I am looking for advice from people in the rainy part of the state on what to do with our run floor. We are building from scratch but currently have plans made for a 16' x 36' run off of a 12' x 8' coop. We only plan on having 10-12 chickens max. It will be located near our patio so we want to keep smell to a minimum. Hence the reason for the large coop/run and the small number of chickens. (We've read overcrowding can be a big problem when it comes to smell issues.) The rain is also a concern. We were thinking about making the run partially roofed (16' x 12'), and the rest hardware clothed to keep out the predetors. I am wondering two things. One, would we be crazy not to put a roof over the whole run and maybe making it a bit smaller to make it less costly. Or would less space cause more smell? Also, what material(s) would you recommend to put on the run floor? It seems like a lot of people on this site like sand, but I have heard concerns not only for the rain, but for possible disease issues. If I leave it bare grass and add things like shavings or staw would it become a smelly mess that is hard to clean? Or do we have enough space for them that it won't build up too badly? Other considerations we've heard are pea gravel, a layer of sand underneath gravel, a section of sand or dust bathing material along with a section of bare land with chips, as well as using Agricultural lime on whatever we do to combat smell. So many possibilities, any input would be much appreciated. This is going to be a permanent structure so we want to do it right the first time. Any input is much appreciated. Thank you!
Edited by KalGal - 1/20/16 at 8:17am