Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by zengrrl, Jun 18, 2011.

  1. zengrrl

    zengrrl Songster

    Mar 25, 2011
    Oakland County, MI
  2. gale65

    gale65 Songster

    How much DE do people need for the coop? I was thinking I need to order 25# but maybe not...
  3. kelehe

    kelehe In the Brooder

    Jun 14, 2011
    What do you do with this? Sprinkle it on the floor of the coop?
  4. TouchO'Lass

    TouchO'Lass Songster

    Apr 1, 2011
    Oroville, Wa
    Diatomaceous Earth = Superfine ground up fossils. It depends a lot on how you use it, but personally, I don't think one pound would go very far. This is from a previous post; I hope it helps!

    I found mine at an ag supply store, $20 for 50lbs. The big feed and seed nearest me (35 miles) sells a 5 lb bag for $20. ?! You can find it online for a good price (ie Amazon), but then the shipping is more than the DE costs.

    Be ABSOLUTELY certain it IS food grade. DE is also used in water filtration systems such as swimming pools, but that DE has been chemically treated and heated to make the microscopic crystals hazardous to animals and humans.

    As for the uses? Depending on which site you read from, it's good for everything from external parasites to worms to digestive issues.
    It's basically 'fossil shell flour' and has a similar consistency to regular baking flour, so when you spread it, be careful not to create airborne dust than can be breathed in. Although it's safe taken internally (following label directions!), it can cause respiratory problems if inhaled. Once it settles, tho, it pretty much stays. When I add new shavings, I add another dusting of DE. It's going to sift down thru the shavings, but as the chicks scratch, it gets re-distributed. I use an old baby powder shaker so I can poof it into cracks and crevices where ticks and mites like to hide.

    DE acts as a dessicant, so it drys out the poop faster than normal, which will help keep flies and odor away. [​IMG]
    Next, a lot of insects are affected when they come in contact because it dries and scrapes their protective exo-skeleton and they dehydrate. [​IMG] I add a sprinkling to the sandbox about once a week, and the ladies take care of dusting themselves...
    How it acts on worms is not precisely clear (or proven, from what I've read), but those who use it on all their pets and livestock swear by it. For example
    Keep in mind that most of those sites also SELL DE, sooooo... A lot of internal parasites attach to the intestinal walls, so perhaps it acts as an irritant disrupting their attachment...

    I didn't start using it until my crew was about 4 weeks and in the outside brooder, and it's cut down the odors considerably. I have a bale of straw in their run that they just love and I don't have the heart to take it out, but it's impossible to get all the droppings out of the straw, so I dust the poops every few days, turn the bale 1/4, and the poop just dries and flakes off. schweet...

    Best advice I can give ya' is to read, read, read, then decide. When you find a product, look up the MSDS (material safety data sheet) and it should tell you how to use it and what precautions to take.

    Good Luck!
  5. poseygrace

    poseygrace Songster

    Apr 29, 2011
    Wow, thanks for the helpful post on DE, TouchO'Lass. I've heard so much about it, but wasn't sure where to get it/how to use it/ what it did. Now I know! [​IMG]
  6. gmherps

    gmherps In the Brooder

    Feb 9, 2011
    very good deal!! Thanks

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