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Time and equipment to grade eggs

 
Posts: 13
Location: Raleigh, NC (zone 7b)
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Hey y'all! Anyone here regularly grade eggs? I know what the definitions of different grades are, but I can't figure out how long to assume it will take me routinely per dozen to do it. I'm starting up a chicken venture, and I am working on the business plan so I am trying to figure out labor costs.

Also, do any of y'all use the special candling things? Is it worth it versus a nice flashlight?
 
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Location: Left Coast Canada
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When people buy our eggs, they like them ungraded better.  The difference in size and colour make the eggs have that home-grown feel which people are willing to pay more for.

We used to use an egg scale to asses our eggs when we finished washing them.  It didn't take much time, but there was less money for graded eggs.  We only did this when we sold them in shops.  

But now our eggs are all pre-sold, we can put more energy into keeping our hens happy which improves the taste of the eggs which is the best selling feature.
 
Chelsea Hartweg
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Location: Raleigh, NC (zone 7b)
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r ranson wrote:We used to use an egg scale to asses our eggs when we finished washing them.  It didn't take much time, but there was less money for graded eggs.  We only did this when we sold them in shops.  



Our state requires that I grade them if I sell more than 30 dozen a week, which I will. Did the scale do more than just the weight? We have to check the air bubble inside too in order to choose whether they are AA, A, or B eggs. It sounds like a time consuming pain, and I'm starting to wonder if I could just charge more per dozen for the 30 I can sell ungraded, and then donate 1-1 for every dozen sold. So, say I was going to sell them for $2/dozen, maybe I'll charge $4 and say "for every dozen you buy, one gets donated to someone in need", so I'm selling 30 dozen eggs at double price and donating 30 dozen for free, but still making the same as I would if I sold 60 dozen at regular price. Also helps me clear out inventory faster.

r ranson wrote:But now our eggs are all pre-sold, we can put more energy into keeping our hens happy which improves the taste of the eggs which is the best selling feature.



How does your pre-selling work? I'm worried about moving all these eggs I'll have lol
 
r ranson
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Local laws are good to know.  Glad you know yours.

When we washed the eggs we check for goodness.  If the air bubble to egg ratio is too high, they start to tip a bit instead of lying flat on their side.  We did the candling thing for a while, but the tip-test was more accurate (but following your local laws is good).  But we did a lot of experimenting to see which worked better for us.  You'll find the way that works well for you.  The eggs are gathered and washed within 12 hours of laying so the chance that they aren't good is very low.  

As for pre-selling.  I used to give a dozen or so to some friends or neighbours.  Then one neighbour starting buying large amounts of eggs.  He was giving them to friends.  Then his friends started buying our eggs when he was out of town.  Now there's a fight for our eggs between the neighbour and his friends.  The taste and the colour are the biggest sellers.  Happy hens make delicious eggs (so long as we avoid feeding them strong tasting foods like onions) and the colour of the yolk is bright.  

 
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