I have 7 hens and 2 drakes in a rather large fenced in area with a very nice, comfortable nest box/coop. I have 2 problems that I would like information/opinions/advice about. 1. Not all my hens will lay their eggs in the nest box! Every day I will find at least 1 egg laying on the ground, usually in the muddiest, dirtiest spot possible. This wouldn't be that big of an issue except that I know when winter gets here the eggs that are laying on the ground will be frozen before I get out to gather them. On only 1 occasion did all the hens lay their eggs in the nest box, that was a very happy morning! So, I know they all KNOW what the nest box is for. Why do some of them insist on laying their egg on the ground!?!? Four of the hens are very young, and they have only started laying eggs within the last month. Maybe they just don't understand when their body is telling them it's time to lay an egg so they don't know to go into the nest box? Is that possible? 2. The second problem is the REAL aggravation and the main motivation behind writing this thread. EVERY day when I go to gather eggs there is evidence that an egg has been eaten!!! This is VERY frustrating to me! My ducks are fed VERY well. They have free access to layer pellets with oatmeal and brewers yeast mixed in. They have free access to oyster shell. And, every afternoon I bring them all kinds of scraps of vegetables from the garden. They get a varied diet of greens and vegetables, especially during the summer, but I even buy tomatoes and kale and spinach, and other greens for them throughout the months when the garden isn't producing. So, I am pretty confident that the egg eating isn't a matter of a lack in their diets. I have no idea who the guilty party is. It may be a "gang" crime. I do, however, want to put a stop to it! How do I discourage egg eating? Most of the time the egg that is eaten was laid outside of the coop, BUT this morning I found half an egg shell and a mess of whites and yolk on the ramp leading up into the coop/nest box. So, what I THINK happened is that the egg was laid in the nest box but then rolled out onto the ramp and either broken by mistake or partially eaten. I am trying to build up a business of selling duck eggs. It is a very slow process because I've been raising my ducks from ducklings and then having to wait until they mature and start laying eggs. I do, however, have 3 dedicated customers who want duck eggs every week (not to mention my family loves to eat duck eggs as well). So, when I have losses from eggs being eaten in the coop/yard...It gets pretty discouraging. Any advice would be very helpful. I'm willing to try just about anything to make the egg eating stop!