Figured I'd start a thread to keep track of this project's progress. I have a muddy, nasty run. Only 3 hens, but once you put together rain, poop, and spilled food . . . well, ICK! Esp. in winter it's nasty. So I am embarking on a Mud Eradication project, per this very useful page ( https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=1642-fix-a-muddy-run ) (thanks, Pat!). Eventually I will be adding geotextile landscaping fabric, with gravel and sand on top, to the run footing (Part 3). This weekend I accomplished Part 1 (Intercept Water Before it Enters the Run). In the past I used a tarp over the top of my run (which had a welded wire cover I made myself). But last winter the top had sagged somewhat, water collected in the tarp, and that caused the wire to tear loose from the frame. I jerry-rigged it back to keep predators out but it looked terrible and obviously a tarp no longer was an option. My run is a 10x10 chainlink dog kennel, and I found this at Tractor Supply: http://www.tractorsupply.com/pet-ca...of-cover-kit-for-10-ft-x-10-ft-kennel-1012319 . It is a tubular steel frame w/ a tarp stretched over it, making a pitched roof. Yesterday I made a new wire top for the kennel, using better wire (woven, not welded) this time. Once that was on, I assembled the TSC kennel cover. I was working alone, and the instructions said that I would need 2-3 people to get it up there, but I did it all by myself! I am woman: hear me roar. Thing weighs close to 100 pounds, but I was able to sort of walk it up. I bolted it on and it looks GREAT!!! I'm looking for another 10x10 kennel on Craigslist, which I plan to put behind the current one--this pic shows the back of the run--the new pen will butt up to this one here, with a gate panel replacing the one currently there. Like this: I plan to keep this section of the run for nice days only, and to restrict their access to it, in the hopes of being able to keep grass in it. They will always have access to the original run, but only sometimes will have access to the second run. Next step is footing, but it may be a little while. It's a big job and I have to figure out how to get the gravel. I'll post my progress as I make it!