Spread risk! Never put your eggs in one basket

There is a saying that "never put all your eggs in one basket." This means that one should not concentrate all efforts and resources in one area as they could lose everything. This calls for more focus on value addition.

Eggs are an important and versatile ingredient for cooking. Their chemical make-up is key to many important baking reactions. There are lots of different types of egg, the most common being chicken, while more gourmet choices might include duck, goose and quail.

Adding value to chicken especially to meat and eggs may increase its life span. The increasing value increases the convenience to consumers. It mitigates losses that one can go through while trying to sell such as meat going stale.

Value addition

Value addition creates a more significant market opportunity and can easily satisfy the demand for your products.

According to BBC Goodfood, eggs supply almost every nutrient one needs. They are useful sources of nutrients like Vitamin D and B12 as well as the mineral iodine. Eggs are regarded as a complete source of protein as they contain all nine essential amino acids, which we must obtain from the diet.

For varieties, there is the Kienyeji chicken eggs, however, some young hybrid hens start laying eggs as early as when they are only 17 weeks old. Some breeds take more than 26 weeks to mature and start laying.

Quick egg laying hens include Cherry Eggers, Indian Rivers, ISA Browns, Pearl Leghorns and Golden Comets.Other heritage breeds for quick eggs include:Red Caps, White-faced Black Spanish, Anconas and Minorcas. Such breeds can start laying at as early as 21 weeks according to Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation (Kalro).

Margaret Achieng’ is a poultry farmer in Kisumu. She sells eggs and chicken on order basis and sometimes sends products to the organic market in Nairobi. She explains how one can add value to poultry products especially eggs.

Boiled egg 

Hard-boiled egg on wood

A boiled egg has become one of the fastest snack or food one can eat anywhere, including the streets. This is because they are easily available and affordable.

“What is even better is that the business can be combined with others too and if you do not have the time to do it yourself. All you need is to get a shop within a good location, hire young staff on a salary who can sell them on your behalf and give you an account after sales,” says Achieng’.

The shelf life of hard-boiled eggs with shell removed,  can be extended by packing them in a solution of citric acid and benzoates.

One boiled egg costs Sh20.

Selling Poultry eggs for incubation

The biggest challenge for people doing hatchery business is where to source fertilised poultry eggs from especially for those who lack their own parent stock. One can decide to venture into producing fertile eggs for incubation for hatcheries or individuals who are interested in hatching day old chicks or hatchery business owners.

“You can approach incubator suppliers and try offer this service to their clients. Facebook groups and other social media channels can also give you a good market for your fertilised or table eggs at a good profit,” says Achieng’.

The eggs cost start from Sh800 a tray.

Supplying eggs to customers directly

Someone can decide to play the role of both a poultry farmer and the middle men as well by supplying farm eggs directly to your end users or consumers. For instance, he or she can supply eggs to places like health institutions, schools, events, bakeries, open markets, hotels, kiosks and many more locations.

“Meanwhile, if it seems stressful to do all alone, you can hire capable hands to assist you achieve this result,” said Achieng’.

A tray ranges from Sh230 to Sh320.

Packaging and Branding your Egg Products

One can start packing and branding eggs using a nice package material that appears attractive then sell them through places like shopping malls, mini-marts, supermarkets, hotels, home deliveries and many more.

There are plastic poultry egg cases and trays being sold by plastic manufacturers so one can get the beautiful size and style that will suit their need.

“And don’t also forget to label your products too so that people can associate the poultry eggs with your company. Do not forget to include your contact details to attract direct orders from unknown consumers or potential customers,” says Achieng’.

Egg shells as fertiliser 

Eggshells separated after hatching. November 24, 2020. [Christopher Kipsang, Standard]

Egg shells can be used as fertiliser for plants as it helps in preventing the disease called blossom-end rot (BER) of the plant and helps in reducing the cost of farming.

Basically the egg shells are made by crushing and grinding in the form of fine powder to repair the soils having acidic pH.

“Its use as fertiliser increases the absorption of minerals and salts from the soil by plants. Also, the use of eggshells as an alternative source of calcium carbonate can reduce the impact on the natural reserve of limestone, as it is an unconventional natural source,” says Achieng’.

Hair conditioner

This can be mostly done from home. Mix an egg yolk with water or olive oil for a rich conditioner. Apply the mixture to your hair after shampooing and leave on for about 10 minutes.

“Be warned, rinse with cool or warm, but not hot water to avoid cooking the egg,” says Achieng’.

Other alternative uses of eggs are face masks, glue, leather cleaner, edible paint, in pastries, among others.

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