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You can buy it at feed stores like TSC, or you can order it on amazon. Make sure you get food grade DE. You can sprinkle it in the run, but I do the nest boxes, the inside of the coop, and even directly on the chickens. It helps prevent mites
 

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We ended up using lime instead, which is cheaper. A local chicken lady told me that's what she has always used. The smell definitely has decreased too.
 

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There is MUCH difference between de and lime. Lime is a caustic chemical. Diatomaceous Earth is the remains of the skeletons of microscopic diatoms, and are silica, like sand, and will dehydrate any insects that it gets on, hence death to mites and others. Dust your chickens with lime, and they can get chemical burns, but won't get burnt by DE. If it is a place where they take dust baths, use DE. I don't think I would use lime anywhere the chickens would make contact, although it will neutralize the scent of poo.
 

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There is MUCH difference between de and lime. Lime is a caustic chemical. Diatomaceous Earth is the remains of the skeletons of microscopic diatoms, and are silica, like sand, and will dehydrate any insects that it gets on, hence death to mites and others. Dust your chickens with lime, and they can get chemical burns, but won't get burnt by DE. If it is a place where they take dust baths, use DE. I don't think I would use lime anywhere the chickens would make contact, although it will neutralize the scent of poo.
! Y use lime?
 

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There are two different kinds of lime...one is caustic and one is called "sweet lime" and not so caustic.

DE can kill beneficial insects right along with the parasites, so if you want long term control of mites instead of short term, creating a coop environment that is conducive to housing predatory bugs is a more natural, long term and effective control plan.

I've never used DE. I've used wood ashes at times for parasite control/prevention in the dusting areas and on the bird.

A good deep litter system in the coop and in the run can help control odors and flies, gives a place for predatory bugs to thrive and also creates a healthier footing underground for the chickens.
 
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