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Backyard Chicken Care

A red chicken stands on some stumps after taking a dust bath in diatomaceous earth.

If you want your backyard chickens to lead healthy, happy lives – Diatomaceous Earth is a must-have for anyone who owns a coop and has a flock of feathered friends.

What is DE (Diamotacious Earth), and how can it help my chickens?

Food-Grade diatomaceous earth contains finely ground and processed fossilized algae commonly called diatoms.

DE has a whole array of benefits for poultry’s health, from absorbing odor-causing moisture, to increasing the strength of their egg’s shells. Diatoms are essentially very fine, abrasive particles with sharp edges that have natural absorption capabilities. When chickens excrete, the resulting manure is rich in nitrogen, especially the chicken’s equivalent of urine – uric acid. When the manure then becomes wet, the nitrogen decomposes and produces a gas called ammonia, which gives off a pungent smell. Adding DE to your backyard chicken care routine will make for happy, healthy chickens.

How do I use DE with my chickens?

Absorbent Products has produced several Diamotacious Earth products specially formulated for use with your backyard chicken coop.

To Help Control Odor

Activated Barn Fresh, Fresh Coop Odor Control available in both a resealable bag or jug with shaker lid. It is a safe and easy way to manage the ammonia odor and moisture levels present in your chicken coop.

Sprinkling your Diamotacious Earth over the freshly cleaned floor of your coop before laying down new litter is a safe and effective way to capture the moisture that naturally collects there.

To Aid In Preening Maintenance

Absorbent Product’s Fresh Coop Dust Bath encourages your flock’s natural daily preening maintenance. Keep their feathers in tip-top condition by promoting and enhancing their natural dust bathing behavior. 

Sprinkle a layer of DE over your chicken’s dirt and sand tub, and let the chickens work it in. As the chickens play and roll around in the dust bath, they will cover themselves with the DE infused sand. Fresh Coop Dust Bath is composed of Food Chemical Codex Grade (Food Grade) Diatomaceous Earth and Calcium Montmorillonite. This unique natural blend of Diatomaceous Earth helps to keep feathers clean by absorbing excess oils.

To Lay Strong, Beautiful Eggs

Fresh Coop Egg-Layer Grit is our soluble chicken grit that is essential for healthy, beautiful eggs. Soft, thin, or missing eggshells are a sign that your layers are calcium deficient. A proper egg-laying diet will ensure they’re getting the calcium they need while allowing you total control over their feed. Fresh Coop Egg-Layer Grit offers an excellent, natural source rich in calcium for chickens.

For chickens that are over 18 weeks old, Fresh Coop Egg-Layer Grit can be mixed with coarse grain or free-choice. Grit is designed to help the chickens’ digestive system function well and break down the food as it should. The grit also helps grind down the food in the gizzard, keeping their digestive system happy!

Are there disadvantages to using diatomaceous Earth?

There are a few things that will affect the overall usefulness of Diatomaceous Earth that you need to keep in mind.

  • Unfortunately, Diatomaceous Earth can become less effective when wet. Limiting use to inside the coop means that you will mitigate problems in areas with higher natural moisture levels. Proper storage is vital.
  • When using a deep litter system, be aware that DE is unable to distinguish between good parasites and harmful parasites. Using DE with a deep litter system means it will disable your deep litter system’s processes.

Diatomaceous earth is a remarkable and versatile poultry product for any backyard chicken coop enthusiast. Regardless of the size of your flock, you will be able to reap the benefits of Diatomaceous Earth each day for your chicken! 

For customers in the USA – To purchase any of our Absorbent Product’s Fresh Coop products, please visit our US distribution page to find the retailer nearest to you. 

For customers in Canada – Fresh Coop products can be purchased on amazon.ca or please give us a call at 1-800-667-0336 or email us at info@absorbentproductsltd.com. We would be happy to help!

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The Science Behind Fresh Coop Odor Control

The volatilization of ammonia occurs as a result of the breakdown of uric acid, which is present in poultry litter. The pH of the poultry litter plays an important role in ammonia volatilization. When the pH of poultry litter is below 7 ammonia release remains low; however, when the pH of the litter is above 8 the release of ammonia can be substantial.
By acidifying the litter, with the help of a proper balance of citric acid and our naturally occurring blend of Diatomaceous Earth, the conversion of ammonium to ammonia can be minimized. An acidified environment also inhibits the activity of bacteria and enzymes that contribute to the formation of ammonia, which further reduces ammonia production.

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Easter Eggs & Chicks

chicks

Does anything say “Easter” like an adorable baby chick?  Second only to bunnies, chicks are the animal most often connected with Easter and the coming of the spring.  Easter eggs are a long-familiar sight this time of year, and what better result from an egg than a fuzzy ball of chicken cuteness?

Baby birds, rather naturally, have long been associated with springtime.  In early Anglo-Saxon days, Eostre was the goddess of the spring and rebirth, and her sacred animal was the hare.  According to one legend, as a children’s entertainment Eostre transformed her pet bird into a hare who could magically lay colored eggs.  Eggs became a popular Easter food in the Middle Ages.  As eggs were often given up for the forty days of Lent, they were savored at Easter feasts. Rabbits and eggs have remained symbols of Easter into our modern times. 

In more recent history, the coloring of chicks with bright dyes was once a popular 20th century practice.  Common too, was the giving of live chicks as Easter presents.  Today, of course, we know that chicks require much more than a basket and some straw in order to survive and thrive!  The practice of coloring animals for entertainment has all but disappeared (and is illegal in 45 states).

Raising chicks requires a good deal of care and commitment.  For those who would like to enjoy babies without the long-term responsibility of adult chickens, there are even some enterprising entrepreneurs that will ‘rent’ chicks for a short-term experience.  You can have fertilized eggs and supplies delivered right to your door and return the young chickens after they fledge in roughly 6 to 8 weeks.

If you are well equipped to handle baby chickens that will rapidly turn into adults, then Eastertime can be the perfect time to add to your flock.  Safe and natural products are a wise choice for environmental enhancement, moisture reduction, and odor control.  Absorbent Products’ Fresh Coop Dust Bath helps encourage natural bathing behavior in chickens, and because it is made from food-grade diatomaceous earth, there is no concern should the birds ingest it.  We also manufacture several other products for healthy flock management.  For more information, and to see our full range of products for your backyard chickens, please visit our website at www.absorbentproducts.com