So we somewhat spontaneously got five chickens, four hens and a roost. They were part of a pre-existing flock and I was told the hens were good layers. So we thought we'd wing it....there was already a basic coop on our property, my husband made a few nesting boxes, we've got plenty of produce scraps and I picked up some scratch. They spent the first several days in the coop, ultimately we would like them to be out in the yard during the day. So after a few days we let them out in the morning (no eggs or nesting behavior at this point), they spent most of the day on the perimeter of the yard under the chaparral/scrub oaks. around noon we noticed them nesting? making little dugouts in the soft dirt. So I'm thinking we want to discourage this so they go back to the coop to nest, is that right? I read somewhere about putting golf balls in the boxes to show them where to lay, had no golf balls so that night put a few eggs in the boxes hoping the would get the hint and have left them in the coop for a couple days and....nada..no eggs... no nesting...should I just let them out and let them figure it out... I would love some advise about having them out in the yard but laying in the coop..