Foothill Farming
University of California
Foothill Farming

Pasture-Based, Chicken Egg Production

Eggs in a basket

To raise chickens for eggs, you will need to learn all about healthy flock and pasture management.   Be sure to carefully consider:

  • Finding the right genetics and hatchery,
  • Brooder management,
  • A grazing plan for your land,
  • Protection from predators,
  • Feed- type, storage, source, feeding schedule,
  • Egg collection, processing, packaging and storage,
  • and flock management and renewal.

There are a number of great resources available to help you find the info you need.  We recommend:

UCCE Central Sierra

The American Pastured Poultry Producers Association

The National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service

If you are planning to use any third-party certifications for your farm (California Certified Organic Farmers, Animal Welfare Approved, etc.) it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with regulations before you build your farm plan.  It is much easier to design a system that meets standards than to try and conform an existing system.


Marketing Farm Fresh Eggs

To sell your beautiful and delicious eggs, you will first need to obtain your Egg Handlers Registration.  You can apply for an Egg Handlers Registration at your local California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) office or you can apply online.

 The CDFA also has certain label and packaging requirements for the sale of eggs.  Here is the quick reference guide from the CDFA with more information on the sale of eggs.

 Like any farm product, eggs require "safe handling."  Before you begin production, learn more about the safe way to collect, wash, handle, package, store and sell your eggs.  Here are a few resources on egg safe-handling:

ATTRA- Small-Scale Egg Handling

USDA Food Safety Information- Shell Eggs from Farm to Table

Eggs at market

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