Deep litter method w/ DE question

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by dsvabulas, Oct 20, 2010.

  1. dsvabulas

    dsvabulas Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 2, 2009
    Grafton MA
    Does anyone know what DE adds to the garden? I'm using deep litter method and when I do empty the coop I've been putting the litter, which is loaded w/ DE, in the compost pile. I have a new garden plot with very poor soil and am considering putting the litter right into the garden. Is the DE an alkaline? Like lime or am I thinking that just because it looks like lime? Appreciate any input, Thank You!
  2. jerseygirl1

    jerseygirl1 Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 20, 2009
    Orange County, NY
    I use food grade DE, which I believe is the same as garden DE. The pool DE is not what you want. I also use garden lime to dry out the coop and break up the smell in the run
  3. dsvabulas

    dsvabulas Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 2, 2009
    Grafton MA
    Yes, I use the food grade DE also. I'm unsure what the composition of it is. I don't want to over-lime the garden, if it is in fact an alkaline, then I won't want to add lime to the garden in addition to the DE. That is the question.
  4. linben

    linben Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 5, 2010
    Austin, TX
    Since DE is dead diatoms the bodies have some calcium. That would make it alkaline. But a little is not going to change the PH that much. The other concern I have with it in the garden is it can kill good bugs and worms. I don't put in on my garden plants directly because I would have to accidentally kill any bees. I do use a little in my coop and put that into the compost to help dilute the the overall DE.
  5. tuesdays chicks

    tuesdays chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 26, 2010
    stuart florida
    Where do you get de? Besides online
  6. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    My favorite feed store does carry food grade DE, but it's an exceptional feed store. They'll even open a big bag of it and break it up into smaller bags to sell.

    The other local feed stores doen't even know what I'm talking about.
  7. dsvabulas

    dsvabulas Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 2, 2009
    Grafton MA
    Thank you all. I had to do a lot of on-line research and got the info on a hydroponic gardening site. It is ph neutral but has lots of trace minerals. Helps with cell wall strength. So I don't have to worry about the garden getting out of whack. It doesn't kill earthworms, they are 'wet' so it becomes ineffective with them. I don't use it on top of leaves or flowers for the bee reason, but under the plant and on underside of leaves. It dries the chicken poop out really well and fast. I put it in the hens dust bathing areas for mite control,. Barely any smell in my coop. I travel 1 1/2 hrs to Horse and Buggy Feeds in Winchendon MA because it is $27 for 50Lbs. Unbelievably low price compared to everywhere else. Is there nothing DE can't do? I don't think it makes a good wormer because it's ineffective when wet. So just going down the hens throat would be 'the monkey wrench'. Hope this helps others as well.
  8. Egg Crate

    Egg Crate Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 13, 2010
    If I may ask a question. I went to Agway today to pick up some DE. I asked for food-grade but they said they only carry one type. It was in their pesticide section and the label stated "may be harmful to domestic animals". I did not buy it. Where can one find food-grade DE in CT?

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