How do you apply DE?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by llnmaw, Apr 15, 2011.

  1. llnmaw

    llnmaw Chirping

    Feb 22, 2011
    Spokane, WA
    As in what method of delivery? To the coop bedding? To the chickens of necessary? For bug infestation around a perimeter?

    And how much is "not too much" or "just a little".... [​IMG] I see those instructions and cock my head to the side and think, just how much is that really? 2T? 4 cups? 1/2lb? (I'm being extreme here....)

    I have a 4'x4' square coop, how much would you apply under normal circumstances?


  2. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Sparingly. I think that is the key word. Sparingly. And 'optionally' (you certainly do not NEED it!)

    Personally, I zot just a little bit into the crevices of the coop (inside corners of nestboxes and of coop floor, and where roost meets wall or supports) when I first commission a new pen or when I have done an extremely thorough cleanout. Using a small scoop or whatever's handy. That's it.

    For application to chickens in hopes of catching incipient mite problem in the bud, I put some in the toe of an old sock (not one with a hole in the *toe!* [​IMG]) and tie a knot in the ankle to keep the DE in, and use it as a "powderpuff" against the lie of the feathers, especially in the more vulnerable areas such as vent and armpits and back/base of neck. (Sock powderpuff idea courtesy of Speckledhen, credit where credit is due [​IMG]) HOWEVER it has been my experience that while this may (*may* -- I'm not sure one way or the other) help discourage things from getting started in free-ranging or tractored birds, it DOES NOT DO SQUAT for an active mite infestation, for which an actual mite powder is required.

    JME, good luck, have fun,

  3. spiritdance

    spiritdance Songster

    Dec 13, 2010
    I mix about a half cup with a coffee can full of hardwood ashes and a coffee can full of sand (multiply ingredients for larger quantities) for their dustbath which is always available. For the coop, I use a tea strainer to sprinkle a fine layer under the bedding at cleanup time, and an old mustard bottle (the kind with the long spout) to lightly poof it into the cracks and crevices. You shouldn't see a definite dust in the air of the coop or you're using too much. And always always ALWAYS wear a dust mask if you do this, as it can get into your lungs and really irritate them.
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2011
  4. MetalSmitten

    MetalSmitten Songster

    Apr 11, 2010
    bloomington, indiana
    i agree with the above, it's easiest to mix it into a dustbath area and let them dust themselves [​IMG] just make sure you get the food grade variety.
  5. mdbokc

    mdbokc Songster

    Jun 22, 2009
    Oklahoma County, OK
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2011

  6. erlibrd

    erlibrd Crowing Premium Member

    Oct 8, 2010
    I use an empty spice jar with the holes in the top.
  7. macadam8157

    macadam8157 Songster

    Mar 31, 2011
    NC, Raleigh
    Do you put more shavings on top after the DE or is it ok just sprinkled on top??? Okay newbie question is this at all harmful to the birds b/c mine love to peck at there shavings just wondering?
  8. llnmaw

    llnmaw Chirping

    Feb 22, 2011
    Spokane, WA
    Thanks! It's more clear now. A little DE apparently goes a looooong way. The bag I bought could last a lifetime!

    Just thought of a possible method of delivery for the coop. I have a little mesh topped shaker (use if for powdered sugar) and think something like that could work? I bought it at the dollar store.

    Last edited: Apr 15, 2011
  9. sammin71

    sammin71 In the Brooder

    Apr 2, 2011
    where do you buy food grade DE

  10. mdbokc

    mdbokc Songster

    Jun 22, 2009
    Oklahoma County, OK
    A horse supply or feed store either has it or can get it. In our area, horse owners are huge users. I watch them load 5-10 50# bags of food grade DE into their pick-ups regularly when I am at the supply.

    You do not need to cover the DE you sprinkle with more shavings. No harm to them when, not if, they eat some as they peck. Just make sure you have food grade DE...not swim pool quality.
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2011

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