Premium Feather Member
Just having chickens on it is going to 'ruin' it.
Even free ranging is going to ruin parts of your land.
x3 (or 4?) Deep litter (or aart's version of it) provides good drainage* that's better for their feet (and your boots) and helps protect the soil that's underneath. And wood chips sure smell better than poop on bare muddy ground.
* (This is assuming there's no drainage issues in the run.)