7 week old chicks, What to do with nest box?

I have a dozen chickens, and they will be going out in the coop shortly (still in construction) for good. What should I do about nest boxes? Should I keep them out/closed? When should I introduce them(nest boxes)? I have heard that if you put them in to early they will learn to poop in them, not a good habit lol.

Also will they go in the coop by themselves at night or do I have to train them?

Thanks for any advice!
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oldhenlikesdogs

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What's your set up look like? In general chicks don't bother with the nestboxes, but mine are 2-3 feet off the ground. If you have one of those small coops you will probably have problems because the boxes tend to be on the floor.
 
What's your set up look like? In general chicks don't bother with the nestboxes, but mine are 2-3 feet off the ground. If you have one of those small coops you will probably have problems because the boxes tend to be on the floor.
I am going to build a 4x8 ft standing coop. I'm not sure where to put the nest boxes yet should they be higher than the floor?
 

mixedbreeds

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I would put them up off the floor a little and keep them closed off till you see an egg then put fake eggs or golf balls in the nest boxes. It’s hard to keep them from sleeping in the nest boxes once they start so I wouldn’t give them the chance. Make sure your roost is higher that your nest boxes as well.
 

Mylied

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I have had to put younger chicks in the coop after dark until they learn to go in on their own. We have nest boxes off the ground but those chickens never hatch. If your chickens will go broody and hatch, I wouldn't put them too high or make sure there's a chick friendly ramp to get up and down.
 

oldhenlikesdogs

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I am going to build a 4x8 ft standing coop. I'm not sure where to put the nest boxes yet should they be higher than the floor?
Yes put them off the floor, otherwise you can get hens eating eggs as they can see them in there when passing by if the boxes are low, and they may peck them out of curiosity. When boxes are off the floor hens generally go to them to lay only.
 
I would put them up off the floor a little and keep them closed off till you see an egg then put fake eggs or golf balls in the nest boxes. It’s hard to keep them from sleeping in the nest boxes once they start so I wouldn’t give them the chance. Make sure your roost is higher that your nest boxes as well.

I have had to put younger chicks in the coop after dark until they learn to go in on their own. We have nest boxes off the ground but those chickens never hatch. If your chickens will go broody and hatch, I wouldn't put them too high or make sure there's a chick friendly ramp to get up and down.

Yes put them off the floor, otherwise you can get hens eating eggs as they can see them in there when passing by if the boxes are low, and they may peck them out of curiosity. When boxes are off the floor hens generally go to them to lay only.

Thanks everyone! I learned a lot from all your replies! It makes sense to have it up off the ground to avoid egg eating, And I don't plan on raising chicks so I wont have to worry to much about a chick ramp, good to know all the same thought! I will keep them blocked off till I see the first egg! Thanks again!
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MANNA-PRO

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