Selling Backyard Chicken Eggs / Backyard Henhouse Eggs in Colorado
Smaller numbers of sales of eggs by egg producers per month are a
special case in Colorado.
Whole fresh eggs are a special case in Colorado.
- Type of shell eggs can be sold - Chicken,
quail, duck, and turkey eggs.
- Number of eggs sold - the number sold
cannot exceed 40 case (120 dozen eggs) per month. If a producer sells more shells eggs than this per month, then a license is required.
- Labeling - Eggs must be handled and labeled
in accordance with the requirements outlined in Section
- Information required on egg cartons - See below.
- Cartons - New, clean and unused egg cartons
must be used.
For chicken eggs, contact the Colorado Department of Agriculture
at (303) 477-0076. For all other types of shell eggs, contact our
Manufactured Food Program at (303) 692-3645, option 2.
Eggs and Cottage Foods in Colorado
In 2012, the Colorado Legislature enacted Senate Bill 12-048
allowing individuals to sell certain types of “cottage food”
products in an unlicensed home kitchen. This bill was modified
during the 2013 legislative session by
House Bill 13-1158..
The rules were further modified in 2016.
In addition to whole eggs, Cottage food products include spices, teas, dehydrated produce, nuts, seeds, honey, can-dies, jams, jellies and
certain baked goods. Cottage food operations require no license or permit from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and are not
inspected by any state or local government entity. Net sales for each product produced by a cottage food operation must not exceed $5,000 annually.
Products must be sold directly by the cottage food operator to the end consumer. Sales by consignment or to retail food or wholesale food
establishments are prohibited. Cottage food products must be labeled in accordance
with the require-ments as outlined in Section 35-21-105 CRS. Eggs
must be handled and labeled in accordance with the requirements
outlined in Section 35-21-105 CRS.
FAQs about Selling eggs in Colorado
- What type of shell eggs can be sold?
Chicken, quail, duck, and turkey eggs. If a producer sells more than 40 cases - One
case of eggs contains 30 dozen
then a license is required
The previous (before 2016) limit was 250 dozen shells eggs per month .
Questions: For chicken eggs, contact the Colorado Department of Agriculture at (303) 477-0076. For all
other types of shell eggs, contact our Manufactured Food Program at (303) 692-3645, option 2.
- How many eggs can a producer sell without a license?
40 cases or 120 dozen eggs per month.
If you need a license, you may complete the
fillable PDF form online and then print out, or print out the Egg
Producer / Dealer License Application and then fill out by hand. Fill in all the information in the spaces provided. If you are a
small-flock egg producer with fewer than 3,000 birds, complete the Producer Questionnaire on the 2nd page of the application. Submit the
application with the Class I License fee to the address shown on the application. Upon approval, the license will be issued. An inspector will
contact you for an inspection.
- What information is required on egg cartons?
The address where the eggs originated
The packaging date
treated for salmonella such as by pasteurization, they must be labeled with "Safe Handling Instructions: To prevent illness from bacteria, keep
eggs refrigerated, cook eggs until yolks are firm, and cook any foods containing eggs thoroughly."
And labels must also include "These eggs
do not come from a government-approved source."
There are additional labeling requirements for licensed egg
- Can egg cartons be reused?
No. New, clean and unused egg cartons must be used.
- Are eggs required to be kept cold?
Yes. Eggs should be maintained at 41°F or below. Eggs sold at farmer's markets,
community supported agricultural organizations, and similar venues must be transported in a clean and sanitary environment between 33°F and 41°
- Where can I obtain information regarding poultry?
Poultry is not eligible to be sold under the Act. There are laws that
do allow a producer to raise, process, and sell whole poultry to consumers.
Contact the Colorado Department of Agriculture, Inspection and Consumer Services Division. Here is the Colorado
Dept of AG, ICS Contact page.
- Where can you see eggs?
You may sell your own flock's eggs on the farm (or place they are produced), at a farmer's market, or
through a community-supported agricultural organization or similar venue. . The egg packages must be labeled with:
- What are Colorado's Egg Grades?
A - Grade AA
The shell must be clean, unbroken, and normal. The air cell must not exceed 1/8
inch in depth and be regular. The white must be clear and firm so that the yolk outline is only slightly defined when the egg is twirled before
the candling light. The yolk must be free from apparent defects.
Large Egg - Grade A
The shell must be clean, unbroken, and practically
normal. The air cell must not exceed 3/16 inch in depth and must be practically regular. The white must be clear and at least reasonably firm so
that the yolk outline is only fairly well defined when the egg is twirled before the candling light. The yolk must be practically free from
Medium Egg - Grade B
The shell must be unbroken but may be slightly abnormal and may show slight stains but no
adhering dirt; provided that the stains do not appreciably detract from the appearance of the egg. When the stain is localized, approximately
1/32 of the shell surface may be slightly stained, and when the slightly stained areas are scattered approximately 1/16 of the shell surface may
be slightly stained. The air cell must not exceed 3/8 inch in depth, may show unlimited movement, and may be free or bubbly. The white
must be clear and may be slightly weak so that the yolk outline is well defined when the egg is twirled before the candling light. The yolk may
appear slightly enlarged or slightly flattened and may show other definite, but not serious, defects.
Cage free eggs
Summary Regulatory Requirements for Cage Free Eggs in Colorado Law:
HB20-1343 established enclosure requirements for farm owners or operators for eggs and egg products sold in Colorado. It also prohibits the
business owner from selling or transporting for sale in Colorado eggs and egg products that are not from a cage-free farm. The rule establishes a
certification process for confirming farms are cage-free and outlines a recordkeeping process to affirm eggs sold in Colorado are from a certified
Starting a Cottage Food Business
The sale of whole eggs is permitted under the Colorado Cottage Food Law, even though eggs are not a cottage food by definition. Colorado Senate
Bill 12 048 (section 35-21-105) allows the sale of less than 250 dozen eggs per month as license exempt per CO Department of Agriculture (CDA).
What steps do I need to take to start preparing and selling Cottage Foods?
- Review the Cottage Foods Act.
- Complete a food safety course.
- Contact your local city and county offices to see if you need a business license.
Contact for questions
Phone: 303-692-3645, option 2
Phone Number: (303) 869-9099
Fax Number: (303) 466-2860
Phone Number: (303) 869-9103
Reference - Original text from Colorado Egg Act
According to the Colorado Egg Act (C.R.S. 35-21-104) "Every person selling poultry eggs within this state shall obtain a dealer's license for
each place where such business is conducted."
Please note that any person who produces and sells less than 40 cases per
week is exempted from licensing with the State of Colorado.
1. Download, complete and print the Egg
Dealer License Application.
- Recent changes to the Colorado Egg Act require the Colorado Department of Agriculture to regulate the sale of other avian species eggs such
as duck, turkey, quail and guinea hens in addition to chicken shell eggs. Producers of other avian species eggs must comply with current eggs
regulations such as licensing, storage/transport, temperatures, cleaning/sanitizing eggs, using egg cartons that are labeled in accordance with
the rules. Eggs from other avian species are not required to be graded or sized.
If you are a small-flock egg producer with fewer than 3000 birds, mark the box for Class I and answer the questions on the second page of the
If this is the first time the business is applying for an Egg Dealer License, mark the box for Class II.
The Dealer license classes are based upon the average number of cases of eggs sold per week during the previous 12 months. One case of
eggs contains 30 dozen.
License periods run from January 1 to December 31 each year and the license must be renewed annually. The license fee cannot be prorated for
2. Mark the box that accurately describes your firm's egg sales history and note the fee due for that license class.
Colorado Department of Agriculture
Inspection & Consumer Services Division \ Eggs Program
305 Interlocken Parkway
Broomfield, CO 80021.
Licensed egg producers
If you are required to obatin an egg producers license, there are additional requirements.
Each package of eggs must be labeled with the following information:
- The producer/packer’s name and address. The address must include a zip code. The CDA license number is an
optional label item that may be in addition to the name and address.
- The date of packing. The pack date may be expressed as the Julian date (numbered day of the year) or as the
MONTH/DAY the eggs were packed.
- The grade of the eggs. This will be either AA, A, or B grade.
- The size of the eggs. This may be determined by weighing the eggs; refer to the chart for these size
- The expiration date is not required, but it is optional. If eggs are labeled with an expiration date, it may
be no more than 30 days past the pack date, and must be expressed with “EXP MONTH/DAY” or "SELL BY MONTH/DAY".
- FDA requires all cartons of shell eggs that have not been treated to destroy Salmonella must carry the
following safe handling statement, “Safe Handling Instructions: To prevent illness from bacteria, keep eggs refrigerated, cook eggs until yolks
are firm, and cook foods containing eggs thoroughly.