Raising Chickens withOUT using DE?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by CritterHill, Feb 28, 2008.

  1. CritterHill

    CritterHill Songster

    Feb 3, 2008
    SE PA
    Does anyone raise their chickens without the use of diatomaceous earth?

    My neighbor keeps bees and I don't want to risk injuring a hive with the stuff.

    We are in the "clear the land and build the coop" stage of chicken rearing, so I have no experience yet.

    It seems like it is pretty prevalent from what I am reading on this site. Just curious how prevalent it is and if people do raise them without the stuff.

    If I decide to go that route, anything I should watch out for?

  2. Farmer Kitty

    Farmer Kitty Flock Mistress

    Sep 18, 2007
    Welcome to BYC!

    I raise without. I can not get it locally and hate paying shipping. I use poultry dust in their bedding and occasionally on them and apple cider vinager in their water as a worm preventer.
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2008
  3. meriruka

    meriruka Songster

    Oct 18, 2007
    I am not really sure what DE has to do with chickens either. I don't use it , my girls are happy & healthy.....
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Just a thought, if you *want* to use it for parasite control but want to be bee-safe, just dust it around *inside* their coop, the bees aren't likely to be hanging out in there [​IMG]

    Of course you can perfectly well go entirely without, it's just that if you have mite or lice problems, you will be stuck using Sevin, which is not necessarily as harmless (like, to people etc) as food grade DE. Plenty of people do it though.

  5. Tuffoldhen

    Tuffoldhen Flock Mistress

    Jan 30, 2007
    Some of us use DE to help with keeping the henhouse sweet smelling on the litter, helps keep it dry...keep bugs at bay like lice and mites on the chickens and use it as a wormer in their feed....you don't need to use it if you don't want too or can't find it...
  6. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon

    Jan 27, 2007
    If you don't have a hundred hens dustbathing next to the hives I wouldn't think this would be an issue, but maybe someone who's had a bad experience will chime in.

    We have `wild' hives that use the hollows at the base of big hickory snags (sometimes a few make it into the run, but they never last long enough to make any assessments about the toxicity of DE!).
  7. miss_thenorth

    miss_thenorth Songster

    Dec 28, 2007
    SW Ont, Canada
    I don't use it yet, I haven't had any problems with mites, lice, BUT I will be getting it this spring for the horses, so of course I will use it for the chickens also. My point being--you dont' need to use it, but like Pat said, use Sevin dust IF there is a problem.
  8. GwenFarms

    GwenFarms Songster

    Feb 26, 2008
    Is DE dangerous to bees? We are hoping to put hives up this spring, not to mention there seems to be a large population of wild bees in our area. Bees are having enough problems without me adding to them. I do want to treat my coop with something before my new chicks come in. The last chickens that used this coop came down with an awful case of mites, we treated then with sevin at the time, but I don't want to go that route again and am looking for something more natural. I'm not even sure if I need to put anything out there.

    Will mite eggs still be in the coop after so long? This coop has been empty nearly a year. The other chickens aren't having problems, but they don't go in that coop.
  9. Wildsky

    Wildsky Wild Egg!

    Oct 13, 2007
  10. CritterHill

    CritterHill Songster

    Feb 3, 2008
    SE PA
    Quote:That's a good question. I've seen people posting both sides of the argument. My beekeeping neighbor seems to think that it wouldn't be a problem as long as we weren't sprinkling it on the flowers, however, I don't know that I want to take a chance with it even just in the coop.

    His bees like to come drink out of our cats' water bowl and I would be afraid they would spend time at the waterer in the coop and come in contact with it that way.

    Mostly, I'm playing better safe than sorry since I can't get a definitive answer.

    ps - I have no guilt about any bees dumb enough to come into the coop getting eaten by chickens, but I would feel awful if they brought something toxic back to the hive and wiped the whole thing out.

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