Idioms: Nest Egg

Which of the following is the correct origin of the idiom “nest egg.”

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  1. The original expression was “next egg,” referring to the additional zero, or egg, that signified a thriving bank account.
  2. The extra egg a bird lays that exceeds the target brood size knowing that inevitably one egg will fail to hatch.
  3. Farmers would mark an overly large, likely double yolked egg by adding straw to its spot in the egg carton.  Cartons with nest eggs were considered very lucky.
  4. The practice of putting an artificial egg into a hen’s nest to encourage more egg laying.