We began using food grade Diatomaceous Earth in June 2007, after we moved the Banties to their temporary outdoor home.
Make sure you buy Food Chemical Codex Grade DE (<-this link provides recommended amounts for using with feeding, whitewash, etc.) for use with your pets and livestock.
I use a flour sifter to spread it evenly in the coops when adding new pine shavings (as a mite/lice preventative) and in the runs/yards to help dry up the poop (before DE/afterDE), which helps to also keep the fly population and smell down.
Since I was bitten by the "hatching bug" (winter 2007), I've been using DE in the brooder. I just sprinkle a thin layer on the bottom of the brooder floor, then cover it with pine shavings litter and put paper towels on top of the shavings (for daily floor cleaning). When the hatched chicks are 5 - 7 days old, I completely remove the paper towels. Since getting our first chicks last May and brooding them indoors, I've noticed we've not had the "chickeny" smell at all this winter with chicks inside.
I add it to the nest boxes to help prevent mites/lice. I sprinkle a layer of DE into the cleaned box, add about 2 inches of hay then add another layer of DE, then more hay. I keep adding alternate layers until the nest box is full.
I also spread DE under our rabbit hutches for poop drying/keeping flies at bay.
I've also been using it as a white wash for roosts. This works in two ways...1st to dry the poop and 2ndly to kill mites/lice. I also found this to be a good ant deterrent when I painted it on the retaining wall and the rabbit hutches.
White Wash recipe: 1 Cup food grade DE to 1/2 gallon of water. Stir often.
We live in the country and are surrounded by farms. Our landlady has a farm behind our place (cows, goats, chickens, ducks, geese, peafowl, etc), another neighbor raises ostriches. Many cows reside in the field across the road from us...flies are usually "the norm" here during the summer. I was truly amazed at the decrease in the fly population within 2 - 3 weeks of using DE out in the yard.
DE & Honey Bees: YES, food grade DE will harm honeybees but what I've noticed since I've been using DE is that the honeybees don't tend to hang around the areas where I use it since there are no flowers in the coops/runs. Even though I use DE alot, the areas that the DE is used is probably one tenth of our entire yard.
Our red merle Aussie, Pepper Anne, also gets a dose of DE in with her kibble, every day, as a worm preventative. I also take it myself (daily) by adding and mixing a heaping teaspoon of food grade DE to one 8 ounce container of yogurt.
Food Grade DE Threads:
Shelflife of DE...by Dilly
Work with feed store manager for de...by richnchicks
Need help finding DE for flies by bassfishrman
DE for pest control! by silkiechicken
Previous Diatomaceous Earth (DE) post by pricem11
Good price for DE? by pawtraitart
The "Wrong Stuff" Threads:
DE question by Rhaena
Is Red Lake Earth right DE? by Alphagamchick
DE Question by Mom2Daisy
Questions on DE by Farmer Kitty
Diatomaceous Earth by jemagsy
DE at pool supply house by imfowl
How to Use DE Threads:
Questions on DE...Help Please! by Iamaqte
can you dust the dog with DE by nccountrygirl
Who used Diatomaceous Earth? by First-time-raising
Dusting run and house with DE? by 3peeps
Diatomaceous Earth---Really that harmless? by arwmommy
How to "spray" DE? by ellie
Where Can I Buy Food Grade DE:
Wolf Creek Ranch.......Located in So.Cal
Perma-Guard.......Distributors listed by State
Golden Harvest Oganics.......Fort Collins, CO
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Dawn & Skip