Questions about DE....

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by karmical, Aug 14, 2007.

  1. karmical

    karmical Songster

    Aug 3, 2007
    Honeoye Falls, NY
    Wondering if I need to worry (for myself as well as the chickens) about breathing in the DE dust as I'm raking it into the pine shavings inside the coop? I noticed the other day when I happened to look up at the light that it sort of hangs in the air.

    The whole Diatamaceous Earth thing is freaking me out a little bit. I'm confident I got the right kind because it says "food grade". It's like flour with how dusty it is. they heck do you figure out how much 2% is to put in their feed?
    I'm also about to switch them from "starter" food to "grower/developer" and am going to use Blue Seal Organics. I noticed on the label that there's diatamceous earth IN there already. Should I just figure that's enough? Can you give them too much of the stuff?

    Also...I built a box inside the coop for my girls to dust bathe in. At first I was going to put just the DE in there, but it's SO dusty....AND, they've gotten in the habit of bathing in their bedding, so I thought I'd be clever and mix some clean pine shavings in there with the DE. They WILL walk through the box from time to time, but nobody is getting down there and really having a bath. Any suggestions?
  2. pattycake

    pattycake Songster

    May 7, 2007
    fingerlakes, ny
    Wow, I was going to post this exact question today. When I was stirring up litter today, it really billowed up and I thought, that *can't* be good to breathe.

    I couldn't find "food grade" but I didn't get the pool-supply kind either -- I got mine from the organic gardening section -- I've only sprinkled it around the coop. I wonder how harmless it is?
  3. countrygirl4513

    countrygirl4513 Songster

    Apr 14, 2007
    Portland TN
    Only use FOOD GRADE around any mammals, chicken or otherwise. You can use a dust mask if you are concerned. I've never had a problem with it bothering me. But it does say to use caution not to inhale. Hard to do when you are doing this.
  4. Nyna

    Nyna Songster

    Jul 3, 2007
    Western Montana
    I heard you don't want to breath it because it is an irritant.
    Defiantly mix it with something in your dust bathers.
    I also heard you shouldn't use the non food grade anywhere around your animals.
    Also I heard that you can't feed them too much so a little bit more than 2% is okay. I just though a couple scoops in there and mix it around. just enough to notice it you know.
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2007
  5. Lunachick

    Lunachick Chicken Slave

    Mar 19, 2007
    Brick, NJ
    I can't figure out the 2% crap out either, so I do what Speckledhen does, (I think it was ) I put the stuff in a closed cup sifter and sprinkle it like powdered suger all over the run and in the bedding.

    I don't feed it tho. It seems to do the trick, especially for flies, since that's the only problem I have.
  6. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
  7. karmical

    karmical Songster

    Aug 3, 2007
    Honeoye Falls, NY
    Thanks everybody [​IMG]

    I got my DE online at and it's definitely food grade. It was nice they had a 5lb bag so I could see what I was getting into without having to deal with mass quantities. (I only have 7 pullets) I've also heard that is a good source for DE.

    Lunachick - I LOVE the idea of the closed cup sifter!!!! Perfect for sprinkling on the bedding and the run...

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