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Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by KristyAz, Apr 1, 2012.
I have done garden soil and sand with some DE mixed in. What are some other ideas?
I recently made a new one about 1/3 sand and 2/3 peatmoss. They seemed to like it. I sprinkle some DE on top periodically.
I like sand, wood ashes and peat. If some of the charcoal gets in there its even better they like to eat it and it is theraputic. Gloria jean
I'm a newbie so forgive what is most likely a dumb question. Is DE the same thing I use to put into my pool filter or is there another type for use with chickens? Also where do you purchase this?
As far as I understand, the poolgrade DE is NOT safe for chickens. You need Food Grade DE. In my area the tractor Supply Store carries it, it was in smallish containers in the chicken supply isle, but also with the livestock medicine in bigger 20 lbs bags.
Pool grade DE IS TOXIC!!!
You must buy the edible kind.
I use borax in my dust baths, it has much the same effect as DE, and is more readily available. The boric acid content in borax is low enough to do no harm to you, or your pets/livestock, but enough boric acid to strip the waxy coating off fo the little creepy crawlies. As with DE, it will not treat a serious infestation, but will prevent if used regularly.
For my chickens that have access to dirt, i just dump about half a box on the ground in the spot they like to roll in, they are very attracted to it. For those in cages with a "bath pan" I just add a bit to the top.
I also sprinkle it in nest boxes, under roosts, and lightly through the bedding.
I keep a kitty litter box half-filled with coarse sand (bought at a lumber yard - not the fine playground sand) and a cup of food-grade DE. Food grade DE isn't as sharp as the agricultural DE and is fine for the chickens to bathe in and peck at. The food grade DE is made from lake diatoms. The agricultural from ocean diatoms.
My chickens also have dust bath areas in their run, but having the kitty litter box ensures that even when the run is frozen or muddy, they can dust bathe.
Thanks to all for the info on the DE. I will pick some up along with course sand and make a dust bath for my girls. I have extra litter boxes so that will work well.
At what age ddo I need to provide my ladies a dust bath? They were hatched 2-15-13 and moved outside to their coop/run combo last night (I'm in south Texas). I plan on moving their tractor weekly so they don't deplete the grass and ground so their dust bath will be Kitty litter box style
You can probably give them a dust bath now.