Lucky 13

Last Sunday I mentioned selling eggs to my work colleagues, and this is a subject worth dwelling on a little more.

We wanted to make sure that everything is nice and legal, so spent some time researching what we are and aren’t able to do. This differs from region to region (let alone between countries), so please don’t take this as anything more than our experience.

It turns out we’re perfectly able to sell eggs from our backyard chickens, provided we don’t pretend they’re anything they aren’t. While I’d love to add more value by using them in baking, we’d need a food safety certified kitchen to sell these legally. If we ever get to that point, we know a great production kitchen just down the road from where we used to live, but that additional cost means we’d need to bake a significant quantity of valuable product to be worthwhile.

By comparison, selling raw eggs is easy. The biggest restriction is that we can’t use other peoples’ branding on our cartons. Removing branding labels from cartons is often really difficult to do without destroying them altogether, so we invested in a big bag of blank half-dozen cartons James found online.

We also had some low-cost labels of our own made. These not only stand out more than a blank carton, they carry the names of all our girls – credit where credit’s due, after all! Since we’re selling the eggs to people we know, we’ve been asking if they’d mind returning the cartons, and most have indeed found their way back. 🙂

We chose the “brand” name Lucky 13, as we’re house number 13 in our street, and we feel lucky to be here. I’m not sure if that’s something we’ll stick with, but it’s good for now.

I’ve also put a bit of thought into when to offer the eggs for sale, and settled on making Friday sale day. This means people know when I’ll have eggs available, and they can enjoy fresh eggs in the weekend. It also means we get to eat the eggs laid in the weekend, which is when we’re most likely to have time for a quick fry-up or a scramble. People also tend to do supermarket shopping in weekends, so having fresh eggs on Friday might reduce the temptation to buy battery ones on Saturday.

Selling our eggs is primarily an exercise of making our girls pay at least some of their own way – and as we have maybe two dozen eggs a week to offer, this is never going to pay off our mortgage. However, it’s a good way to keep thinking and talking about what we’re doing here, and a valuable learning opportunity for us.

If you have any questions, comments etc, please do leave a comment on this post!

-G

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