Norton Creek Poultry and Chicken Lore
Books from Robert Plamondon's Publishing Company, Norton Creek Press.

Success With
Baby Chicks

Robert Plamondon
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Gardening Without Work
Ruth Stout
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Poultry Production
Leslie E. Card
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Genetics of the Fowl
F. B. Hutt
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Feeding Poultry
G.F. Heuser
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Egg Cartons

What Kind of Egg Cartons Should I Use?

Styrofoam cartons are superior to fiber ones, and cheaper, too, but they're politically incorrect. How you deal with this depends on your customers. Here in the Corvallis area, lots of people would rather starve than buy food in a politically incorrect container, so I use fiber egg cartons.

It's a shame, though:

  • Styrofoam cartons are waterproof, which counts when selling in an outdoor market.
  • They hold up better to repeated use, which means you can use fewer new cartons and more used ones with styrofoam.
  • They do a better job of keeping the eggs cold.
  • They're cheaper.

But they're taboo, so what can you do?

I use ordinary one-dozen egg cartons with two rows of six eggs. That's what customers are used to, and I don't see any advantage to the other sizes. When I sell half-dozens, I don't cut the carton in half. Instead, I take an empty carton and move six eggs into it. I always have empty cartons because people give them to me, as discussed below.

Can I Sell Eggs in Used Cartons?

This varies from state to state. In sensible states like Oregon, you can sell eggs in clean used cartons. If they weren't your cartons originally, they need to cross out the original seller's name and replace it with your own. I just cover up their name with one of my stickers.

In states run by control freaks and compulsive hand-washers, selling eggs in used cartons is illegal. As far as I know, no one has ever traced an outbreak of disease to used egg cartons. From a public health point of view, it's surely a non-issue.

Where Can I Find Used Egg Cartons?

Put up a sign at your farmer's market booth (or whatever) saying, "Recycle Your Egg Cartons Here." That's all it takes for us to get more cartons than we can use.

I recommend that you cheerfully accept all cartons that are offered to you, whether they're a size you can use or not, clean or dirty, and whether you need them or not. Keep it simple for the customer. Use the ones you can, recycle the rest, or maybe sell them on eBay if they're nice and clean. (See below.) The customers want you to keep them in circulation if you can, or dispose of them responsibly if you can't, so do that.

Where Can I Find New Egg Cartons?

Egg Cartons from Coast Packaging

We buy ours from Coast Packaging in California. Coast Packaging operates in the Western U.S. and is willing to sell egg cartons in "small" quantities -- that is, in bundles of 250 cartons. These are shipped to us by UPS. We usually buy several bundles at once.

Egg Cartons from Pactiv

Coast Packaging's cartons actually come from Pactiv, and if you're buying whole truckloads of cartons at a time, you might want to deal with Pactiv directly.

Egg Cartons from is a smaller vendor of egg cartons. We buy our Jumbo cartons from them and have been very happy with them.

Egg Cartons on eBay

I have never bought egg cartons on eBay, but if you want to buy cartons less than a "bundle" of 250 at a time, eBay might be your best source.

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