i use pine shavings. these chickens basically tramp it down. I started out with about 4 inches. Everyday i just go into their brooder and mix it around. But now at 4 weeks (today) i had to add some new pine shavings. By the time i get done and get these chicks outside I will have about 8 inches of pine in there. I will take it outside and make me up some compost. They do not have a problem pooping all over but soon enough they will be outside pooping and doing my yard good. And my garden. These little hens will have to work for their food. ha. I made a square out of 2,x 4's about 14 inches (square). I put hardware cloth over that. I put their food bowl on top of it and a bowl underneath to catch the food they constantly drop out of the feeder. They drag pine shavings up but i just take that bowl of food and put it right back into their feeder. I took chicken nipples and put them on some pvc and keep that filled. No poopy water. So for the most part thats what i do.
Mine over a week old, I feed in a cardboard box. I leave the sides about 3-4 inches high on one side and 5-6 inches on three sides. I make sure it is large enough to fit the feeder without the stupid ones getting trapped along the sides. I put the feeder in the box and let them go to it. Before I refill the feeder I make them clean up the mess on the floor of the box! We will have decent table manners here!