Hello, I have been researching what to do with my chicken run for the last year on and off and it all seems to be a bit overwhelming... I have had chickens for 8 years, currently I have 5 hens ranging from 2-8 years old. I have a small run that they spend most of their time in and then a bigger run that I let them out in a few times a week. 3 years ago i moved my chickens to the new house and the coop is in a shaded area of the yard. Ever since then the run stinks terribly, especially in the summer. I’m assuming because it is always fairly wet back there and then the heat just makes the smell terrible. The wetness/muckiness of the run is starting to drive me nuts too. There’s always mud/muck all inside the coop, covering the eggs, just everywhere (much worse than ever before) obviously chickens can be disgusting creatures but the first 5 years of having chickens in a different area of the previous yards was nothing like this! And it doesn’t matter what I use inside the coop for bedding and i the nesting boxes, no matter what poopy/muck just ends up everywhere. I am planning on replacing the soil very soon (I want the current soil for my gardens anyway because of the severe nitrate deficiency of the soil here) so I figured I would put new substrate in. My dad wants to put gravel/pea gravel down under the coop (their favorite place to hang out) which I am not a fan of at all. I don’t see that working out well for the girls, and in the research I have done it seems that although it does wonders for drainage, the chickens don’t seem to love walking on it. I have also looked into types of sand or combinations of sand/gravel/dirt. Honestly I am a bit overwhelmed by the different options and opinions of what to do, so I figured that having a discussion of my own may help me get better insight. Again, my 2 concerns are keeping the smell down and reducing the constant wet/mucky state the run is always in. Any suggestions you may have a greatly appreciated!! Thank you!!