I've done a lot of reading on ducks, but still have some questions. I have an 8x8 shed; my plan is to convert a 6' x 4' area into a house for 4 ducks. I can go larger if needed, but prefer to keep the indoor duck area to a minimum, while still (of course) allowing plenty of room. The area is currently used for chickens, and has a linoleum floor. Questions: 1) is a thick layer of pine or hardwood shavings a good flooring? I can use straw, but it seems so darn messy - my plan was to use shavings in the sleeping area, and straw in the nest box area, but I'm open to suggestions. I want to be sure the linoleum is not slippery for them. 2) I'm completely unsure what to do with the walls. Right now, they are bare wood panel, and I'm wondering if I should perhaps paint them with something that would make them easier to clean? I can't think duck poo on bare wood walls would be a good thing. 3) The plan for the run, which is 8' x 20', is to add pea gravel (3-4") and then top it off with sand (3-4"). Have folks who have done this been pleased with the results? How often does it need to be cleaned, and is hosed down, or just raked to clean? I'll add a stock tank "pond" at the end of the run, and we're planning to surround it with a low "deck" of 2x4 construction with a hardware cloth top to hopefully lessen the tracking of sand/dirt into the water. Is this a good idea, or overkill? Many, many thanks, duck folks! Oh, I should probably say that the breeds we are getting are: two Welsh Harlequin, one hybrid layer, and one Black Swedish. I noted on the Metzer site, where I ordered them from, that the Black Swedish has a 20% chance of laying bluish eggs - has anyone gotten a Black Swedish from Metzer that lays a blue/green egg?