My new flock has been out in their coop area for about a month and a half now, and we have reached the point that the lawn that was once there is completely gone and nothing but mud remains. I have 8 hens, 1 roo, and 4 ducks, and the ducks are especially hard on it. They get water everywhere, and have created many holes in the mud from dabbling in the water they spill. We have spread our lawn clippings around the run to cover the dirt/mud, and that was working for a while, but the run area is just too big for that to last the full time between mowings. The smell is getting good and ripe as well with the rain and summer heat as of late. I am taking suggestions for what to put down in the run to keep the mud erosion in check, and also help with the smell and slick ground. I was thinking hay or straw, but I figured I'd check in with the folks here for ideas before I made the commitment to that idea. I think I also need to get the water containers and duck pool onto a bed of gravel or river pebbles to help drain and minimize dabble damage. This is on a bit of a slope, so I need something that will stay in place. Poop does roll downhill, as they say The picture below is from before the cuddly poop-machines totally wrecked the place. The main area of the run is a 10' x 10' kennel. The chickens sleep in the coop, which has about 8' x 3' of run that I've connected to the kennel. The ducks sleep in the dog house with their pet Ameraucana. The kennel area is what sees most of the damage.