How often should i use DE?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by beatrixkiddo, Jan 19, 2011.

  1. beatrixkiddo

    beatrixkiddo Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 8, 2010
    I am currently using the deep litter method in my coop. I also use DE in the coop and dust my birds with it as well. How often should I be using it? I have only used it once so far because this is my girls first week outside in the coop.
  2. beatrixkiddo

    beatrixkiddo Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 8, 2010
    Anybody? [​IMG]
  3. krcote

    krcote Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 21, 2008
    Concord, NH
    Well, I don't use it at all [​IMG]
  4. Mervin

    Mervin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 25, 2010
    Central Pennsyltucky
    I really don't know either. What I've been doing is putting it in when I add to the bedding in the coop. I use deep litter, so every month or so when I add litter I also scatter some DE as well.
  5. BitsyB

    BitsyB Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 30, 2010
    Northern Delaware
    I heard so much great stuff about DE that we got some (Food Grade) and put some in with pine shavings on the coop floor. I'm the coop cleaner, so I pick up the poops each morning, but don't really disturb the litter. I had this weird thing where when I'd take a deep breath I'd start coughing, but I wasn't sick. And not just when I was in the coop. It lasted maybe a month until my husband put 2&2 together, decided it was the DE causing it. He went and cleaned the whole coop out, put in new litter (no DE this time), and lo and behold the breathing problem thing was gone like overnight.

    And I knew ahead that you're not supposed to breathe in DE, and it wasn't like I was throwing it around and inhaling it or anything.

    So Plan B is I want to make a sandbox (outside the coop) for them to dust bathe in, with dirt, sand, and some DE mixed in. Hopefully the girls will use it instead of making holes all around the yard for unsuspecting humans to trip in.

    As to how often to use it, maybe refresh it every month or so? I think its "staying power" is long, unless it gets wet? (But I do not claim to be an expert on DE at all...)
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2011
  6. rubyzoo

    rubyzoo Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 11, 2010
    what is DE
  7. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Anywhere between never and always, depending on your personal tastes and philosophies.

    Seriously. You needn't use it at *all*, necessarily, it is by no means essential and some would argue whether it makes ANY positive difference at all in any way. Personally I use it as a yearly (ish) treatment of crevices and nestboxes. Some also use it for other purposes in the coop (absorbing moisture, decreasing odor, general joy of flingin' it around, etc) and thus some use quite a lot quite frequently.

    Personally I do not like intentionally putting mineral dust into an already-dusty coop without pretty darn good reason and I feel that usually the moisture/odor issues are better fixed by fixing the root cause... but that is just personal opinion and of course plenty of different people have different opinions and probably you eventually will too [​IMG]

    All's I can say is, it is probably not smart to go flinging it around without a specific NEED, so just look at how things are and decide whether there is actually any good practical REASON go be applying more DE or whether you are just feeling that BYCers talk about using it so much perhaps you'd be missing the boat if you didn't too [​IMG]

    Good luck, have fun,

  8. beatrixkiddo

    beatrixkiddo Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 8, 2010
    Quote:Here's a post on it. I really like it so far. I has kept the coop and poop dry and easy to clean. it is supposed to help with mites and lice as well. I guess I will just use it everytime I add a new layer of shavings on top. I have been dusting my birds with it too, but they scratch around in the coop so I dont see the need to keep dusting them when they pretty well dust themselves in the coop. So far so good.
  9. Ladymaran

    Ladymaran Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 7, 2010
    Diatomaceous Earth, and it should be food-grade, not the one used in swimming pools.

    I bought some recently but haven't used it yet. I also bought those masks to keep from breathing in the fine DE when adding to coop.
  10. ARose4Heaven

    ARose4Heaven Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 16, 2009
    Flippin, AR
    I agree that a person should not put down Diatomaceous Earth (DE) without a need. You should always have a mask over your face when stirring litter that has DE in it. If I apply DE without a facemask, I get a nosebleed.

    For the uninitiated... DE is finely ground Diatom fossils that act as microscopic knives on the exoskeleton of all insects. Once the shell of the insect is perforated, the DE dehydrates the thing, and it is dead. DE is a good additive to bedding to help reduce excess moisture, lice, mites. DE (Food-Grade) is non-toxic to humans or pets. Some say that feeding DE to humans or pets will reduce/eliminate worms. It does not harm the digestive tract because the tissues there are tougher...think stomach has to be tough stuff. It does make poo less smelly. From what I have learned, the only drawback is that DE when inhaled, irritates the delicate lining of sinus passages and lungs.

    DE can be purchased at most garden supply stores. A good source of DE information is

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