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D.E. alternative?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by delfargo, Jul 7, 2010.

  1. i just let my 3 and 1/2 week olds out of the brooder into the smaller room of my 2 room coop and want to start the "deep litter" thing. i've been reading alot about adding DE and i've also been reading it's expensive and hard to find in most places. isn't there something else that can be used in the place of DE? i find it hard to believe that with all the chicken gurus here at BYC, i have not read about some alternative to DE. any input would be appreciated. thanx.

  2. Lesa

    Lesa Songster

    May 28, 2008
    Upstate NY
    You certainly do not need DE to use the deep litter method. If you feel you would like to use something- many folks use Stall Dry (available at TS). I use wood chips, keep them stirred up and change them out, if they start to smell. The idea of leaving the same bedding in the coop for the entire winter, did not work for me. Good luck!
  3. hinkjc

    hinkjc Crowing Premium Member

    Jan 11, 2007
    Stall dry is available at most feed stores.
  4. dsqard

    dsqard Crazy "L" Farms

    Jun 11, 2010
    York PA
    Actually DE is not very expensive. I can usually get a 50lb bag for around $40. 50lbs will last a LONG time. The hardest part is finding it sometimes. When I lived in AZ you could find food grade DE at any feed store. I now live in UT and the feed stores do not carry food grade so I had to find a local distributor. It does get expensive if you have to ship it though. What I found was that the shipping was more than the DE and would not have been worth it. Check your local feed stores and make sure you specify food grade. The DE that is used in pool filters is not good for chickens from what I have gathered on this web site. Good luck! [​IMG]
  5. CityChook

    CityChook Songster

    Apr 9, 2008
    Minneapolis, MN
    My Coop
    Don't know where you live, but here in the city, I just asked my local small pet food store (mom/pop) and they had a vendor who could deliver it to the store in just a few days. No shipping required! All for the price of simply asking.

    BTW, I purchased my DE in pickle jar sizes. Sure, it was probably more expensive, but those two jars have lasted me over 2 years now. Storage is easier too. I just use a little bit at a time - it really does last a long time.
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:You TOTALLY do not need DE. (Or stall dry or sweet PDZ or anything else)

    For one thing, there is no "the" deep litter method, there are a whole lot of rather-different ways to do things that involve deep litter and many of them would have no need at all for DE.

    And for another thing, people have been using "the" (sigh <g>) deep litter method for livestock for many centuries, long before DE was ever available [​IMG]

    Just fiddle around with management and see what works best in your coop, honest. Don't get stuck on any one person's 'recipe' for how to keep the coop, because what works in one situation often doesn't in another.

    Good luck, have fun,


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