesn’t matter. Chances are, they will be pretty impressed with your eggs if they are used to buying ones from the supermarkets and will be queueing up to place a regular order.
Who can you legally sell your eggs to?
OK, so assuming you have less than 50 hens and you’re an unregistered backyard producer, you are legally entitled to sell;
- Directly to the consumer from your farm (or garden)
- Directly to the consumer door to door.
- By the producer in a local public market.
However, if you have less than 50 hens and sell them direct to consumers at a local public market, the eggs must show:
- your name and address
- provide consumer advice to keep eggs chilled after purchase
- a best before date (maximum 28 days from lay)
You are not allowed, by law, to sell (or give them) to anyone who intends to sell them on.
And my favourite bit of UK egg law denotes that;
If you run a B&B (with 3 or less bedrooms!) and you keep hens at the same address, you can provide your eggs for guests breakfasts but only if you have pre-warned the guest that you are using ungraded eggs from your own flock. It seems that if you happen to have 4 B&B rooms, you are not allowed to do this and have to provide Class A eggs. Bonkers!
Defra Egg Quality Guide
Keeping Chickens, a Beginners Guide
All info correct for the UK at time of writing, but please check all relevant sources as things do change.
So, that’s it! The end of our mini series on All Things Eggs! I hope it has been useful to you and just in case you missed the first 2 parts, here they are;
And an earlier post all about duck eggs that you may find interesting too.