For over 5 years now I have been using sand in my large uncovered run. I 'freshen' it up by adding a top layer about 2X a year. This last winter was so bad and there was so much snow and moisture... and so much sand.... Now I'm rethinking the whole sand thing. When I step out there, my foot goes down 2-3 inches it is so much like a sponge. What I'm going to have to do to remedy this is remove the fencing and with the snow shovel on the tractor, scrap it all out. When it rains, it doesn't dry out. It wasn't like this at 1st. Just seems the more I added the worse it got. So what did I do wrong? Should I continue with sand again and expect to have to do this major shoveling again in a few years? I'm wondering what the run will be like if I just let it go natural dirt.... Nasty? The run is large with 28 hens and 3 ducks. They are allowed to free range when I am home but are in the run more often than not. We are in the city limits and I have to have control of girls. But this is getting overwhelming. Really thought the sand was the way to go.... Any thoughts are appreciated.