So, everything i've read says that nesting boxes are off the ground. Is there a reason for this or is it ok to have them on the ground? Just curious. I 'm a newbie and want to make my babies happy and productive. Right now I'm using milk crates placed underneath a bench. Above the bench is the roosting perch. The bench keeps most of the poop out but, I've noticed that they must be using the crates because there is poop in there. Is this what they do before they start laying? Two of our chickens are 5 months old and 5 are three months old. I'm feeding them grower feed and will expect to start layer as soon as someone produces that first golden egg. How do I seperate the feed? Do I need to keep the chickens seperate until the younger ones start to lay? Is it bad if they're on layer before they lay. They free range in a large fenced in yard during the day and have access to there coop throughout the day. Thanks for all the help in advance.