Happy New Year to all BYC'ers- and thanks for all the information that you have supplied me with re: coop designs and raising chicks etc. I finally joined BYC officially yesterday- the same day I finished fencing the run! Husband and I took about two months putting the 4x4 coop together. The coop and run fit into an existing 4x16 garden bed. There is hardware cloth under the run and of course all around as well. Who knew that hardwire cloth, screw and washers cost that much! I read somewhere about putting gravel on the run to keep the run clean and dry. Just wondering how difficult is it in terms of clearing poop that accumulates on the gravel? Scrape and hand-pick? Pressure wash? Right now I have drain gravel on the the floor of the covered run area, and sand on the uncovered run area. If the gravel does not work, I may have to remove some and top with sand. Does ant one have experience with gravel in their run? This is not pea gravel, but drain gravel that is probably about twice the size of pea gravel..... Would appreciate any suggestions, esp if anyone has tried using gravel in their run.... My five chicks are 5 weeks old, living in a dog crate in the garage. Looking forward to having them move out into their new digs!