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diatom, wild birds & my girls. . .

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I ordered some Diatom (i think that's how it's spelled) from Mypetchicken.com. But it didn't really come with instructions. . .how often should I put it in their food. Also, do I put it in the area's of the yard where they dust bathe? Once it rains do I need to redo?


My girls are doing so great. They freerange all the time and are so fun. When they first ran around they stayed by the patio, so it was poo-city outside the backdoor. . .but now that they have ventured out into the yard, this is not a problem any longer.


My one problem is the wild birds. Their babies are all learning to fly and find food, and their mothers are taking them to my Eglu! I typically left it open so Rosemary & Clarisse can get back in if they want, but I've taken to closing it up so the other birds can't get in. The girls have lots of other spots in the yard where they hang out. (I have food outside the Eglu too . . .which I have to constantly replenish as the starlings chow down on that too.) I don't mind feeding the wild birds, and the chicken feed is cheap, but I just don't like all of their bird droppings etc around my girls.


The other night, I was going to the theatre and the girls were busy running around so I didn't secure them in the 'Lu, and I didn't get home until after dark. The rare times this happens, I always check on them first thing to make sure they are secure and then I lock up the 'lu. I also check the food and push it forward to the front of the "grub". That night (and it was dark) I stuck my hand in and felt something in there. At first I thought it might be a mouse or something, but when I got a flashlight, it was a baby starling! I thought maybe the girls had hurt it, but it was fine. . .I guess it got seperated from the others and decided to stay with the food.


Any other suggestions on dealing with wild birds? Maybe it will get better once the little ones are grown more. . .??


I don't mind them being around as long as they don't bring any nasty things into my girls surroundings.

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hi John, I'm sure others with more experience than I (not difficult) will post soon, but have you got a bird table, well stocked, a good distance from the eglu, to attract the non-hens over to that?


Diatom: I've just ordered some from Omlet, so don't know any suggested dosages yet, but reading here , I notice an interesting tip about mixing in some vegetable oil to help it bind to their food.


Yes, it can definitely go in the dustbath, but I also think it's inevitable that you will have to renew it once there's been rain. When mine arrives, I will post you what it says on the back of the pot, if no one else replies in the meanwhile, but I'm sure they will.


It must have made you jump a bit finding something soft and warm inside the grub!


regards, LG


PS researching further, as I am interested too, I found this "Add 1 pound for every 50 pounds of feed to prevent/treat worms, and sprinkle some in the nest box, run and coop bedding to prevent/treat mites and lice." at this page.

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I put diatom in the nest box. I tried putting it in their dust bath but they just went off and made another one, so I gave up on that idea.


I also put it over and on the ends of the roosting bars, which is where the red mite like to hide.

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