Are you as crazy as I am about raking and keeping it neat? I'm constantly fluffing it and leveling out the sand in my run- 2 or 3 times a day. I have 2 ducks in with my 5 hens…so cleaning is constant (sort of regretting my coop design). Problem is that when I am away for vacation in a couple weeks, I do not think my pet sitter (who is coming once a day) will be raking it like I do. The thought of the sand in the run getting all packed down, wet, and gross is stressing me out. For the winter (I am in New England), do you just cover your sand floor in your run with straw? I know it would keep it warmer- and make it softer since the wet sand might freeze. I am also thinking that all the straw will give my birds something else to do…more to scratch and explore….because I am also worried about them getting bored being locked up for a week while I am away. Has anyone done this before? Did you regret cleaning up all the straw when springtime came? I do love the sand…but only when I am home to maintain it... Would hay be better than straw?