DO I HAVE to use DE?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by AK_Button_Mama, Jan 12, 2009.

  1. AK_Button_Mama

    AK_Button_Mama Songster

    Dec 30, 2008
    Wasilla, Alaska
    I was wondering after reading threads here today.. do I have to use DE..... and what does it do? what is it used for I got that it controls flea mites and lice and that stuff.... but I read that some one drank it (a human). what is the real purpose of it.. (please dont direct me to the links I read them today and it still doesnt make sense...)
  2. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

    May 19, 2008
    Western MA
    i personally dont think DE does anything..i wont waste my money on it again...
  3. Tuffoldhen

    Tuffoldhen Flock Mistress

    Jan 30, 2007
    I've used DE for over 6 years in the henhouse on a reg. basis. I find it takes care of bugs and odors. Plus I add it to the feed bins.

    Just type in Perma Gurad DE and lots of articles will come up on the internet about it.
  4. gapeachy

    gapeachy Songster

    Oct 21, 2008
    Rome Ga
    do you think lime works just as good?
  5. Poohbear

    Poohbear On a Time Out

    Nov 12, 2008
    I have never seen it. Some swear by it. I've been raising chickens all my life and never used it. Guess it's the "green" thing to do. Of course there are MILLIONS of things I don't know so ----- I'm just sayin
  6. gumpsgirl

    gumpsgirl Crowing Premium Member

    Mar 25, 2008
    I personally love DE and use it on a regular basis. It really does help keep the flies down in the warmer months and helps dry the poo and makes it less smelly.

    Now to answer your question on do you have to use DE? Heaven's no! It is all a personal preference really.

    If you do a search, you will find many threads about using food grade DE and all the benefits of it. Here are a few for you.
  7. Tuffoldhen

    Tuffoldhen Flock Mistress

    Jan 30, 2007
    Quote:I don't use lime in the henhouse, lime will burn a chickens feet. Lime can't be used the same way DE is. The only two types of lime I am aware of are garden lime (milder) and hydrated lime (that really burns) Both can be used in the chicken run, need to be tilled in, watered or rained on before the chickens are allowed back into the run. Hydrated lime I have always tilled in, watered and let set for two weeks before allowing the hens back in. There maybe other types I don't know of. My thoughts....
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2009
    1 person likes this.
  8. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Of course you don't have to use DE [​IMG]

    Some people do, some people don't, no biggie.

    As far as its action in helping control lice/mites, especially when dusted into the feathers of infested birds and in parts of the coop where they might also be hiding, your main alternative choice is Sevin (a mild chemical pesticide, probably IMO not quite as safe as food grade DE but not horribly massively toxic)(don't breathe *either* of 'em into your lungs, of course)

    As far as absorbing moisture in the coop, alternatives include solving the moisture problems by management or repair, or using stall dri or sweet pdz (or any other comparable brands). I would not put lime where chickens will be walking/breathing directly in it, but some people use it in small amounts with no apparent problems.

    As far as using DE as a worm preventive (which IMO the jury is still totally out on, in terms of well-produced numerical evidence, personal anecdote aside) there are other quote natural unquote things that some people feel will help prevent worms or cure existing worms, such as pumpkin seeds and/or buttermilk (see my comment above re: well-controlled empirical evidence for this doing any good); or you can just wait until/unless an actual worm problem develops -- likelier sooner in a free range flock than in a confined one -- and then treat with a chemical wormer that is known to handle the particular worms you have. While some people worm preemptively on a schedule irrespective of fecal tests, the fact that chemical wormers have not been well-tested to characterize safe withdrawal period for eggs, and can cause abnormalities in hatching eggs, and can be a bit hard on a bird's system, and you don't wanna be breeding up resistant worms, would suggest *to me* anyhow that it is probably better to leave things alone til a problem develops. (Others opinoins may of course differ)

    Anyhow, DE probably does have useful uses, but none are essential and unsubstitutable [​IMG]

    1 person likes this.
  9. HennysMom

    HennysMom Keeper of the Tiara

    I began using DE a few months ago and I notice a huge difference myself. I sprinkle it in the pen (after cleaning it out) and inside the coop mixed with the wood shavings. It definately dries the poop up and keeps both the smell and bugs down tremendously.

    I dont mix it in my feed per sae, but my girls do peck at it and roll around in it (mixed into the soil of course..) - an in their "sandbox" to help with the smell there (wet play sand stinks horribly until it dries out [​IMG] ).

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