Damascus Earth & Sweet PDZ's? Im confused.

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by earth_toes, Jun 26, 2019.

  1. earth_toes

    earth_toes Songster

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    Good morning!
    I have finished and moved my girls into their coop. I'm having a hard time distinguishing which to use, damascus earth or sweet pdz and where?

    I have pine shavings in the coop and a dirt floor (covered) run right now.
    Do i put the PDZ's in the coop and mix in the shavings (since we're doing the DLM)?
    Do i put the DE in the run (we're hoping to get some grass growing and established soon)?

    Help please! Thank you in advance!
    Namaste!
     
  2. DobieLover

    DobieLover Easily distracted by chickens

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    Hello. You do not need diatomaceous earth (DE) at all. It is very fine and can cause respiratory issues.
    You can use PDZ in the pine shavings to control odor until the DLM kicks in and takes care of that for you. The concept behind DLM is that the chicken manure decomposes with the bedding right in the coop. The chickens stir it daily by scratching it around. Once you have a strong microbe bed established in the DLM, they do a good job of keeping the odor under control.
     
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  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    If you are doing a true composting deep litter in the coop, or anywhere,
    do not add either PDZ or DE(diatomaceous earth).
    If you're having problems with odors you'll need to reassess your entire bedding regime and management.

    Growing grass in the run is futile, the chickens will tear it up in no time.

    This is how I keep my coop and run odor free(tho it may not meet your 'cleaning' requirements/sensitivities, as I recall your garage floor scenario ;) )

    My 'cleaning' blurb:
    What kind of bedding you use may depend on how you manage the manure.
    This is about cleaning, but covers my big picture

    -I use poop boards under roosts with thin(<1/2") layer of sand/PDZ mix, sifted daily(takes 5-10mins) into bucket going to friends compost.

    -Scrape big or wet poops off roost and ramps as needed.

    -Pine shavings on coop floor, add some occasionally, totally changed out once or twice a year, old shavings added to run.

    - My runs have semi-deep litter(cold composting), never clean anything out, just add smaller dry materials on occasion, add larger wood chippings as needed.

    Aged ramial wood chippings are best IMO.

    -Nests are bedded with straw, add some occasionally, change out if needed(broken egg).

    There is no odor, unless a fresh cecal has been dropped and when I open the bucket to add more poop.

    That's how I keep it 'clean', have not found any reason to clean 'deeper' in 5 years.
     
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  4. Farmgirl1878

    Farmgirl1878 Songster

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    Good morning earth_toes! I use PDZ on the floor of the coop, in the nest boxes, and in the run. I mix it with the natural, coarse, washed river sand that’s already in there and just add a bag or two a couple of times a year. The poop decks are straight PDZ. Personally, I would never use diatomaceous earth (DE). DE is made up of sharp crystals of silicates and can cause lung damage in both your chickens and in you. PDZ, on the other hand, while also a silicate, is made up of larger “chunks” of zeolite. It’s great for absorbing liquids from poop and the ammonia. When I put it down, I do wear a mask, but I don’t always mask up before I scoop poop.

    PDZ is great in the compost pile for us because we have a high clay content in the soil out here. The sand and PDZ are helping to break up the clay and aerate the garden, so double plus goodness there!

    8BBC00E1-9B06-492A-9AF8-42005A67418B.jpeg 45CFFB66-A7DE-4C4F-A578-4F753313BAC4.jpeg F3D87D85-F2E6-4AB0-BDBA-8D1FBA819412.jpeg
     
  5. earth_toes

    earth_toes Songster

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    HAHHA! Garage cleaning was a total wash ... still haven't even decided how to approach that LOL. Always a big help! You said you add the old shavings to the run when you clean out the coop floor once or twice a year? How does that work out for you? Do you clean that out once a year and add to compost pile or is that your form of a compost pile? If i can do that and totally eliminate the need for grass/stone/sand etc in the run that would be fantastic! Right now im concerned the dirt floor may cause some issues in the future, if it wont ill leave it alone! We have a massive compost pile so moving the clean out litter is not an issue. Thanks!
     
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  6. earth_toes

    earth_toes Songster

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    Excellent shoe choice! My husband finally broke down and bought me the boots! Thanks for the help and suggestions! We too have terrible clay soil here (and we're known for the best tomatoes in VA lol) which leads me to being concerned about leaving the dirt floor alone in the run and having some issues in the future. First week they're in their new home, so it's trial and error time for sure! Have a great day, stay cool in this heat wave this week!
     
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  7. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

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    A lot is going to depend on your climate, the weather, your soil type and your own personal expectations.

    I live in fairly arid, with sand as the natural soil. I also have mostly prairie hay at hand, a couple times a year, I sweep out the coop, and throw that into the run. I like a lot of bedding in the run in addition to the coop.

    After I bed down the coop, after several week, when the manure starts piling up I just throw scratch in there on top, and my girls with totally flip that bedding, it will look like new bedding the next morning. I do this through out the year, and then once or twice a year, I sweep it out and start over.

    I like bedding in my run, and often times go down and rake it up into mini haystacks. Especially if a snow storm is predicted. After the storm, I take a pitch fork and flip the hay stack out over the top of the snow. My run is quite large, and will have bare spots and deep hay spots....allows for dust bathing.

    I do not use either DE or PDZ, but we are naturally dry.

    Mrs K
     
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  8. Farmgirl1878

    Farmgirl1878 Songster

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    I do love my Sloggers! I’m allergic to latex, so these are perfect.

    If you’ve got clay, you’ll probably have drainage issues. We put a good ten inches of sand in the run and also outside the coop. Our set up is over the septic field, so it works well for us. I’ll take some pics later today so you can see it.
     
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  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    I do, but very carefully, depending on how much bigger wood chippings I have out there. I actually put all the old bedding into feed bags and store in a dry shed, it's very dry and full of 'dust'(feed and pulverized poops), then add it to the run a bag or two at a time over 3-6 weeks. Made the mistake of dumping a bunch in all at once and it got nasty fast..and took a lot of time and work to get it 'right' again so am now more cautious.

    Pine shaving bedding may take a long time to break down unless you manage a good 'hot' pile. I do not have a compost pile....what I do in the run could be considered a 'cold compost', keeping the carbon content high enough to 'digest' all the poops so no odors.
     

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