Ok. First a little background. 9 chickens (soon to be 8). Approx. 8'x12' covered run, poorly placed in lowest part of the yard. Yard backs up to wetlands so high water table and ground is really moist, especially in Spring. Soil is mostly clay. Currently I have about 3-4 inches of sand in the run. It started out as 6" last spring (May) but has sunk into the soil. I fully expected this and anticipated adding sand each year. I diligently scoop and sift through the run each morning and evening, removing the poop to the compost pile. I was thrilled with the sand last year when I installed it in May and into the winter. All winter long I was sifting away and the girls had plenty of clean, dry sand to scratch in while the 4+ feet of snow fell outside the covered and tarped run--life was great. Enter the spring thaw and snow melt. The run is wet--not sopping wet, but no longer siftable. The water table is rising and the sand is getting wet from beneath. The poops are getting trod upon and ground into the sand and things are starting to stink. Only half the snow is melted and we've still got spring rains to come. I'm keeping illegal chickens on the down-low so "stink factor" is big for me. This is my first early spring with the chickens so the first time dealing with this issue. I would really like to stick with the sand because it was so nice for most of the year, but due to the current problem I'm contemplating a conversion to deep litter. If I stick with sand, what measures do I need to take to remedy my current situation and prevent this from becoming an annual problem? If the solution is to get more sand, remember that I still have 2+ feet of snow in the yard so the truck can't get back to dump it near the run and I would have to wheelbarrow it back there. Not impossible if it were a one time thing, but not practical if it becomes a required annual event. Plus, there's no guarantee I can get dry sand delivered. The sand I got last year was moist and did not sift well until it dried out. If I go with DL, will it remedy my current situation and possibly prevent future springtime stink worries? Secondly, if I go with DL what mix of materials should I use. I have access to wood shavings (from feed store), free woodshop sweepings (a mixture ranging from sawdust to big wood curls but not consistent from bag to bag), shredded leaves or whole leaves (would be damp as I have to dig them from the middle of last autumn's leaf pile that is beneath snow), chopped hay bits swept from the feed store's barn floor that I can get cheaply by the garbage bagful), 1/2 bale of straw that I already have but am not keen to use because I've read it goes moldy before breaking down. That's a lot of "browns" right now but there is the chicken poop for "greens" and once spring really hits, I'll have grass clippings too. Given my moist environment, what proportions should I mix in and how deep to best combat the stink right now? Let me add that my situation doesn't come as a complete shock to me. I knew that I'd have issues in the spring season regardless of what substrate I used in the run and that my first year (or two) would be a big experiment. Originally the run was not roofed so I figured it was better to experiment with the sand first. Unfortunately, relocating the coop and run are not an option as the only really dryer place is in the front yard.