Skip to main content

Backyard Chicken Farming: Beginner's Guide to Fresh Eggs

The author's background includes law enforcement and U.S. military service. She enjoys writing about canine behavior and breeding chickens.

When your chickens produce eggs, it's a moment of pride for any backyard farmer! Explore this overview of farm-fresh eggs.

When your chickens produce eggs, it's a moment of pride for any backyard farmer! Explore this overview of farm-fresh eggs.

When Diligent Work Turns Into Chicken Eggs

The moment arrives—the eggs! As a new chicken egg farmer, you have done your due diligence for your small urban flock. You've kept your chicks warm, grew them up into healthy happy hens, gave them good food and clean water, and built them a home that keeps them safe from the elements. Now it's time for your diligent work to turn into chicken eggs.

Farm-Fresh Eggs Are Colorful, Flavorful Treasures

Ahhh, those rich, bright pastel and colorful fresh eggs for quiche, cakes, and cookies. Wait a minute, colorful? Yep, colorful. Fresh eggs differ in many ways from those pale white oval production-line eggs you have been eating over the years.

From the exterior shell color to the deep color-rich and flavorful "stand-up" yolk, your urban chicken flock delivers to you a treasure sought after by every neighbor on the block and every friend who has been watching you raise your backyard birds. Your little oval-shaped delicacies will have people flocking together and to your door with empty egg cartons and pleading eyes.

How to Share Your Eggs

When the parade of egg requests begins, you are going to have to regulate your chicken egg offerings. Even as you will probably have more eggs then your family can eat each day, you want to be fair and make certain all who hover at your coop door get a chance to share in the harvest. Making enemies can be an easy fate when it comes to fresh backyard chicken eggs.

Start by giving out three or four eggs, and only as many as a half dozen to each person (as you can spare the gems). This keeps the harvest an exciting time for you, your family, your friends, and the neighbors! This method will rightfully preserve and honor the greatness of the fresh backyard chicken egg.

How Different Are Fresh Eggs, Really?

Your backyard chicken eggs are surely a well sought-after commodity, making the temptation to start thinking in terms of profit rustle through your mind. But, before allowing these thoughts to get too far ahead of the process, you must learn some of the more important differences between a regular old white egg that gets sold at the grocery store and those you collect each day from your own backyard chicken flock. Knowing the facts will make your egg farming experience a more gratifying endeavor in the long run.

Important Tips for New Backyard Farmers

Important Tips for New Backyard Farmers

Important Differences Between Fresh Chicken Eggs and Store-Bought Chicken Eggs

As expected, farm fresh eggs have so much more to offer, which is likely the reason we become backyard chicken egg farmers to begin with. They offer a naturally protected shell, a tougher inner membrane, no antibiotics, no hormones, deeply nutritious yolks, better color and taste, firmer texture, and, above all, the thrill of providing our own protein-rich food source following a daily egg collection—a tithing of the chickens, if you will.

Key Aspects of Farm-Fresh Eggs

  • Collect Them Daily: Fresh eggs must be collected every day by nightfall. Eggs left overnight or for days are no longer fresh. Eggs not collected daily can get broken as hens will continue to lay new eggs right on top of them. If eggs get left too long, the anxious or inactive hen may begin to eat them, which is a very difficult habit to break. If you have kids, collecting the eggs is a delightful job for them—a mini treasure hunt every day!
  • Don't Wash Them With Water: The short time a fresh farm egg is in the nesting box, it may get bits of dirt or manure that stick to the shell. When you get the eggs inside, wipe them off with a dry towel or rough paper towel. If possible, DO NOT wash fresh eggs with water. Eggshells come with a natural surface coating that protects them from bacteria, and this coating can be washed away with even a little bit of water. If an egg gets too yucky and you have to wash it, use it right away.
  • Coat Washed Eggs With Oil: If you just can't stand dirty eggs or you can't use the eggs right after cleaning them with water, take a damp cloth and wipe them off (no soap of any kind). Dry the eggs with a dry soft cloth and rub a very thin layer of cooking oil on the eggshell. The oil places a thin oily-shield on the outer shell, which can protect it from nasty bacteria and organisms that will be hunting for your eggs' internal hidden treasure. Use these oil-coated eggs first.
  • Refrigerate Immediately: Store your freshly collected eggs in the refrigerator right away. They will last up to three weeks in your fridge.
  • Don't Hard Cook on the First Day: Hard cooking an egg that has just been collected makes for a really frustrating outcome for the new urban egg farmer. The yolks, the whites, and the shell don't really act as separate entities on an eggs' first day. This makes peeling hard-cooked eggs a very destructive operation for the egg white in particular. Day-fresh hard-cooked eggs peel as if the white and the shell are created as one. This leaves you with an egg white that is ripped and missing chunks. Wait a few days to hard cook fresh eggs; this way, the layers of the egg will separate better as air expands between the shell and egg white membrane.
How to Freeze a Farm-Fresh Egg

How to Freeze a Farm-Fresh Egg

  • Don't Freeze in the Shell: You can freeze fresh eggs, just NOT in the shell (unless you prefer an egg explosion inside your freezer). Crack the eggs into a dish and scramble them, adding a pinch of salt. Then place the scrambled eggs into a tightly sealed freezer-safe container and place the container into your freezer. You can freeze them for up to six months.
  • Don't Sell Them: You cannot sell your fresh eggs. This is a very important thing to remember: You can give your extra eggs away, but you cannot sell them. Commercial egg farmers have a set of very rigid regulations surrounding the sale and production of eggs. You would have to go through an awful lot of red tape to be a commercial egg farmer. In most city law, the sale of eggs by residential chicken farmers is actually prohibited—in writing. Some city regulations bend and allow you to sell your eggs at Farmers' Markets or private produce stands. However, DO NOT sell even one egg until you have done the research on your local regulations.
  • See If You Can Donate Extra Eggs: If you should find that you simply have far too many eggs to handle (wouldn't this be great), consider giving them to a woman's shelter or local food pantry that feeds the less fortunate. Sometimes they can receive your egg gifts and sometimes they cannot, so call ahead to be sure.
  • Don't Waste Them: A great farm fresh egg should NEVER go to waste!
Chicken Egg Anatomy

Chicken Egg Anatomy

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

© 2011 India Arnold

Scroll to Continue

Read More From Pethelpful


LongTimeMother from Australia on March 25, 2013:

Awesome hub. Linking to it. Thank you. :)

Money Glitch from Texas on March 23, 2011:

LOL, me a resident genius? You are too kind.:) I think it is great that you are raising chickens for the eggs and many will benefit from your research. It is so wonderful to collect the fresh eggs everyday, that is one of the fond memories I have from the farm. I would do it now if I didn't live in a condo. Hub Hugs to you as well.:)

India Arnold (author) from Northern, California on March 23, 2011:

Money Glitch~ Seeing you here today brings a big smile! I do have chickens and am raising them strictly for eggs. I did conduct a great deal of research because I wanted to be sure how to do things right when I took on the cute little beasts. The eggs are divine and the process is a blast!

I thought the freezing tips were a good feature to add; glad you agree--I blew-up a few eggs during the process, but the final outcome was really good. Thrilled I was able to teach you something; I was pretty sure that was not possible as you are the resident genius in my book! Very pleased to see your comments here, big Hub Hugs!


Money Glitch from Texas on March 23, 2011:

Wow K9 you really done your homework on backyard egg farming or you're an expert at doing it yourself. :) I was a raised a farm girl and you taught me something on the freezing eggs will have to give it a try. Great job! :)

India Arnold (author) from Northern, California on March 10, 2011:

mannyrolando~ Thanks for the comments Manny. It may sound odd, but I find a tiny sense of pride every time I crack open one of my chickens' eggs. Nothing tops farm fresh eggs! Appreciate you coming by today.


Sweetie Pie~ You are absolutely correct, raising chickens is NOT for everyone. But it's good to know some do enjoy it and that we can, once in a while, get our hands on farm fresh chicken eggs! I am so grateful you were able to stop by today and drop off a note. I appreciate your support.


GiftedGramma~Too bad about not being able to raise your own chickens for their eggs. Possibly sneaking out to the country to buy those covert farm fresh eggs would be worth the mileage? Keep it a secret in case the egg police are on patrol! So glad you came by and shared your thoughts!


GiftedGrandma from USA on March 10, 2011:

Wow! I would love to have my own fresh eggs, would be frowned upon by my neighbors :O) I have seen a house in the country that does sell them. Sign is side of the road.

SweetiePie from Southern California, USA on March 09, 2011:

Amazing hub! Raising chickens and taking care of their eggs definitely is not for everyone, but I would buy such eggs from someone like who that does it well.

mannyrolando on March 09, 2011:

Excellent hub, very well written and so informative. I would love to someday be able to raise my own chickens and eat their eggs! Thanks for sharing!

India Arnold (author) from Northern, California on March 08, 2011:

Steph Harris~ Gee-whiz, you make me blush! My little backyard flock are very sweet girls and are kind enough to offer me luscious eggy-good nuggets daily in trade for good food and water and a nice place to trot about. Possibly a quail flock may be down-sized enough for your square footage? Their eggs are tiny, but pack an outstanding bit of flavor! Unlike chicken flocks though, quails may not be so willing to interact on a personal level. I am very flattered by your comments my friend! Thank you for making it by today for little chicken talk.


India Arnold (author) from Northern, California on March 08, 2011:

sade1night~ Very nice of you to comment. Thank you for such high praise! Welcome to HubPages by the way!


India Arnold (author) from Northern, California on March 08, 2011:

Patty Inglish, MS~ Honored you made it over here to read about backyard egg farmers Patty! It means the world that you approve of the quality of content within the article.

I have not had a chance to listen to the Chicken Whisperer's radio show, but be assured I will make it a point to do so now; the name alone has me grinning. Thanks for your support, it is appreciated far more than I can say.


India Arnold (author) from Northern, California on March 08, 2011:

stephhicks68~ You are too kind, but you do bring a smile to my face! Thank you so much for the wonderful comments Steph. I read an article by super good hubber Marye Audet that has some health considerations for fresh free-range vs store eggs that you might find interesting as well @ (I don't often place links in the comment section, but when I do, it's a really good one! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.)

I am with you all the regard fresh chicken eggs, I will never go back to bland store bought eggs again! Thrilled that you made it by this day!


Steph Harris from Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom on March 08, 2011:

Hey K9keystrokes, would you please stop publishing hubs like this, I am so jealous of you, I would love to keep chickens, I have heard that they make wonderful pets and all of those fresh eggs. As I said, I am so jealous of your way of life. I am from the UK, with a postage stamp of a garden. House isn't much bigger. I am so green.

sade1night from Priceville,Ontario on March 08, 2011:

What a great and informative site.Awesome!

Patty Inglish MS from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on March 07, 2011:

This is an outstanding article! Rated Up and several others. Do you ever listen to The Chicken Whisperer's radio show on Facebook?

Stephanie Marshall from Bend, Oregon on March 07, 2011:

Fabulous hub - excellent topic! I have a friend who owns 6 chickens and sells her eggs for only $2 a dozen. Don't tell her, but I'd willingly pay $8/dozen for these beauties! As you point out, the shells are a lovely brown hue, and the yolks are richly colored. The eggs are soooo good and healthy. We'll never go back to tasteless white eggs from the store. Rated up!

Related Articles