Monday, May 14, 2012

How much should I sell my eggs for? Questions to ask.

I get asked this A LOT, since I have owned chickens (going on six years now).  The newbies(people I talk into raising chickens (cuz I'm just trying to pass on the love)) always ask this. BTW the eggs in the picture above are all from my chickens (many different colors and sizes and even some interesting ones where the color was transferred all over the entire egg but smeared around instead (top left)) Sometimes you can even wash the color off.

So...Today I was on my way to work and it hit me. There was a sign at the side of the road saying "nightcralers 2.00" (yes, it was spelled just like that!) Lets just go back in time here a little...three days ago I was driving down a different road (same area) and seen a sign that said "Farm Fresh Eggs 1.50 a dozen". 

So do you see what I'm getting at here?  For one thing, do people really think that night crawlers are worth more then farm fresh eggs?  That lead me to this:  

I'm going to do a little project to see exactly what it cost to raise chickens...ya I know!  I should have prob done this BEFORE I got chickens but their cuteness won over and I just didn't care, plus who cares what it cost...I have FARM FRESH EGGS every morning for breakfast and they ARE to die for! To us it's all worth it. (will get my findings out here later for you as well). 

Ok so I'm guilty as well: Let me share my story~

We did buy eggs from a farm a long while back (before I had chickens and realized what all goes into it) and we were paying 1.50 a, I'm ashamed of that!  We did give her 2.00 most of the time but still...yes, still ashamed!   I made a promise to myself that if I were ever at that stage in my life when I had to give up my chickens and had to resort back to getting "farm fresh eggs" again that I WILL pay fairly.  I honestly do not think that people realize what goes into raising healthy chickens (which is what I want my eggs to be (healthy).  If your chickens aren't healthy your eggs aren't healthy, simple as that.  

I won't buy from anyone who thinks their eggs are ONLY worth 1.50 a dozen...I just won't.  If they don't think their eggs are worth more, then why should I?  You get what you pay for, isn't that what they say? 

What we need are people out there who realize what our eggs can do for them.  Tell your customers how healthy they are compared to store eggs (will get a link to that later).  Make them realize how the factory chickens are kept (Watch the chicken factory videos!!!) Wait.... don't say "OH I can't watch that!  It's TOO sad!"  You have to make yourself watch it so you know what your feeding to your children and to yourself. Yes, it's sad but maybe after you watch it you know WHY those eggs are a buck a dozen at Kwik Trip.  It's NOT humane and it's NOT healthy, simple as that!  

When I did my research on chickens (did research on chickens for a year BEFORE getting them) those videos are the first things I watched. It was hard, they made me super sad and VERY angry that in this world that is even allowed, but now I know I will NEVER buy store eggs again EVER. PERIOD.  They had me at hello.  

SO...when buying farm fresh eggs you want to ask questions to know your eating safe eggs. And I know if anyone came up to my farm and asked these questions I would LOVE them for caring!  Anyone who is decent is not going to mind you asking or taking the time to answer your questions.

How/where are your chickens kept?  They should have NO problems showing you their coops at any time (the coops should NOT smell of ammonia) if they do...move on, these are not the eggs for you.  Yes, they will smell to chickens but chickens don't really smell that bad if your keeping it clean..honestly, they don't. 

Are your chickens allowed out to free range?  Important if you want the benefits of the extra vitamins and omega 3's  Chickens kept in a coop and fed grains/feed and not allowed out are still healthier then the store eggs but not much. You want eggs from chickens that are allowed to free range (that is where ALL the goodness is :D) If it were me I would ONLY buy from people who allow their hens out to free range.

Are your chickens medicated? I know for selling my eggs I do NOT medicate ANY of my chickens (except using DE (another post in itself)) DE (Diatomatious Earth...this should be an ALL white powder NOT tan/brown looking) is an all natural, organic way to keep your chickens healthy without the meds.  And I rarely have to use that!  It's ok to medicate them if they need it but wait the allotted time before selling eggs again.  I just don't sell the eggs from that chicken because I just feel better that way.  She is retired if I have to medicate.  And when I say retired I don't mean killed ;)  Just to make that clear. 

Ask how many sq feet each bird has. It's important that hens have at least 3 sq feet per bird but they recommend 4 sq ft. Very stressful for birds being confined in less of an area than that.

Check out the chickens and don't be afraid to ask to see the coop.  Do you see tails down? (sign of sickness) do you see missing feathers? (sign of infestation of bugs or stress) are their eyes/nose clear? 

Ask how often they collect eggs.  Eggs 'found' outside or on the ground I boil and feed back to the chickens.  I only collect from the nest boxes for selling and only clean eggs, any dirty eggs get washed and we eat them ourselves. My eggs are not washed (again, another post). They are gathered twice a day in hot weather and once a day in cooler weather.  I have roosters (my eggs are all fertile) so this is why I collect every day or twice a day. Any questions on this just email me  I know there are a lot of questions about this as well.  And to answer the most common questions:  YES, you can eat fertile eggs, they do not taste different, look different or fry up differently.

I'm sure there are more questions that I could come up with but those the most important ones. 

SO my theory on "How much should I sell a dozen eggs for?" That would be at LEAST $3.00 a dozen but I would love to see $4.00 We KNOW they are worth more then Night Crawlers!  And if people can get 2.00 a dozen for Night Crawlers then I know we can get 4.00 for a dozen eggs!  Right??  I have NO problems selling my eggs for 3-4 a dozen and people are always wanting more.  I never have enough eggs to go around.  You just have to find the people who appreciate them like WE do! Now, all eggs are not created equal so be sure to ask those questions and take a close look at the farm your chickens live on.  And when they get the "passing" mark by you then pay a fair price.  Just my two cents! Sorry it was so long. 

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