Is it Illegal to Sell Chicken Eggs?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Patchofheaven, Aug 14, 2007.

  1. Patchofheaven

    Patchofheaven Songster

    Jul 18, 2007
    Conroe, TX
    I'm new to chickens and am learning lots and lots from everyone on this forum - Thank you all.

    My girls haven't even started laying yet, but I'm still praying for that first egg every morning...

    Do any of you know if it is illegal to sale my chicken eggs to the public? Are there Federal or Local laws or places to look into this?

    I was thinking about selling my eggs, just to help pay for their feed, but I don't want to do anything illegal. I know that there are laws prohibiting the sale of cow/goat's milk to the public, but alot of farmers are getting around these laws by selling "shares" of their cows.

    Any info would be appreciated...

    Last edited: Aug 14, 2007
  2. schmoo

    schmoo Songster

    May 7, 2007
    West MI.
    Tons of people on this board sell their eggs. I've never heard of it being illegal. If you are worried about it just try to set up a customer base of family, friends, co-workers, and neighbors. Once they get a taste of those eggs, they'll never tell [​IMG]
  3. FamilyOfChickens

    FamilyOfChickens Songster

    Mar 24, 2007
    Northwest Indiana
    I don't know about where you are, but here in IN it's not illegal. Don't know why it would be, really. [​IMG] Those crazy politicians. I mean, it's not like you're buying them and reselling them as your own fresh eggs. THAT would be illegal. Ask any friends or neighbors who have chickens if they do. Or just be careful who you sell to. [​IMG]

    By the way, how many chickens do you have?
  4. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    I think in most places to sell your eggs is not illegal, but you can't do it as a real business unless you grade them or mark them UNgraded or something to that effect. Laws vary by state probably, but I haven't checked into it.
  5. Patchofheaven

    Patchofheaven Songster

    Jul 18, 2007
    Conroe, TX
    I have 4 hens and 4 roos - according to the forum. They weren't sexed as chicks, so it was a gamble - I started out in May with 12 and only have 8 left. (predators took out 4.) They are all about 4 months old and are all "mutts." I love'em anyway, I am still hoping that a friend of mine will trade me a hen for two of my roos (I know I have too many roos vs. hens)

    I'm not one to "sell" anything to family, I will probably end up giving them eggs if they ask in the future. We mainly wanted eggs for ourselves, but I was just curious about the laws if any - I couldn't find anything online, that says that it's legal or illegal to sell eggs.

    If the government says it's okay to sell eggs, why is it illegal (in most states) to sell milk or meat from your other farm animals?

    I'm not trying to start any type of debate by this thread, I'm truly baffled why eggs would be okay and the others are not... I'm just trying to further educate myself in the small farm world.

    Our dream is to one day get a family cow, a couple of calves, goats and other farm animals - we want to live a simpler life. We want to become more self-suffcient and less dependent on Wal-Mart.
  6. pipermark

    pipermark Songster

    Jan 26, 2007
    Yes most states have laws that have to do with the sale of eggs; however, most states have exemptions for small farmers. In Arkansas you can have up to 200 layers without have to abide by state laws.

    Other concerns if you publicly sell eggs.

    If your insurance company decided its a business running out of your home your coverage could be effected.

    If your local government finds out they will expect you to collect and remit taxes, which means having the required permits, and licenses for running a business.

    The safest way to avoid all the "business" aspects is to not advertise , or put out signs, let word of mouth work for you.

  7. mommahento5

    mommahento5 Songster

    Jul 6, 2007
    South East Indiana
    I have never heard that it is illegal to sell eggs. I do know though that if you plan to sell them in "re-used" cartons from the store, you need to mark out all the grading information. Since yours will not be graded you can't sell them as Grade A. It is my understanding that you also need to mark out the producer and the "batch" number. Maybe someone else knows for sure about that, but I am certain of the grading.

    Also, you can never sell your eggs as "organic" unless you are organic, and have been certified...and then you would want to put your cert number on your cartons. Many people I know make up their own labels and put them on cartons that they reuse (marking out the info I said above). You can certainly say "Farm Fresh Eggs" or "Free Range Eggs" or something to that effect...just don't use organic.

    As far as the milk, I think it is something about the pasturization (sp?) but I am not certain.

  8. Patchofheaven

    Patchofheaven Songster

    Jul 18, 2007
    Conroe, TX
    Pipermark & mommahento5 - you both made great points and said things that I hadn't even thought about.

    I've only have seen a few signs on these rural roads where I live, saying "Fresh Yard Eggs For Sale" - just small country farms, they probably have no idea that they could be doing something illegal or doing something that might affect their home insurance coverage. In my experience with insurance companies, they are always looking for a reason not to pay. That would really stink if they didn't cover someones losses because they sold chicken eggs for $2.00 a dozen...

    I wasn't thinking about the used egg cartons either - great point about marking out all of the writing - wouldn't want to be accused of false-advertising or something worse.

    Is there a certain dollar amount you can sell without having to report the income on your taxes? I surely don't want to mess with the IRS.
  9. Southern28Chick

    Southern28Chick Flew The Coop

    Apr 16, 2007
    I think in NC I can sell them without the states permission as long I don't don't grade them. Like I can't say Large Gade A eggs. Something like that. [​IMG]
  10. Chellester

    Chellester Songster

    Jun 22, 2007
    Nor Cal
    Hi Patchofheaven! [​IMG]

    To be totally honest, I really don't think you have too much to worry about. The IRS won't care unless you are pulling down some big bucks and they're not getting their cut, and I think we can safely assume you won't be doing that selling eggs. [​IMG]

    I have an eBay business, and I probably net what someone would if they had a part-time job. I, like you, was very worried about keeping it all legal and by the book, and I report EVERYTHING. But whenever I deal with the IRS, I get the feeling that the dollar amount is so small they would rather I didn't bother reporting it than them having to deal with the extra paperwork.

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