I noticed a shell-less duck egg about a week ago rolling around in the bottom of the duck coop. I thought, the ducks have started laying eggs!

BeepBeep, the Icelandic chicken (who we are pretty sure is a rooster), noticed it as well and promptly ate it. (I bore witness to the whole disgusting thing.) He also ate the next intact duck egg that I saw a few days later. I’ve been thinking it might be time to show him he is a chicken, not a duck, and stuff him in the hen house with the hens in the dark before I go to bed.

I was able to collect my first intact duck egg last night.

However, this morning was another story. When I let the ducks out this morning, I peered through the front door of their duck house and I could see four eggs loose on the floor inside. I thought, What the duck?!

I stopped what I was doing and started pulling apart the chicken coop above to get to the lid of the duck house below. What sneaky duck hens I have! They (I’m assuming there must be more than one) have been hiding their eggs from me, and maybe from BeepBeep, by covering their nest with hay. At first glance, I only saw the four loose eggs!

Some of them were still warm, so a hen must be sitting on them at night.
These hens must be starting to be overwhelmed with four eggs out of control!

I don’t know what I was thinking, except that it’s the chicken moult right now (only getting one chicken egg every third day), day length is super short, and the ducks were just starting to lay. I guess I wasn’t thinking there would be regular eggs every day! It’s my first time raising ducks, so go easy on me!

So, big questions here are: 1) how many are still good (as in edible), 2) has the drake covered each egg, 3) how many hens do I really have, and 4) should I just throw out all these eggs? The more I thought about this, the more I questioned when I saw the first shell-less egg. Turns out that egg was laid on November 19! (Time flies!) And before you even go there, no, I really can’t support incubating any of these eggs and I’m not giving them back to the hens – it’s winter, albeit a mild one, so far.

My best guess is what I’ve been assuming for months – there seem to be two hens – one Cayuga and one mallard. I suppose there could be just one hen or there could even be three. How many hens do you think I have?

How many did you count? (You actually can’t see one egg because there’s another on top of it…)