Ok, I finally got my husband to agree to build me a building for my chickens. We have several small buildings that have all been made from recycled materials, all free except for fencing. This has worked well for the past 6 years, but we are getting more expensive birds as the kids are getting into showing and I need to make sure all of the birds are safe!. So, we have built a 30x40 pole barn that I am having 5 8x10 pens built into. I will have a large storage area, and area's for cages for extra rooster's. Eventually I will add a room for brooder's, so I get them out of my garage. So my questions are: We will be using plywood around the bottoms 4' of the pens to keep the dogs from jumping up and damaging the fencing, should I paint the plywood to help it resist mites and make it easier to clean? If so, is there any paint that is safer to use than another. Second Question- I will be keeping mostly feather footed varieties in white and black in these pens. I am considering using sand for the flooring but am wondering about it staining the foot feathers of the white colored birds. Has anyone had a problem with this? We are just about finished with the indoor pens, then will begin work on outside runs. I have spent months reading all the post's here on BYC and have enjoyed every moment of it, and have really learned alot. Thanks everyone for all your info.