I always have had nesting boxes, right now I have eight hens who should start laying any day (I hope, it's getting close to winter), and only four boxes, they will share them. I'm just using the existing boxes that came in a 8'x16' coop, old wide boards with them all together. I did put a piece of plywood on a 45 on top of the row though, because the last time I had chickens a few years ago some would roost on top of them and poop all over. Before we moved to the house we have now I had 15 RIReds fenced inside a barn and I think there was only four boxes there also, and found out something I never realized. I always had hay or wood shavings in my boxes. I was wondering how I was getting cracked eggs, still edible but cracked. I got lazy and didn't refill the boxes with shavings and caught one one day laying a egg. I thought they did it sitting down. NOPE standing UP, thump, no wonder I had cracked eggs.I've been around chickens since I was old enough to walk and never saw one being laid! Make sure you put hay or shavings in the boxes. You can build them out of plywood also, or buy individual plastic ones from Tractor Supply. Your hens will lay anyways, this just keeps them where you can find them, and keeps them cleaner and unbroken, and probably helps keep them from being eaten.
Thank you! We have a small coop so it's good to know they will share. Another question though. With our coop being small a nesting box won't fit in the top of the coop where the hens go to roost. Is it okay to have the nesting box in the run?
How big is your coop? TSC has a plastic enclosed one 20"x20"x16" and a open wood one that is 12"x12x12". Would one of these fit? I see a lot of premade small coops have the nesting boxes built on the outside of the coop and you just lift the lid to collect eggs.