How much DE for my dust bath area?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by aim0474, Oct 14, 2016.

  1. aim0474

    aim0474 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have searched and cant find much of a recommendation on how much DE to use in a dust bath area.

    Mine is about 2 x 3 feet and has about 6 inches of clean fill dirt. I am headed in the clean it up tomorrow and was going to put the rest of my sand in it and add the DE.

    Any suggestions? Thanks!
     
  2. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member

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    Last edited: Oct 15, 2016
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  3. FlyWheel

    FlyWheel Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

    I never made up a special dust bath for my birds, the entire northern half of their run is mulched oak leaves which they have composted into a nice soil and they have made their own dusting bowls in this. So I just threw in a handful of DE into each of the bowls and stirred it into the loose soil.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2016
  4. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    I was told to never use DE....It is bad for lungs...Never mind its not safe for us to breath it in, but then people put it in the dust bath areas for the Chickens to breath it in....
    I use sand....The occasional ash from my fire pit or wood stove.....

    Cheers!
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2016
  5. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    My birds dust bathe in the dirt outside their run, and occasionally in winter I might add some wood ashes. Never DE, as it's bad for anyone to inhale, and useless for parasite control if it's damp anyway. Mary
     
  6. mizjones

    mizjones Out Of The Brooder

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    Actually, DE is fine around chickens' lungs as well as humans IF it's food grade. That's a fact, but there is so much disinformation everywhere that it's hard to sift through all of it (plus who has the time?). Anyway, this is one reliable article that might help.

    http://bedbugger.com/forum/topic/the-truth-about-diatomaceous-earth

    It's not harmful unless we inhale massive amounts of the stuff. I keep 50 pound bags of it and use it for everything: killing ants, cockroaches, as a health supplement for both my husband and I as well as our dogs and all livestock. I sprinkle it in the dirt, in their bedding, on the floor of their coop as well as their run, I kid you not. DE is a very valuable product and I encourage everyone to try it out. One more thing, it's effectiveness is mechanical rather than chemical. So everything from parasites to mites to ants--if it has an exoskeleton (whether microscopic or visible) the diatomaceous earth will take care of it. No poisons, no harm to birds, skinks or mammals. Yay!
     
  7. shortgrass

    shortgrass Overrun With Chickens

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    I use it in my nesting boxes and in the feed (for storage purposes, most granaries add it to grain to deter pests). I use about 5# every time I redo the boxes, usually every six months. Probably a quarter cup ber box, then wood shavings and straw. Then I sprinkle it on the floor as well, then add my shavings and straw.

    Outdoors, they get wood ash dumped in their holes every once in a while. They have a lot of area, so its tricky to keep a certain "dust bath area", so I rely more on the DE in the nesting boxes, since that's where mites would most likely congregate.

    I've not had any issues with using it, but I do keep it away from my DH, who is asthmatic. Just as a precaution. It does send up some dyst, but it IS dust ha-ha, its inevitable. ;)
     
  8. aim0474

    aim0474 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Denver
    Thanks!

    They have actually taken over a spot of dirt in the garden. I added some sand and DT there instead. Mixed it all in with the topsoil and mixed it in. They enjoy laying in the shade in the cool dirt there.
     
  9. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    I do have asthma, and stay away from the stuff. Chickens have a fragile respiratory system, and don't need to inhale it, IMO. Mary
     
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