Who uses DE(diatomaceous earth)

What do you use in your coop

  • SAND

    Votes: 5 13.5%
  • HAY

    Votes: 2 5.4%

    Votes: 11 29.7%

    Votes: 2 5.4%

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • OTHER(if you choose other please comment what you use)

    Votes: 17 45.9%

  • Total voters
Oh and with the mite problem we went to having nothing in the coop for the summer. I had a fresh bag of flockfresh that I put in when we had below freezing temps,mostly to make it easier to clean and to insulate a bit since they are a couple feet off the ground. I am hoping to switch to sand soon.
PLEASE be helpful and appropriate
All information is welcome.
Hi there. :frow

I have tried sand in my coop but consider it a giant litter box. Now it's the base. Went to semi deep litter for walk in coops.. combination of straw, shavings, rice, hulls, etc. Which gets used most depends on which coop size. Smaller coops, rice hulls or shavings are better for ME.

Even if I set aside any consideration for harm to myself, my birds, or the environment.. DE is NOT effective in MY location against external parasites due to high humidity. Says right on the package doesn't work when wet. But kinda feel like micro cuts would be damaging to overall feather quality which usually gets replenished once per year with molt.

My local friend has a husband who insist on including it in their dust baths despite me showing their birds were indeed effected by the same bugs mine were a mile or so down the road. Both my friend and her husband are aged a bit, not seeing their best, have a barn tender with a huge pet flock (40 chickens, 30 turkeys, 2 goats, 4 dogs, 3 cats), and truly didn't know what they were looking for before I showed them angry red skin and egg clumps hanging on feathers. They're just doing their best to stay "natural". Now they know, they treat (quite ineffectively) a couple times per year and always NEED to despite using DE regularly. The follow link are for informational purposes. I never agree 100% with everything that's stated but still value what valid information is there..



I also mix it in there feed
Did you know that DE is approved for use in animal feed at a rate of up to 2% as an anti caking agent and may be included in some feeds already? I've specifically seen it in chicken feed ingredients when I was keeping meal worms..

The following link shows lots of good information including some studies that show DE did not fare well as a worming agent. How unfriendly it is to the climate. Etc.


I know a lot of people out there believe that it is dangerous to use
DE but, I have been using it for over a 1 and a half.
I've been walking for about 40+ years, tripped plenty of times.. never dislocated or broke anything until I did.. It's never a problem until it is. :confused:

The inhalation danger of silica that many folks worry about is diminished by using the "food grade" DE. That however does not change it's cutting or dehydrating powers to the skin of the chicken which really is the largest most protective organ any animal has.. it does this amazing thing called self healing.. I don't have to treat my birds for parasites more often than my local friend despite not adding DE into my routine.. or the cost of it to my pocket, or any of the other reasons that put me pretty far into the anti DE camp, which I'm guessing you've figured out by now. :hmm

But I won't go as far as to call it useless or dangerous.. it gets used for lots of things. Just please don't be lulled into a false sense of security regarding internal or external parasites of poultry and DE efficacy.

Final words.. Is it safe AND effective.. under the conditions being used AND for the purpose at hand?

Is it REALLY as "green" as some might think when aiming for *more* "natural" solutions with part of the point it seems, being to reduce overall environmental impact? Also not forgetting that lead and arsenic are naturally occurring.

I see, now that read again.. you are using it as coop medium. Another reason sand nor DE would be MY choice for THAT purpose.. is that my roost are about 4.5 feet high and despite having a ramp many birds hop down and that equals a hard landing for large fowl especially as they age. Seems like an invitation to bumble foot or leg injuries.. and notably I've seen bruised breasts during harvesting.. so, many hard landing injuries may go unnoticed.. and is a good part of the reason why I made a deeper, softer, landing zone. When gathering breeding stock, selecting for years, and generations for certain qualities.. there comes a point when some considerations go beyond just comfort or opinions to actual investment.. but also some trial and error as to what works for YOUR birds in YOUR location, with YOUR set up. Your stock density, YOUR wildlife load, Your soil type, weather pattern.. I mean you get the idea, your mileage may vary.

Just stay aware of things.. the first time I ever had to treat poultry for lice or mites was about 5-7 years in, and ONLY about 3 times in 3-5 years since.. the first time having to treat for round worms was 10 years in. This is one of those.. it's never a problem until it is.

Ahh, no amount of information will likely change your mind.

But if you please take time to review the links and take whatever valid information (not opinions or claims) and see how it fits in with your view and purpose. My personal understanding and therefor view of many is ever-changing and an ongoing learning adventure. While I dislike DE and it isn't welcome at my house, I'm glad that we are still able to share information, support each other.. and still have the freedom to make certain choices even when not everybody agrees! :highfive:
"Other" In my coop, we use deep litter method -- industrial hemp bedding. I buy it from Amazon. It's about 8-10 inches deep and I turn it over every week, adding another bucket of the hemp. Works great. In our run we use a combination of pine bark chunks & pine bark mulch, pine straw needles, and grass clippings. All on dirt. We use dirt and sand for dust baths under the coop.

.....and very happy with all of the above. We are new chickens owners, got our first egg Nov 14th, and have 13 adorable, funny, charming girls.
Last edited:
I sprinkle lime and PDZ on the coop floor, then put pine shavings on top. I clean poop daily.

In the run, I use rice hulls with DE and lime sprinkled in. The ground underneath the run is pavers, so it doesn't get muddy, and the run is covered. They also spend only the nights in the coop, and about an hour each morning in the run before I let them into the yard. I mainly use the lime and DE to try to control flies and mosquitoes!

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom