A brief intro.... Hi, I'm Marcy from IA and I think I've found a new obsession. I have twelve BO's that are about 7 weeks old. (I think they are mostly roo's) and I also have 20 Red Star pullets that are about 2 weeks old. (Still in brooder) My coop is an old milk house attached to a rock barn. Hubby said it's over 100 sq ft. The run is not quite 200 ft, but they can get through the panels and pretty much run free with the goats. I call them into the coop each night, and they all come running. I lock them up from about 8 PM till 6-7 am. We have two large dogs that keep critters at bay, at least so far. I've read pages and pages of threads here at BYC, but I still have some questions. Thought I'd ask them now so that I'll be prepared before anybody starts laying. Roosts: How far off the ground? We do have shelves that are about 5 ft off the ground, but hubby still needs to turn these into something workable for chickens. Is it instinct for them to use these or do I need to train them? How?? Right now all the BO's appear to be making little nests in the straw that's on the floor. Nesting boxes: How far off the ground should they be? If they are free range, is there any way to get them to come back to the boxes to lay so I don't have to hunt for eggs every day? Any tips or ideas would be appreciated. Thanks for your time.