Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by worms7, Nov 2, 2016.

  1. worms7

    worms7 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 22, 2015
    As a first time chicken owner I plan to use de sprinkled on floor/shavings is this ok? & is there a spray for cracks?
    Cheers Phil
  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

    Nov 7, 2012
    DE can cause respiratory problems if kicked up in a dust. What is your purpose of using it in the coop? If to deter internal parasites, you're throwing your money away, since any oocysts they pick up they will get from outside. If to deter flies, perhaps, though I'd wait till there was an issue before using it. You could sprinkle it on the roosts where they meet the wall of the coop, and perhaps rub some into the perches. Or you could use some pyrethrin/permethrin poultry dust in those cracks as a deterrent. DE is hard on the lungs, both for the chicken and for the poultry owner. You may own chickens for years and never have an issue with mites or internal parasites. Wishing you the best with your flock!
    4 people like this.
  3. worms7

    worms7 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 22, 2015
    Any more advice please
    cheers Phil
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    DE can be used in the cracks and might help as a deterrent.
    But IMO it's best not to use it where it can be stirred up and become airborne.
    Be sure to get 100% DE, food grade...many DE products are mostly clays, read the fine print.
    1 person likes this.
  5. shortgrass

    shortgrass Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 14, 2015
    Northern Colorado
    Try looking into Neem. Cold pressed Neem oil is my go to for any kind of bug related problem, be it garden, coop, or house. If its repellant you want, Neem will most certainly repel buggies... But possibly repel you too lol, the stuff smells pretty funky :p But the smell goes away pretty quick and you don't have to spray it every day, just maybe once a week around the coop if you're trying to keep a barrier up. I only use it in the coop when I clean it, twice a year. It will stop an infestation in its tracks and I guess I don't really need to use it more than that. Safe, organic, just kinda stinky. ;)

    Then after I've cleaned the coop and sprayed with Neem, I sprinkle DE in nesting boxes and on the floor, just in case somebody drags in a buggy. The DE keeps me from having to use NEEM all the time.
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  6. rebrascora

    rebrascora Overrun With Chickens

    Feb 14, 2014
    Consett Co.Durham. UK
    Hi Phil

    Everyone has their own ideas and experience of what works and what doesn't work and sometimes it depends on management style and local conditions. What works for one person may not work for another or may even cause problems. In our damp winter environment DE will probably not cause respiratory problems like it would in a warm dry climate. I use it without problems as both a preventative and also to treat an outbreak of mites. The first time I used it on an outbreak it was incredibly effective. The following year I used it on an outbreak in a different coop and it didn't work, but then the permethrin spray I used wasn't very effective either and it was a combination of the two in rotation over a 3 week period along with providing a better dust bath for those chickens with some wood ash in it that eventually got on top of the situation. I am still happy to use DE in my coops and will continue to do so. Unfortunately these things can be trial and error and it is really going to be a question of seeing what works for you in your situation.
    There are no real right or wrong answers but it is important to understand the life cycle of the pest or parasite you are dealing with so that you can identify and target it in a suitable way..... for instance....
    Mites live in the coup not on the bird. They hide in the cracks and crevices of the coop usually quite close to or on the underside of the roosts during the day and crawl onto the hens to suck their blood at night. Dusting all the cracks and crevices and roost bars with DE once a month during the day whilst the chickens are out in the run will help to keep them in check. Someone recently suggested mixing it to a thin paste or paint consistency and painting the cracks and crevices on a warm dry day, so that it dries out and that seemed like a really good idea. Mites are less likely to be found on the coop floor, so sprinkling DE there may have little or no effect and as others have said, is can get stirred up and make the atmosphere dusty.

    Lice on the other hand live on the chickens and lay their eggs at the bottom of the feather shafts in the warmest places on the chicken which are usually the vent area and under the wings. Providing a good dust bathing area with dry soil and sand and compost and wood ash will allow the chickens to keep themselves clear of them. You can of course add a little DE to that mixture too.

    I hope that gives you a little better insight into the subject.


    2 people like this.

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