Does everyone out there use diatomaceous earth?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by mommy3, Oct 16, 2011.

  1. mommy3

    mommy3 Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 19, 2011
    Plantsville, CT
    I am reading a lot of posts that mention DE- it seems like it is an important part of keeping chickens? My H wants to know if it is a waste of money? Would love a little more explanation. Seems to be used in nesting boxes, runs and can be put into feed? We are going to have 3 chickens in our coop in about 5-6 weeks and then hopefully a few more chickens in the spring and just wondering how much of it we would need to get as well as do we need it? I am sure there will be varying opinions but I want them all! [​IMG]
  2. fireguy56

    fireguy56 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 2, 2010
    Slidell, Louisiana
    Hi, No..not eveyone. I planned to, then I read an article about it and learned that it is a powdery, crystalline substance that is not good to breathe in. So, I'm sticking to agricultural lime or Sweet PDZ for my misture and odor control. Need to learn more about DE before I try it.
  3. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    DE is useful for dust baths if you have a dust bath box (add sand, DE, woodstove ashes- cold, and some dirt). They will dust themselves with it. Also some use it in the shavings to keep flies under control (and odor).

    I just used the last of my bag and probably won't buy any more. It didn't prevent mites when I used it just in the bedding last year, and I like sweet PDZ better for sprinkling on the floor of the coop. I have also added it to feed as a worming preventative but then learned it doesn't work when wet against bugs/worms.

    I just don't need it anymore. It is added to feed sometimes to keep bug infestations away.

    MUST be food-grade if you buy it.
  4. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Quote:I totally agree with Erik. Sweet PDZ is MUCH less dusty. When I shake DE in the coop, I have to run and hold my breath. Sweet PDZ (the powdered kind, not the granules) lands on the floor with almost an audible "clunk" and no associated dust cloud, lol. (Ok, it is dusty but soooooo much less.)
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2011
  5. chickendales

    chickendales Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 24, 2011
    i dosnt seem to help as far as ive seen
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2011
  6. justbugged

    justbugged Head of the Night Crew for WA State

    Jan 27, 2009
    I use it to keep the poop dried out some especially on the poop boards. It seems to help with odor, and moister. I don't rely on it to worm the hens. I lost a number of my hens to worms, so now I rely on Wazine, and Ivermectin for worming. DE may help to the reduce the worms in a chickens body, but you can't expect it to work completely on it's own.
  7. DawnM

    DawnM Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 21, 2010
    Tacoma, Wa
    My daughter is in 4H and her leader is a vet. She tells everyone to use a drop of Frontline on each chicken that goes to shows and we have never had a problem. Might be easier for us because we also have dogs that use it so its always around. None of the chickens have ever had a reaction to it and I have never seen a single bug on any of our birds.
  8. chickendales

    chickendales Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 24, 2011
    Quote:i use frountline too
  9. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2010
    Forest Grove, OR
    I've had my birds for about a year and a half and have barely made a dent in my bag of DE - granted, I have 4 birds and a small coop. Anyway, it lasts so long that it's not expensive at long as you get it locally and don't try to mail order it.

    I use it to keep things dried out and, hopefully, to prevent mites. I shake it in the coop paying attention to crevasses in the wood joins.

    Because my coop is small and raised, I can just stand at the door and sprinkle it around. I don't actually walk into the coop (I couldn't!) and create a cloud of dust around me, so that hasn't been an issue.

    I also sprinkle it in the run.
  10. M.sue

    M.sue Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 29, 2011
    I use DE in the dust baths, however I was told that DE does not work when it gets wet. So Summer dry months the dust bath is in the run and if rain is predicted, in the coop it goes where it is for the winter months. My girls find spots all over the garden to dust bathe besides. The DE I bought is from a Yard & Garden Center, is safe to use around home, in garden, on plants and is pet safe. I also sprinkle it on the bottom of the coop floor and top off with fresh pine shavings. It is dusty but I always have to coop wide open when cleaning and sprinkle it, not dump.

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