Unless someone has a better idea I plan to used 6" deep gravel in the run because it rains so much here it will also be covered but the drainage will be an issue in our clay soil so I think it will keep the chickens cleaner. Any thoughs from someone with experience? I got paper pellets for the brooder because they seem very absorbant but decided to go with those blue pads they use in hospitals covered with burlap mats. Are the paper pellets good for nesting material? How about those plastic nesting mats? I was thinking that the eggs might break on those. Has anyone used them? I plan to leave the aread under the roost opened in good weather. What do people use as bedding in the rest of the coop ?