I need a dust free but safe coop

Dec 14, 2017
I have 4 four month old chickies and one of my reds wont open one eye and I am thinking I took bad advice to put play sand and diatomaceous earth mixed together thinking that would keep them from getting mites but I am thinking the dust from it all is why she wont open one eye. It does open and there is no sign of infection yet and she seems ok otherwise. I need to know what i can use besides pine or straw because I am allergic to them. What is safe? I have some aspen snake bedding but I am afraid the pieces may be too small and dangerous if they eat them etc... They are not dusty at all though but I am not sure if that would be safe to use. Meanwhile I dug up regular old dirt and put it in there after clearing all the sand out. I am desperate for suggestions.
How about hay? Pine shavings work very well, but if you are really allergic to pine, that's a problem. In fall, collecting and drying fallen leaves may work for you. I've never seen aspen bedding, but consider it, if you can manage it yourself.
DE is a bad idea; it's bad for anyone to inhale, and doesn't work all that well anyway.
Wearing a N95 or better dust mask in the coop will help a lot; they are sold in paint departments at the big box stores. Indispensable!!!
Aspen bedding is fine for chickens, I use it in my nest box. It's not very cheap though so maybe you can stretch it out by mixing in some dried leaves or something? I'm hesitant to recommend wood chips in your case unless you can find a way to exclude woods you're allergic to.

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