Hello! I am very new -- I have six 13 week old chickens who are happily playing in their 15 x 7 foot run and 9 x 6 foot coop and foraging in my yard for several hours a day (supervised so they don't tear up the garden and get carried away by hawks). I was interested in doing the Deep Litter Method at first and had a nice thick layer of shavings with a sprinkle of DE. The first night with the DE was unbearable!!! -- the girls didn't go into the coop for several hours after I mixed in the DE. It was soooooooo dusty in the coop that my friend's eyes were all red and watery. This was six hours after I mixed it into the shavings. I was also affected but it was my chicks that concerned me the most -- soooo dusty!!! So I pulled all the bedding out and shopvac the coop. I have since just sprinkled the DE in their outdoor dustbath box and around on the run dirt floor. One of my girls (a golden laced wyandotte) was a HUGE pine shavings eater. She developed a raspy cheep and seemed like her sinuses were having major issues -- they puffed out when she breathed unlike the other girls. The DE fiasco didn't help matters. I took her to the vet (bad idea) and the doctor said I should change my bedding so Maude would stop eating the shavings. She flushed her sinuses and looked at the fluid under the microscope -- no major bacterial issue but a lot of debris. SOOOOO I cleaned out the coop AGAIN and this time put down wheat straw. The girls love scratching around in the straw and searching for wheat berries. Several weeks later, Maude is completely healed -- the same as the other girls. The problem is that I wanted to do the DLM and use DE to keep mites and other creepy crawlies to a minimum. I do give the girls ACV in their water and the DE is in their dustbath outside but do I need to have it IN the coop??? I know wheat straw can harbor bugs. What do I do???????? Maude is so much better now -- I'm afraid to try the DE again. Can I still do DLM with straw???? The floor of my coop is plywood with a solid wood plank floor under that to keep out predators.