We never intend to start selling chicken eggs and have managed our flock to make sure we only ever have enough chickens to provide for our needs. However some people choose to keep chickens with a view to selling their eggs and this comes with an amount of responsibility. Production and marketing of eggs is strictly controlled by various government agencies that have different interests, from the overall management of egg production through to consumption. Fortunately the guidelines are pretty clear. If you are a domestic keeper you are very unlikely to have to go down that route in order to sell off a few eggs to your neighbours when you have a glut.
Having browsed through the guidelines the number of chickens you keep is the key to law and the magic number, at the time of writing this article, is 50 birds. The figure of 50 birds covers all the poultry kept by one producer, including their chicks. It is not 50 of each type so be wary if you have a small holding and keep turkeys, geese, ducks etc.
The Eggs and Chicks (England) Regulations 2009 cover most aspects of egg production, date marking, transport, grading, packing and onward marketing. This is something you will need to be familiar with before you start buying loads of chickens. If you are thinking on a smaller scale I recommend you read the same guidelines in order to put your mind at ease and to keep you aware of when the rules change.
At the end of the day it is one thing for you to eat your own eggs it is quite another to have bought eggs from someone else, trusting that they have done all they can to keep you healthy. The law is there to protect both the seller and the consumer.