I'm just thinking up of ideas on how to make my coop better... I figured, they have dirt now and even the hard dirt out here, they manage to "dust bathe" themselves to freedom (or it appears, soon to be!). I was wondering if sand would work??? I figured, it'd be like a big kitty/chicken litterbox... and I'd just have a HUGE pooper scooper, but bigger and the holes would be smaller and I could just scoop up chicken poop at the end of the week and replace the sand as needed? lol, iono, one of those big "ideas" I get when I can't sleep at night... Also, for chicken feed, they're on a diet of grain, fresh fruit, fresh veggies and every so often meat (sometimes even fresh meat!). We purchase these EXTREMELY cheap dog food that has a teeny tiny percentage of protein (animal wise, if any at all!) but it's nearly 90% soybean, corn, wheat, millow(sp?), etc. Most of the stuff I purchase at the grain store in bags I feed for the chickens! It's pretty good stuff and we feed it as a snack to our rodent pals and was wondering if this would work well for my flock also! It's pretty much grain lol and cheaper (a little over $10 per 50 pounds) than the regular stuff... once I had soaked them in a kiddie pool of water and all the chickens jumped on the ledge and fished them out - they had a blast (... my chickens aren't scared of water... which typically means a big NO NO!!! since I've heard stories of chickens drowning... and have had one nearly drown!).... any ideas on if feeding cheapo grain-based dog food is alright? Not good for dogs, but great for a poultry flock I suppose! It's just in huge balls; hence why I soak them in water and let them swell and have the chickens fish 'em out As for the crumble stuff, usually I get annoyed at the prices (they're killing me! lol) that it's a good idea sometimes to mix it with water so it clumps together in sort of a jello-like substance and the chickens will eat it and won't waste so much (so the sneaky meece and rats can't come and steal them!). lol, it works pretty well, but only feed as much as needed (think fish) or it will rot/mold/etc. especially in hot weather! just wanted to share that! Any ideas? Sorry for the run-on sentences lol just thinking too much!