DE - did I use too much?? Worried their lungs will be irritated..

samana

In the Brooder
8 Years
Mar 30, 2011
46
3
34
After reading so many great things about DE I bought some food grade (fossil flour) and spread it in my coop today while the chickens were out.

I'm really worried I did too much or didn't do it right - there weren't many guidelines or posts I could find on how much to do or how often. The air in the coop is making me cough a bit now though so it has me worried. I went and misted the air and bedding with my water bottle sprayer. Concerned about the little guys lungs though they are only 8 weeks old.

Here is what I did: stirred up the pine chip litter to fluff it and turn it a bit (deep litter method). Coated it with a good dusting of DE - somewhere around 5-8 cups worth - this is in an 8x11 area. I then raked it into the litter a bit and topped it off with a very thin new layer of litter.

Is this safe for people/animals lungs? I did wear a mask applying it but the chickens are going to scratch around and be kicking it up and breathing it and that has me worried as well.

Would love to hear from others who use DE and maybe help put my mind at ease.
 

Moerose

In the Brooder
8 Years
May 14, 2011
10
0
21
Alachua County, Florida
Howdy....I use food grade DE with my chickens. I only use a little bit when I put it down for my girls, who are about five weeks. I've read that a little bit goes a long way. I'm pretty new to this. I use maybe a handful for my area which is the size of a large dog crate. I can't smell anything and there are no flies. My girls don't seem to mind. It sounds like you'll be fine, but I"m hoping someone that knows more than me will come along an put your mind at rest.
 

al6517

Real Men can Cook
11 Years
May 13, 2008
10,684
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I don't think it was too much, but I would not have raked it in and spread another cover layer over it. I use DE often and sometimes sprinkle it right on my birds as they fluff and shake, I also use at least that much in that size area. I just sprinkle and leave, I never rake it in as the birds will do that when they scratch. I have never had any problems with over doing it with the DE and the birds have never shown a problem.
 

speckledhen

Intentional Solitude
Premium Feather Member
13 Years
Feb 3, 2007
79,051
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Blue Ridge Mtns. of North Georgia
Remember, these are only 8 weeks old, not even layers, so their poop isn't even big yet. I have a coop full of 9 week old chicks and I have only put the barest sprinkle of DE directly under the roost bar a couple of times so far. Chicks are closer to the ground than adults so yes, their lungs are more sensitive to dust than a larger bird's are.
 

samana

In the Brooder
8 Years
Mar 30, 2011
46
3
34
oh man I'm worried should I try to remove all the litter? I had seen some posts with pics showing about how much I used so I went with that. Hopefully misting the air will help for them over the night. I was simply aiming to keep them clean from pests etc since they're coop is dirt floor with some litter on top. Perhaps I went too far. I was not planning on adding more for another month (perhaps even longer? suggestions?)

Should I remove or mist it some more tomorrow? I am new to all this, and understanding chicken health and how to keep them pest free etc. I certainly don't want to cause any harm - could this be very dangerous for them at this amount? Thanks for all the patience and help this is a great forum.
 

samana

In the Brooder
8 Years
Mar 30, 2011
46
3
34
Quote:
Diatomaceous Earth / fossil flour - crushed fossils/diatoms. A natural product for pest control with pets and gardening and even internal parasites for people.
 

speckledhen

Intentional Solitude
Premium Feather Member
13 Years
Feb 3, 2007
79,051
13,414
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Blue Ridge Mtns. of North Georgia
Well, at that young age, they may not stir up the shavings much. If you see that they are sneezing lots, then yeah, maybe removing some of it would be a good idea, but just don't add anymore for quite awhile. If there are dust clouds floating all over, it would be a sign it's way too much, I'd think.


DE must, must, must be food grade, not pool filter grade, though, for the new people.
 

al6517

Real Men can Cook
11 Years
May 13, 2008
10,684
151
321
Oh yeah you did say chicks, I do use it one the chicks but as was said earlier just a tad in there pen, they are lower. But I would at leats wait till tomorrow and check them.
 

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