4-H Egg Business Project

4-Her with poultry; photo by Edwin RemsbergThe 4-H Egg Business Project is intended to generate an income for participating Maine youth and their families, and provide learning experiences in business, entrepreneurship, record keeping, documentation, problem-solving, food safety, and animal husbandry. In addition, participants will learn about, understand, and follow state and local regulations for producing and selling poultry eggs.

As part of the project, participants will purchase 12-week-old pullets. All pullets will be brown egg layers. A time of preparation for participating families will begin with building or securing a facility and equipment for the birds. Participants will keep track of all expenses including the purchase of pullets, equipment, shavings, and feed. The provision of at least 14 hours/day of light will be required for each flock. Participants will keep track of daily egg production and egg sales. The number of pullets purchased is up to each family. It is recommended that participants start with at least 10 pullets (with a projected production of 4.4 dozen eggs per week). Space and time available (for a 12-month period) will determine the number of hens for each flock.

Participant Responsibilities

  • Perform a local market survey within your community to determine the approximate number of eggs and hens needed to meet that market.
  • Purchase through UMaine Extension the suitable number of pullets for the available site.
  • Prepare (adapt, secure or construct) appropriate facilities to house the birds for keeping.
  • Obtain necessary equipment and supplies for the birds (fencing, wire, perches, feeders, waterers, bedding, nest boxes, etc.).
  • Provide appropriate feed and water daily to birds.
  • Obtain adequate number of egg cartons.
  • Learn and follow the state and federal regulations for selling eggs.
  • Gather eggs daily, and prepare for selling eggs in appropriate packaging.
  • Take part in related educational opportunities when possible.
  • Record all expenses and income related to this project.
  • Record all production data related to this project.
  • Keep a journal of the experience.
  • Report the outcome of the project to UMaine Extension via an online reporting system.

UMaine Extension will provide poultry- and project-related information to all participants; provide educational experiences related to the project such as webinars, hands-on workshops, tours, etc.; arrange for the purchasing of birds by participants from reliable sources and secure a group price for the birds; present poultry-related educational events for participants; check in with participants on a regular basis; and respond quickly to questions and issues related to the project.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Please read the FAQ before registering for the program.

Registration for the program is currently closed.

  • For information when the program re-opens, contact Sadee Mehuren.

Fact Sheets


Additional Resources

For more information, contact Jessy Brainerd at 207.581.3877 or jessica.brainerd@maine.edu.