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Welcome to BYC! Sorry to hear you are getting off to a rocky start in your chicken keeping adventure.
Nest boxes in the run can work - depending on your climate, your hens and your overall setup. If you are in an area where weather is likely to keep them from going out a lot then having the nest boxes outside may lead to a lot of laying inside the coop area vs. in the nest boxes. Will your run be covered (roofed, not wired)? If so, this may help offset any potential weather related issues as the run will be more protected than one that is not. Some hens are less picky about the sort of conditions they will go out in, so if you have hens that don't care much about weather that will help too.
If you take and post some photos of the kennel you are planning to use we may be able to make other suggestions as well that could be useful for your nest box issue as well as options to overcome the space issue while you figure out an alternative that would provide a better situation.
Edited by Ol Grey Mare - 4/20/16 at 9:36am
I have a small coop and have one nest box in my run. Three of my 4 girls use the nest box in the run. My Easter Egger insists on laying in the coop, so I have a small nest box in my coop for her to use. No snow or extreme weather where I live, so the girls are out in the run unless they are sleeping. The nest box in my run is mounted to a section of wooden fence, and when it rains, water does get into the nest box and I haven't figured out how to remedy that. Nest boxes in the run can work, but consider where they are placed, what you use, etc. to keep them from getting filled with water in bad weather.
Very nice to meet you Deb. I think putting nest boxes out in the run would make them more accessible to predators. For ten hens - 3-4 nest boxes are probably enough. Hens will often fight to use the one "special?" nesting box even if the others are identical.
Rule of thumb for coops is 4-5 sq. feet per bird excluding roosts and nest boxes. and 10 sq. feet per bird in the outdoor run. Chickens get very cranky when they are crowded and will often resort to bullying, feather plucking and at extremes cannibalism.