It's very important to have the right tool for the job. How many times do we struggle with something until we stop and go get the right tool? Gathering eggs is no different. More than once I've broken an egg in the pocket of my jacket while climbing back through the fence. What's worse than the sadness of loosing a tasty farm-fresh egg, is the mess of cleaning egg out of your jacket pockets.
I started using a cheap, plastic lunch-meat container to gather eggs. It's the same one that is now the scoop in the chicken scratch. Unfortunately it's dirty, clouded, and my husband finds it entirely unappetizing when I deliver eggs to the breakfast table in this re-tasked vessel. In the Spring, when the chickens are laying well, it's also too small to carry more than three or four eggs safely. My husband tried to find an egg basket for me online, but found only Easter baskets or expensive, hand painted, decorative containers.
To my great surprise and delight, while putting away tomato cages in a dark corner of the barn recently, I found an old egg basket. It had obviously been hit by a vehicle and was badly misshapen; however, it was a real egg basket. Since I found it among my grandfather's old tools, I'm guessing he saved it from being thrown out after it met with whatever warped it. My grandfather never threw anything out. After his death, we found every watch he had ever owned crammed in an old mayonnaise jar. Cleaned, polished, and displayed in some princess-house crystal, they make a lovely centerpiece (and an amusing reminder of Poppa) on my mom's coffee table.
I'm so grateful that Poppa never discarded the oblonged basket. After some beating, stretching, skillful application of vice-grips, and one small tack-weld I have a brand new (new to me) basket for gathering eggs. It's probably an antique, and if I ever have over 100 chickens, I think this basket will hold all the daily eggs - it's huge!!!