Raising a flock of backyard chickens ensures that you have a steady supply of fresh eggs. Small poultry flocks have become popular in Georgia, and some backyard farmers are interested in supplementing their income by selling farm-fresh eggs. But, to be sold, all chicken eggs must be evaluated by a certified grader and appropriately packaged and labeled in accordance with the Georgia Egg Law and Georgia Food Act.
An egg candling certification is required of anyone who sells eggs from their flock. So, if you’re planning on selling eggs at places other than your farm, Georgia law requires chicken flock owners to attend an egg candling class. There, the farmer will learn how to check the quality of their eggs before selling them.
Candling is the age-old method of looking inside an egg without breaking it open to learn what’s going on inside. Farmers initially candled eggs to determine if a viable embryo was inside and to check the development of the baby chick. In the days before electricity, candles were used to illuminate the eggs.
The procedure also helps farmers determine the quality of the eggs for human consumption. For example, the amount of air inside the shell indicates the egg’s freshness. By looking at the egg’s shell, air cell, the yolk, and the albumen (egg white), you can determine whether the egg should be graded AA, A, B or inedible.
Experts with the Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA) teach classes on egg candling and local UGA Extension offices often host these classes. The no-cost, lifetime certificate is obtained by passing both written and hands-on candling examinations.
The Liberty County Extension Office has coordinated with the GDA to offer a class on Friday, May 31. There is no fee to attend, but you must register by May 24th to attend the class. Participants over the age of 18 must complete a notarized affidavit and submit one copy of ID.
For more information, contact the Liberty County Extension office at 912-876-2133 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re located in the Historic Courthouse in downtown Hinesville at 100 Main Street, Suite 1200.