I have been raising my chickens in a large run covered in layers of various hay, straw, grass, etc. This is called the “deep litter” method, that I read about in Juliette de Baïracli Levi’s Herbal Handbook for Farm & Stable, a book I referred to often when we had a real farm. Levi was one of those intrepid Englishwomen of the early 1900s, who studied and traveled and made her own way in the world. She eventually became recognized as an extraordinary veterinarian and was in charge of the Queen’s horses for awhile. I also used her book Nature’s Children for herbal remedies for my children. I appreciate Western Medicine, but like to have other resources, too.
In any case, my children, and now my chickens are all very healthy!