...and I finally found the latest egg hiding place! I've been allowing the chickens to roam in the vegetable garden adjacent to their chicken pen since most crops are mature enough to withstand their pecks, and there are many tasty critters there for them to eat, and they have eschewed their lovely nesting boxes for other creative spaces. For awhile, they had a hollowed out place beside a hay bale and underneath the arching branches of a weed, and then eggs stopped appearing in that nest. My faithful Americanas, who lay the blue eggs, continued to place their eggs politely in the nesting boxes for awhile, but their eggs also disappeared over the past week.
I've searched the garden and the pen, stepping through weeds and over plants, but hadn't found them until today, when I leaned over to pick Crowder peas. I suppose I would rather lay eggs, if I were a chicken, under a canopy of pea vines instead of inside a chicken tractor, too. I don't mind playing egg-hunt out of season, and at least the game keeps the snakes guessing about the location of the eggs, too. Today's haul was 18 eggs, and they were all fresh.