Does there need to be a nest box in the coop?

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In the Brooder
11 Years
Jan 12, 2009
Southern California
I have silkies and an EE that are almost 5 months old. I'm trying to incorporate nest boxes into their coop but high or low they sleep and poop in the them. I also have nest boxes around the yard. Considering I'm in So. California and they free range all day year round, and I have a VSB auto door opener that opens before they even wake up. Do they lay before they wake? Should I have a nest box in the coop? My space is so limited.
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No, you don't *need* to have nest boxes in the coop. They will lay right in the floor. But, a nest box will protect the eggs, keep them cleaner, and encourage the hens to lay more or less in one place, if they are laying in the house. I've done it both ways, and prefer to have a nest box. It all depends on what you want and is easier for you.
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I have nestboxes in my coop, and one thing made them choose not to sleep in them: a light.

I have a light on a timer in there set to go off 1/2 hour after bedtime, and they can see well enough to do their seating arrangement. It made their evenings smoother enough that no one ended up on the floor or seeking safety in the boxes- in low light they don't see well enough to protect themselves.

Worked for me!

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