I agreeI chose not to free range due to predators(mostly hawks)....
... and (a close second) didn't want poop everywhere.
Yeah, they're confined and miserable(sarcasm)....but are alive.
Ramial wood chippings is the best for keeping mud, muck(wet poop), and the resulting odors at bay. You can add other dry plant matter in moderation.
This is not 'deep litter', I'm not trying to make garden soil.
Forget the fake owls(pic from internet):
Just having chickens on it is going to 'ruin' it. Even free ranging is going to ruin parts of your land.