My 6 Buff Orpingtons are about 3 1/2 months old. They are out in the coop which is about 6x5 feet big, also have a small covered pen for them. Inside the coop, I have the 3 nesting boxes blocked off with a piece of plywood. I think I seem to have read here at BYC, that I should block the nesting boxes off so they don't move into them and get used to sleeping and pooping in them. Well my question is when do I unblock the openings to the nests? I figure that I have at least 2 more months before they are mature enough to lay, so when do I make the nesting boxes available? Also, just want to let anyone who happens onto this thread that I truly appreciate any advice given. This website and forum has been an unbelievable source of knowledge for a rookie chicken farmer that would have been struggling without all the info. I hate to jinx myself, but the experience so far has been so enjoyable and kinda relaxing thanks to all the contributing members of the forums. From the design of my coop, to my horizontal watering nipples on a five gallon bucket, and my five gallon bucket feeder, and all the info on treats! I really couldn't have done it without all of you!!! People at work think I'm nuts.