Originally Posted by AnneInTheBurbs
Cool! Can you tell me why you like it? I'm ready thinking about our next run and the setup....
Wish I could help. I have one BA that over the summer was laying her eggs randomly in the yard. Not everyday, but occasionally. I think she didn't like that the broodys were in one of the nest boxes. She seems to have gone back to laying in one of the boxes. I would be patient, she may yet get the hang of it by watching the others.
The gravel is easy to clean, it can be raked with a normal leaf rake (I like a small metal tined one for it) and as the birds dig holes in it (and they will!) you can just rake it smooth or keep a 5 gallon bucket of gravel somewhere as *patching* supply.
The gravel can be hosed down to clean it up some if it is under a roof and doesn't get rain to rinse through it, and it is great for drainage, and mud reduction, even standing water puddles aren't really muddy, they will just slowly drain through.
You can scatter lime over the gravel to control odor if needed and rinse it in or rake it over and sprinkle it with the hose to get rid of the dust.
It will pack in and need additional gravel added every couple of years, but not nearly as much as the original layer, the softer your original base is the more the gravel will settle initially. If you have a very soft area you should put in a base of a larger gravel (or any stone available) and pack it down (tamp it) first, then go with the finer layer.
We used treated deck boards (1x6) to line the perimeter of the run. It does double duty, it controls the gravel and it gives us a short protective bumper for tiny chicks ...which as you know is a common thing here, though not so important to other folks.
To us it was worth every penny...and our enclosed run is in the neighborhood of 800 sq ft or so, with over 300 under a carport type roof.