We've been getting around a dozen eggs a day from our chickens and ducks this spring. Mason's new job is to go collect the eggs in the coop at some point in the day. He loves the responsibility and the fact he gets to do it by himself makes him so proud.
Our hens have done a much better job at laying in the coop instead of having secret nests all over like last year, but there have been a few incidents. They were laying in a bucket right outside the coop, which was convenient. However, they decided to up their game and make things more difficult.
This is the burn pile. It is a bunch of sticks, boards, etc. awaiting a calm day to be set to fire. Wynona, our young silver laced wyandotte made a nice nest in here. To get to the eggs you have to somewhat climb into the middle of the of the pile while the sticks poke you in the head and get stuck in your hair. She hasn't laid there this week so hopefully I don't have to do that anymore.
This is an old grinding room, a small room on the side of the barn that obviously doesn't get used. There were a handful of hens laying in here, to the left of the spiral-y thing under the pvc pipe in the photo. It was a bit treacherous to walk into the room, but the part I hated most was I always collected the eggs at dusk and just knew there would be a raccoon or skunk waiting for me in there at some point. Luckily that was not the case and there haven't been eggs in there now recently either. Phew.
Here's a popular nest, under the coop. One night I found a clutch of 18 eggs under here. After I finally got the feisty Iowa Blue hen off, I reached under to grab them and of course they are just out of reach. The nest is like a hole in the ground so it took me what seemed like twenty minutes laying on the ground with a stick carefully sliding the eggs out of the hole and close enough for me to reach. I was covered in straw and probably bits of poo by the time I was done. We don't eat eggs we aren't sure how long were in nests, so I popped them all in the incubator and some of them are developing nicely. I've also found a cat on this nest. She sat on one egg for two days, I got a chuckle out of that.
Our incubator is maxed out. End of the month we should have some of our own barnyard raised chicks and ducklings. Each time we candle them we get a bit giddy about how well they are doing. We're trying the dry incubation this time as opposed to messing with humidity levels and it is really working much better for us.