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DE how much to use...6X8 coop...will be using deep shavings..how long

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Manok-Tao, Jan 20, 2010.

  1. Manok-Tao

    Manok-Tao Songster

    Jan 6, 2010
    W-S NC
    Living in NC and will be using deep litter of pine shavings, curious about quantity of DE to use? How long does it's potency (?) last?
    I'll also be providing a DE dust bath area mixed with sand in the run (under coop so no rain) what is a good ratio of DE to sand; dug out area will be about 18" in diameter/
    Thanks in advance for your support to a newbie!...just wanna get things right from the start.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 20, 2010

  2. stefmech

    stefmech In the Brooder

    May 19, 2008
    American Fork, UT
    I love the deep litter method. It works so great for me! To began I sprinkled a light layer of DE on the floor of the bare coop. Then I put 3-4 inches of shavings and another more generous layer of DE (not tons, just sprinkle over the shavings). You can mix it if you want, but the chickens will probably do that for you. Every two or three weeks I would add another inch or so of shavings and more DE on top. If you start to smell an odor than you will need to repeat that process more often. It depends on how many chickens you have. I only have 5 hens in my 4'x8' coop and I honestly only have to add more every 3 weeks. Twice a year I change out all of the shavings - great for compost bin! I never have any odor problems.

    As far as dust bath, there is no magic number. May be a 1 part DE and 3 part sand.

    Good Luck
  3. chookchick

    chookchick Songster

    Aug 18, 2008
    Olympia WA
    Most here use a "modified deep litter" method which is litter 4-6" deep, and change it out twice a year or more. I use Stall Dry which has DE in it, and has more of a drying effect that plain DE. I put it in with the new litter and don't add any more after that (pretty much the same amount/placement as Steffmech). If you use a poop board, that will also help a lot with keeping the coop clean--don't depend on the DE to keep the smell down, though it will help.
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Whether and how much DE you might (or might not) care to use is totally independant from the deep litter issue. You do not in any way shape or form need DE for deep litter management in general, nor is DE used on 'old timey traditional' deep litter mgmt.

    If you decide to use it, I would suggest using as little as possible, and in ways that do not result in it getting kicked up to make the coop even dustier.

    Honestly though if you find yourself having excessive moisture problems, IMHO the solution is likelier to lie in more ventilation, better hygeine (incl possibly droppings boards), and/or altering your expectations or how long you let the litter pack build up.

    Good luck, have fun,


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