As you can see we have woods on two sides of the pen and the vegetation is mostly from the garden area I'm working on, which I'm hand tilling since my Doctor told me I need to get more exercise, or else... . I've taken fallen limbs and put them in a kind of triangle that are being supported by cement blocks. Our prefab coop will go under the tarp if it arrives. I'm keen on making our own. I took a pic-nick table bench and placed it outside for now, since I easily get tired from working on the garden. I figure the bugs, grubs and worms will make their way into the run. I put potatoes on one of the sides but eventually I plan on an addition for meat chickens. I'm going to put red leg bands on them to make the distinction so I'll know down the road but Claire said it isn't fair to treat them any differently but I just didn't want her to get too attached to them. I put the debris in piles cause I don't think the old straw is any good to keep since it's at least of couple of years old from the previous owners Doberman. Also a lot of pine needles fall into the pen and leaves. I'm thinking of taking the leaves from the bags I put them in and add them to the run and there are still some on the ground in back of the compost pile which is nearby the pen. There is still a lot of dirt which was once timberland so I figure it should be pretty healthy dirt. Would I need to add Diatomatious Earth or D.E.? The pen doesn't seem to get very muddy by itself in spite of the forested hill behind it, but there aren't any chickens adding to it. There are also some tree roots from the huge Blue Spruce (Claire named her Ms. Hightower as she's 120 ft. tall or so) and others going through the pen and decomposed particle board. Are any of these bad for our future hens? Claire is researching siding for the coop in case we need to add on or start a coop from scratch. Has anyone heard of Home Depot's composite siding called Smart Siding which comes in 4x8s? We know that we need to add protection from attacks from above as well as predators from the ground or trees so we still need to add aerial protection and more posts for support. We don't cut our trees down but should they fall naturally... I think we might need a post or two in the middle but perhaps we can use pvc to support the avian netting since they have couplings? Any suggestions? Unfortunately a plumbing problem and Roto Rooters rates ate up all of our "truck" funds and some a good portion of construction funds that we had budgeted for our projects, so we are looking for low budget, shoe string fixes.