Deep Litter Method


In the Brooder
10 Years
Aug 9, 2009
Ashland OH
Hello I purchased red earth DE from Meyer hatchery and since I have used it my barn stinks (it never stunk before this) and the Dust is horrable. I am very concerned about there health so I will be cleaning the coop this weekend. Right now I have to take my big 42 inch box fan out there and use my leaf blower to get all the dust off every thing. So i bought a diffrent type of DE I got the food grade stuff from the local feed store. My coop is 64 sq ft how much should I put on when I clean it. Thanks so much my BYCers.
I just use a cup and sprinkle all over, then put the new shavings in. I have a dirt floor and my coop is always dusty anyway... (use a mask and gloves if you need, I skip the gloves but it makes my hands very very dry)

I only use the DE in the spring and summer, and don't clean the coop in the fall or winter... I just add more shavings when it starts to look bad in there.
Last edited:
Can I ask, if you had no odor problem to begin with, what is the reason for using DE all over the coop?

You really do NOT need it at all. There may (may - I'm not convinced, tho I do it myself) be some value in having some dusted into crevices and corners to discourage mites from getting going, but that does not take very much at all. As a *treatment* for an active infestation of mites/lice I have not found it to work all that spectacularly, but you would want to be dusting the birds and roosts and nestboxes, not the whole coop.

It is not magic, and it *is* dust, so if you put a lot around it *will* be dusty which is not good for anyone. Consider just skipping it?

I have two coop rooms, one about 12x15 and the other 10x7 or so and use a little to "dust" the floor before adding the shavings. I also dust the nesting boxes. Never had a problem with too much dust.
I do not use DE at all with my deep litter method and have had no problems. I use a cup or 2 of lime sprinkled on the dirt floor before putting my shavings in.
As said before...just use a bit. 6lbs is enough for my front yard, backyard, dog and chicken coop with about a pound left over.
I use my food-grade DE in crevices, and outside the entrances to the coop, including pop doors. About 111 sq feet, I use about 2 cups every two weeks or so and dust a bit under the nest box shavings, too.

I don't consider it a treatment for infestations, but rather a preventive ( having started on new ground) and a good way to keep odors down.

I've had a 50 lb bag for a year and a half, and it should get through to spring, making it a good investment.

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom