HOW MUCH DE FOR DLM?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by chellyroo, Apr 6, 2009.

  1. chellyroo

    chellyroo Out Of The Brooder

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    Our chicks are a little over 2 wks old now (and doing great! wow, do they grow fast! [​IMG]) and we are looking to get our coop hopefully weekend after this coming one. We are planning on using the deep litter method for the floor of the coop, but I have a question about the use of DE-- I keep seeing in threads about DLM that DE is sifted over new shavings, but I haven't seen anyone say how much DE. Could someone give me an idea?
    Also, I saw something about the moisture content when using DLM, that if it gets too dry it can cause respiratory problems. Does any do anything regularly to keep the bedding from becoming too dry? Thanks!
     
  2. CityChook

    CityChook Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    I just keep a flour sifter (like for baking) in the coop and dust the shavings every other week or so. Maybe a cup or so. My coop is 6x8.

    The DLM is a way of maintaining your coop when you don't want to have to clean it out every couple of days. You put the shavings down, chickens poop on said shavings, you add a small layer of new shavings or toss the existing shavings to cover up the poop (and let the shavings dry it out) and repeat. The shavings themselves don't get too dry, it's more the dust that is produced by the chickens as well as dust from the shavings that causes resp. problems. The DE on top of the shavings will absorb (I think?) like 6 times it's own weight in moisture. Less moisture = less smell. Your bedding won't become too dry. No worries.

    It's never a bad idea to wear a simple face mask (you can get them at Target, Home Depot) when cleaning the coop or tossing your shavings. Chickens are highly dusty animals.

    Hope this helps. And welcome!
     
  3. chellyroo

    chellyroo Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you! I have already discovered what dust-generators these birdies are-- we've been keeping the brooder box in our dining room (which we never use), and MAN that table gets coated![​IMG]
     
  4. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

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    Using DE as a litter additive and the DLM are actually separate aspects of coop management. Some people just happen to use both.

    DE can also be used in non-DLM coops, for the same reasons some people are using it in DLM coops. It's used either as a parasite treatment/preventative or to reduce the amount of litter used.

    DLM coops do not require DE. You can have a nicely managed coop that doesn't smell bad, without ever using it. Some people just choose to use it.

    I just wanted to clarify this a little, because new people sometimes get the idea that you need to or should use it, when they read this forum. It's just another option.
     
  5. chellyroo

    chellyroo Out Of The Brooder

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    My only concern is whether DE is eco-friendly. I asked that somewhere else but don't think I ever got a response (or else I read it and it got lost amid all the other stuff).[​IMG]
     
  6. sherrydeanne

    sherrydeanne Chillin' With My Peeps

    DE is just crushed fossils, right? Seems eco friendly to me [​IMG]
     
  7. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

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    It can kill beneficial insects, as well as pests. It just depends on how it's used. I use it when I need it, but not when I don't.
     
  8. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Quote:Dunno what you consider 'eco-friendly'. It is mined (no idea how), not made in a lab, no petrochemicals involved or anything like that, no accumulative effects.

    Its whole POINT is to kill land-dwelling invertebrates that get it on their 'skin' (cuticle), but it has no meaningful action beyond that, thus the only little critters gonna be exposed to lethal amounts of it are those that are wandering around in your coop, which is what you are *trying* to do. There is zero reason to believe that DE used in a 'normal' sensible way is going to hurt bees, butterflies, that sort of thing. (If you dust it on flowers, *that* can kill them, but you're not going to *do* that [​IMG])

    Non-foodgrade is a respiratory irritant and documented carcinogen (because of its irritant activity), but I know of no reason to believe that food-grade DE is any worse for you than ordinary road dust. So, don't breathe more of it than you have to [​IMG]

    Pat
     
  9. chellyroo

    chellyroo Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks, Pat. I was primarily wanting to know if DE was toxic to water sources, the ground, etc. Sounds like food grade DE is fine. I'll try to use a little common sense and not give myself or my flowers any DE showers! [​IMG]
     
  10. JReedy72

    JReedy72 Out Of The Brooder

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    I grew up in Lompoc, CA - site of the world's second largest deposit of DE (the first being in Germany). It comes out of the ground as big chucks of what looks like chalk. It is completely eco friendly, as it is from the eco. I am going to go find out where to get some without having to order it online.

    JReedy
     

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