Deep litter: use DE or not (no dirt floor)

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Korzak, Apr 5, 2016.

  1. Korzak

    Korzak Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 25, 2014
    Hi all,

    I am reading a lot of articles on the deep litter method, and seeing contradictions. Some people day to use diatomaceous earth for the DL method to work. Others say to absolutely NOT use DE at all, because it kills beneficial organisms.

    What's the real deal? We will be doing this in a coop with a wood or linoleum floor, so no dirt contact.

    Thanks!
     
  2. chicklover 1998

    chicklover 1998 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    you can use DE in either the deep litter or deep bedding with no problems, it is really more of a personal choice, I use deep bedding and de and have no problems. It isn't used to make it work so much as to kill the bad insects, the beneficial organisms are not hurt/bothered by the DE.
     
  3. flyin-lowe

    flyin-lowe Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've never really seen any evidence that DE can discriminate between good organisms and bad organisms. If you are wanting a true deep litter that would consist of composting the material inside of the coop I don't think that DE should be used.
     
  4. chicklover 1998

    chicklover 1998 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I wasn't meaning that it could tell the difference between goo and bad but stuff like chicken lice and mites and that it will kill, but the microbes working on the deep litter shouldn't be affected because they are smaller than the de particles.
     
  5. FlyWheel

    FlyWheel Chillin' With My Peeps

    Just don't throw it onto the compost pile if you want beneficial insects and worms working on it (or letting your birds scratch through it for insects). As noted, DE does not know the difference between good and bad bugs.
     
  6. chicklover 1998

    chicklover 1998 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    it will be one wood or linoleum so there won't be any worms, the only insects would be flying ones.
     
  7. flyin-lowe

    flyin-lowe Chillin' With My Peeps

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    There might not be worms so to speak but during the composting process there would be other life forms living in the litter. Some larger then others. There could be some insects that find there way into the coop as well as a lot of stuff to small to see. Any of those could be killed by the DE.
     

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