Need clarification on make a dust bath with DE?


In the Brooder
Apr 26, 2015
Hi everyone!

I've noticed our chick trying to dust bathe herself on our couch, so I went to our local supply store and got DE. Upon reading many of the threads, it looks like we aren't supposed to have just DE in their dust bath (due to possible respiratory issues)? Do I just mix it with dry dirt? Is there a certain ratio I should be aware of? I so far have some DE in a cardboard box and she hasn't shown any interest in it (yet).
I would like to know as well: my chicks are around a month old now and are out in the coop I made them trying to dust bathe occasionally. From my knowledge, Diatomaceous Earth is good for deworming, for preventing insect infestations in the coop/garden, and for minerals-among other things. However, I too have also read that it's bad for chickens' lungs...
I make my dust bath as follows:
1 part DE
3 parts sand
1 part top soil.

DE is definitely irritating yo the respiratory system but is not harmful. If using DE I strongly encourage to have the dust bath outside/not in an enclosed coop etc.
Okay, thank you! Could I just use sand from a nearby beach, or do I have to get it from somewhere specific? It didn't look like our supply store had any- when I asked about supplies for dust baths, they just pointed me to the DE.
Thank you! That helps a lot
Quick tip from someone who learned the hard way make sure your DE is food grade. I have had great success mixing it in with the chickens dust bath in similar ratios to the above poster. No lice or mites infestations yet. Keeping my fingers crossed that it will stay this way.
You can also add peat moss and wood stove ash to the mix. I use a mix of these and playsand from the concrete section. I don't bother much with ratios. When their bath starts to get low, I dump whatever I have on hand in there and add some DE.

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